Let her cook?

I finally decided we were close enough to trash day yesterday .. to go ahead and dump out some old food.  Which, I hate ever doing.  Wasting food.  And throwing food out.

But when you’re living alone part of the time and still have to shop for others to be with you the other part of the time, it somehow seems inevitable.  Which is why, over the years, I’ve taken to eating out more than I should.

In trying to get back to spending less, eating healthier and being home more .. something I want for myself and that the Cowboy is encouraging me to do as well… I’m trying to get back into this cooking thing.


I’ve always loved to cook.  Love looking at recipes.  Love having family and friends over for meals.  I have an extensive collection of favorite cookbooks.  But at the moment, in our last move and in severely trying to downsize, I’ve pulled out only a few from the boxes.


The rest, for now .. sit in storage.

I’m not sure when exactly .. I got so far away from that.  But fairly certain it was as I adjusted to a new life, during my divorce.

Six years later …

My daughter is wanting desperately to learn to cook.   So I’m trying to find the time between getting home late each evening during the week when I have her, homework, taking the dogs out, picking up and getting her to bed.  Which doesn’t leave us much time.  To cook.  Anything but buttered noodles (any pasta), rotisserie chicken and a salad.  (Yes, I know I can throw something in the crock pot.  That would require more advance planning and it just never seems to work out that we actually eat what goes in there.  A lot still gets thrown away.)  We eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables.  Again, really no cooking involved.  And on weekends between traveling back and forth to South Dakota, visiting family or friends here, it seems someone else is always the one at the stove.

SO… when I’m not looking:


(Sorry for the close-up.)

She ‘cooks.’

Grapes.  Bananas.  Swedish Fish.  Apples.  Some sort of sugary sauce.  Pretty sure that’s what I ended up throwing out yesterday after it sat in the refrigerator for a couple days.  (No garbage disposal or it would’ve gone out much sooner.)

At 10 years old .. she whips up whatever concoction she can, whenever I turn my back or give her a few minutes alone now, while I run errands or walk the dogs.

No stove though.  One of the rules.

So she gets creative.

And she loves it.  She will also usually try and stomach eating whatever it is she’s ‘cooked’ just to prove a point.  That she’s ready to learn.


In writing this – I’ve learned its not only a rite of passage by doing a little research, it’s healthy in so many ways for a child to learn to cook.  Especially now that she’s learning fractions in math, cooking might be a great way to give her practical application.  Hadn’t thought about that until this moment.  And perhaps I should have done more to bring her into the kitchen years ago.

From eHow Family:

What Children Learn from Cooking

Teaching children to cook is not only a valuable life skill, but it incorporates other important skills as well. When children cook, they have a chance to practice math skills, work on following directions, learn to work with an adult and get a sense of accomplishment. Children as young as 3 can begin learning to cook.

  1. Skills for Younger Cooks (under 5)

    Reading Aged Children (5-7)

    School Aged (7 and up)


    Fun Fact


I waffle back and forth between wanting to fuss at her for wasting so much food (and money in the process) that would have been part of her school lunch or our dinner.  And, allowing her the space to be creative.  To cook. And I know it’s in her best interest to teach her.

So while I look for the time, I send her to look for the dish soap.  Because if she’s going to learn to cook ..

Picking up good vibrations …

Bet some of you will never hear that tune the same way again..


So this isn’t a topic the Cowboy and I have discussed much.  I’m not sure we will .. either.  You never know.  But at the very least, we got a good laugh out of what is prompting this post.

(I’ve come to realize in writing about our conversations, that we laugh a lot.  Which is just a really good thing in life.)

*This would be the other half of the text message I got the other night from a girlfriend.. the one I referenced at the top of my last post about Cowboy Church.  You know the second part of the two hilarious things happened this week that I feel I simply must share with you, especially in light of your blog topics this past week’ she wrote.

Three things to keep in mind here:

1.)  I didn’t include this in yesterday’s post because .. well, it just didn’t feel quite right to put this one in the same conversation as church.

2.)  She sent this the same night I shared a girlfriends recap of a conversation she had with her son, after learning he had apparently at one point, walked in on her and her husband having sex.  So this is relevant.

3.)  This whole project.. writing something or at the very least trying, each day for a year as a gift I hope someday to my daughter .. one might think I shouldn’t include this.  But no one ever had this talk with me.  Not until I was like, way old.  About the topic at all.  And it’s probably not good to be totally ignorant.  Like I was about far too many things coming from a small town where you just didn’t talk about anything even remotely risqué.  Or parents that went there either.  I vividly remember the first time a girlfriend started talking about her ‘rabbit’.  I had no clue what she was talking about.  We got the best laugh.  After I came out of shock.  Being blissfully ignorant has its perks, too.  I think.  But, a lot of my girlfriends and even my guy friends are stunned at how non-versed in the following, I am.  Should I admit this?  I don’t know.  But it is what it is.

Oh, and I should probably add this …

4.)  Disclaimer:  going on is not for the faint of heart.  Or anyone that might consider themselves a prude.  And don’t judge me on this.  I’m just relaying the text and trying to do what I always do for my friends.. either be a sounding board, or help them find some answers.  By the way, this is a $15 billion industry and apparently growing.


So someone’s talking (ahem, using) about all of this.  Whether you admit it or not.

5.)  I usually love to add photos.  I think it makes any writing that much more rich and vivid.  But .. there will be none today.


The text stated:

“Secondly, no sex going on here unfortunately for my kids to walk in on.”  She is a couple years out now from her divorce.

“But,” she adds …

“Does anyone want to offer up suggestions on how I should explain the special item that my 11 year old found in my bed that I forgot to put away?!  I said we would discuss the ‘pink thing’ in the near future!  I am still giggling about the confused look on her face!”

She’s wondering what advice I/we might have for her on that one.

Surprisingly, there seems more advice on the world wide web for this topic than the child walking in on sex discussion.

I personally got nothing for ya, my dear friend.  Other than maybe don’t forget to put it away next time.  And find a good bedside table with a drawer that locks.

One resource I love to turn to for insight every now and then .. is Your Tango.  If you’ve never checked out their brutal honesty on all things relationship:


Here’s another person’s blog on the topic that almost had me on the floor .. laughing, here a few seconds ago.  I’m not sure how good it is, but there is specific language offered to help a parent and child through the situation:


Otherwise, I was just with an old classmate last weekend who now essentially works in that whole arena.  She has built a career out of doing direct sales for a company called Pure Romance.  So no holds barred.  When I mentioned your text to her on Saturday, it quickly became a very open conversation with about 8 people standing around us.  SHE is apparently very comfortable having this conversation and has suggestions.  So let me connect you.

In the meantime, I feel like I need to go to church.  Or something along those lines.

I’ve learned since the last post on Cowboy Church, there are apparently plenty of options nearby.  It seems you don’t need a rodeo.  To be on the road.  Or sitting in the stands somewhere.  Cowboy Church can be also found, close to home.  I’ve learned quickly, many feel we have great options nearby.

Cowboy Church … a friend asks:

I get a very lengthy text the other night .. from a girlfriend. It was late, and the same night I posted what happens while a child walks in on two consenting adults.

“You and the Cowboy appear to be doing well, despite the stressors of life and long distance, and I am so happy for you.”

(We’ve known each other for what seems a very long time, brought together by both of our mothers having passed away of the same type of cancer. Lot of lessons in life to be learned when a parent passes away .. thoughts for another post sometime. Anyway, this discussion is much lighter hearted.)

She goes on to say, “You give me hope that there are indeed good relationships to be had, despite any previous not so good ones in my past. I am content to wait for my own cowboy to ride/walk/run into my life! Anyway… I am responding to your fabulous blog that I have so enjoyed reading. Humor me here. Two hilarious things happened this week that I feel I simply must sure with you, especially in light of your topics this past week. Ironic, with the timing really. First one, I was speaking with a patient who was a self proclaimed cowboy. In reading some of his past notes, he indeed is a true cowboy here in Wisconsin, but I came across one note hat spoke of his “priest at cowboy church.” I am as green as they come and am sure I would still call a lasso, a lasso. But is there seriously such a thing as cowboy church?”


Last summer I had just been informally introduced to the Cowboy, when he started a week at Willow Creek Rodeo Bible Camp. In fact, he just reminded me that was the first time I was willing to give him my number. I figured if he was an instructor at a bible camp.. it might be safe to at least share my number. Until then we had only talked a bit via Facebook.

“Sure,” he says this morning as I show him the text. “There is a Cowboy Church. I’m not exactly sure how it got started. But it’s real.”

He reminds me, we’ve actually talked about this before.

He gave my daughter a Cowboy Bible, in fact, for Christmas. It’s just a little pocket bible she can carry around with her to hopefully use, and if nothing else, remind her He’s there for her and so is the Cowboy. He’s got them around the house for his kids, as well.

What is Cowboy Church?

We’ve looked it up to see if there’s any great explanation of where it started, why and how many there are. There’s quite a bit of information out there.

But without sending you on a wild information chase ..

Its non-denominational. It’s usually held not necessarily on Sundays but usually at a horse event, such as a rodeo, horse show, roping. Whatever. And it can be in the stands, the arena or at a horse trailer.

The Cowboy believes it exists out of the reality 1) many cowboys/cowgirls and their families either live far from town/church and are busy tending to the ranch on Sundays to make a usual church service so at one time, it may have been born out of necessity and/or 2) if you rodeo, you’re gone most of the time and not near your own church. You’re traveling, or getting ready for the competition on Sunday afternoon. So you gather on the road. Someone is usually leading the group, either a certified pastor or just someone who is comfortable in that role..

Cowboys and cowgirls, get together, give testimony, sing songs and worship.

The Cowboy says he went to a lot of rodeo bible camps when he was a kid..

As an adult .. he appreciates the opportunity to give back.

Rodeo Bible Camp

So .. my dear friend, if my own past serves as any sort of a lesson, go with your gut. Allow yourself to trust someone again, especially if he seems like a good guy. In fact if you haven’t already, now, may be a good time to give him your number. You never know when that Cowboy may come riding in … get back on that horse. (take that however you want.) And if nothing else, let him take you to church.



Proclaiming proudly …

I’m not sure if I feel like celebrating .. or breaking down crying over the fact my baby girl is not at all a baby anymore.

“I got my first zit,” she excitedly tells the Cowboy over the phone last night.

I’m not even sure we’ve shared that yet with her dad.

I hope so, though.  Because in a very weird way, it feels like that is a major milestone.  And I know she’s been on the phone with him at least a couple times in the past 24 hours.  I tell her we’ll get her some things so that she can start taking better care of her skin and face.


This discovery comes not long before we head out the door.  And because we had some time to kill before going to a movie .. we stopped at the mall.  I haven’t gone for myself in a very long time, so I was curious to stop in a few stores that I used to like to frequent.  See what might be new for spring.  And while I didn’t see anything that appealed to me, my daughter did.

Not little girls shoes ..

“Is it okay if I try on this pair of shoes?” she asks of an adorable pair of red kitten heels.

I laugh and say, “I’m sure it is.”

I didn’t think they would actually fit her.  Last I knew she was maybe a size 4 shoe at best.  And measuring below my shoulders.  What happened in the past week?

“C’mon.. let’s go,” I say.  A bit flustered at how much she’s grown.

“Mom….” she says as she sees a coat on the way out she really likes.  She asks me to hold her jacket while she takes off her ski coat and tries on a misses black leather jacket with a fur collar.

“I LOVE this jacket, mom,” she says.

Great, I’m thinking to myself.

“Okay.. well, when you can save up, we’ll look at getting it for you.”


It’s all part of a wonderful series of changes happening right now.  Changes she is celebrating and wanting to talk a lot about.  Very different from what I remember wanting to do when I was growing up.  I dreaded any changes.  Rarely were those things talked about when I was a child.  Not at home.  And not amongst friends.  Or relaying to the world.  Especially a zit.

But she’s pretty happy about it.  So I guess I’m sharing it too …

A day late because my girl who is growing up .. crawled into my lap late the other night as I sat on the couch catching up on the video phone with the Cowboy.  After sharing the big news about her zit, and hanging up to go put her back to bed.. I decided, it wasn’t much longer she’d want to curl up on my lap, or that I could hold her.

We both fell asleep there …

When a child walks in on….

One of my best girlfriends..

We have known each other for .. pretty much 15 years.

At times we’ve kept in touch daily, other times.. not much at all.  But we always pick right back up where we left off.  And like so many good friends who are busy with family, life and career, I always wish there were more time..

So when I see a text come in from her .. it catches my eye.

One text the other day however, REALLY stopped me in my tracks.


“Convo between me and child yesterday..Me: just knock and come in.  Child: I did that once and saw something so horrifying.  Something I never imagined I would see and now I can’t un-see it.  I never want to risk seeing that again.”

I’m laughing.  Because I can just hear her child saying this in the very wry – I’m embarrassed by my mother – but I’m cool with it – manner he often speaks.   Probably not a laughing matter.  But I’m laughing.  I text her back.

“Oh no,”  I say.  “Not that.”

Then I start racking my brain to remember if I ever saw my parents in an uncompromising position as a child.  Pretty sure never really saw.  But did ‘hear’ on at least one occasion.  Hard not to, they had a waterbed.  And it did scar me as a child.  For a long time.

I cringe as I send another text, thinking no way is this true, but I’m going to try and make her feel better ..

“I bet in a couple years he forgets when his own hormones kick in,” I say, along with a few other thoughts.

And I wrap it up with, “Oh my God.”

Then I think, oh that’s a good story.  Because there’s NO WAY they’re the only ones this has happened to.  But who talks about that???  So I ask her what she thinks.  If she’d be willing to write something up for the blog.

“Sure use it,” she says.  “I laugh everytime I think of it.  It’s hilarious.”

She’s a writer herself.  A great writer, in fact.  Below is her account.


I overslept last week on a school day. My eyes sprung open at the exact minute I needed to get (child) out the door, into the car and to school on time.

Me: “Child! Are you ready to go???!!!”

Child: “Yes mom, I’ve been sitting here waiting for you.”

I’m still wearing pajamas as we get into the car and start the drive.

Once we’re on the road he says, “How could you oversleep? I have safety patrol today and if I’m late no one will be there to patrol the hallway near the janitor’s closet.”

Me: “Sorry bud. You know you can knock on the door and come in if it ever happens again.”

Child: “No. I’m not doing that.”

Me: “Why not?  (Step-brother) does it all the time.”

Child: “Because I did it once and saw something so horrifying. Something I never imagined I would see and now I can’t unsee it. I never want to risk seeing that again.”

There’s a long pause as I digest what he just explained. I’m a newlywed so things can get a bit amorous.

Me: “So we were having sex?”

Child: “Yes. And I don’t want to talk about it.”

Since I have no idea when the incident occurred, I spent the next several moments wondering what, exactly, did he walk in on? Everything I came up with led to the same conclusion: a child should never, never EVER have to see his parents having shall we say, a private moment.

He hasn’t wanted to talk about it since so I haven’t pressed him. I remember that I was that young once, and horrified when I accidentally walked in on my mom and her new husband. Yuck.

I respect and understand his reaction. But maybe because I witnessed something similar when I was a kid and was still somehow able to move on and function in society, I laugh every time I think of it.

*The irony.  His dad came out of the closet seven years ago, and has lived with men ever since.  I can’t help but wonder, is catching me in the act is any more horrific than catching his dad?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

If you have kids.  A house.  And sex.  Chances are, there is a chance at some point this may happen.  Apparently, browsing the web on this topic, there’s even a term for it.  “Primal scene”?  But that whole message seemed a bit much so I left it off the links below.
Anyway, some food for thought, should you ever be caught…. in the meantime, I’m just happy to know my gf and her new hubby are enjoying everything life and marriage have to offer .. especially the sex.  This time around.  Because walking in on anything wasn’t an issue in her marriage to the child’s father.  For reasons, if you caught it above, are self explanatory.

‘She didn’t call it that, did she?’ …

One of my favorite people sent a note to the Cowboy shortly after either reading yesterday’s blog or just looking at the title.

And I can just hear her low, rumbling, infectious laugh as she wrote to him, ‘She didn’t call it that, did she?’ in regard to yesterday’s post about the term ‘lasso’.  I am not sure yet if she is appalled.  Or in hysterics over what a greenhorn I apparently still am.

While living in Montana and every year since, I’ve spent (along with our family) as much time as possible at their ranch.  They have taken me in as family.  I couldn’t love them any more.  And they feel like home to me.  God, family, raising cattle, fun, friends and the rodeo have been a part of their lives for generations.  Maybe, but not necessarily in that order.  But most likely.  And having spent as much time with them as I have, one might think, before meeting the Cowboy, I might have been a little better versed in roping.

Regardless, as I was going to talk about something else entirely today (When a child walk in on… will be tomorrow) .. it struck me to write this post.  Both because of the comments exchanged between my dear friend/second mother and the Cowboy ..

And, that I ran across this link.


Wisdom, when I first met my dear friend and her family, is where they lived.  Where they ranched.  Where the kids went to school.  Where there was a hat shop.  Where around the corner was one of the coolest stores/galleries and a restaurant attached the locals and visitors loved to stop.  (Where I bought the purse so many years ago people keep asking me where I got it.)  And where during the deep snows of winter, it took a snowmobile to make the drive home.  Wisdom is like a little bit of heaven on earth.  Actually, a lot.  A lot of space.  Incredible beauty in ever direction.  And the people there would give anything to help family, friend or a stranger.

While a lot has changed;  there’s been a divorce, a remarriage, the kids have grown and now all have families of their own, the hat shop has moved to a new home and so has my friend .. snowmobiles are more for sport, than a necessity .. and the cafe/gallery has sadly burned down..

There is still a lot about Wisdom that remains the same.  The town.  Fetty’s.  The gas station.  The Antler.  The Cow Chip Open.  Most importantly, many of the same people.  How good and kind they are.  Open to visitors who become family.

And the mistakes they make, learning the ropes of being a cowboy…

It’s not ‘a lasso’ …

We were grabbing lunch the other day with a girlfriend of mine.. and I’m not sure how the topic came up.

But the word ‘lasso’ flew into the conversation..

“Uh oh,” I thought.  And I started laughing.

“If you don’t want to look like a greenhorn,” says the Cowboy…

“Don’t call it a lasso.  People from the city are always calling it a lasso,” he says to her, very seriously.

“It bugs me.”

We all start laughing.  Me, in part because I made the same mistake early on in this relationship.  And I’m not sure I’ll ever live it down.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

lasso (play /ˈlæs/ or /læˈs/), also referred to as a lariatriata, or reata (all from Spanish la reata), is a loop of rope that is designed to be thrown around a target and tighten when pulled. It is a well-known tool of the American cowboy. The word is also a verb; to lasso is to successfully throw the loop of rope around something. Although the tool has several proper names, such terms are rarely employed by those who actually use it; nearly all cowboys simply call it a “rope,” and the use of such “roping.” Amongst most cowboys, the use of other terms – especially “lasso” – quickly identifies one as a layman.

A lariat is made from stiff rope so that the noose stays open when the lasso is thrown. It also allows the cowboy to easily open up the noose from horseback to release the cattle because the rope is stiff enough to be pushed a little. A high quality lasso is weighted for better handling. The lariat has a small reinforced loop at one end, called a honda or hondo, through which the rope passes to form a loop.


The honda or hando.. for the record, doesn’t sound like it looks apparently.  Cowboy says it’s pronounced (hahn-doo)…


The Cowboy grew up roping.

When he was just 3 or 4, he says he would hop on a crazy horse named Chief, with his dad, and they would ride about 5 miles through the pastures to a neighbors house.  To roping club.

The Cowboy says if he remembers right, Chief was ugly as sin.   (A little side note there.)  But, a good horse.

It was a weekly competition.  Apparently anywhere from 20 to 30 guys would show up.  They kept track of how everyone did, kind of like a league.  And at the end of the year, they gave away a buckle.

“Did you love it?” I asked as we were talking about what I might write.

“I did.  It was good.  I just grew up with it.  Roped all through school.  For a few years when we moved to town, I quit.  But when they bought another place in the country… my uncle got us all started again.  I haven’t stopped since, I guess.  Until now.”

The Cowboy’s earned quite a few buckles in his career.  He made it to state time and again in high school ..  roped all through college and was team roping professionally, until the divorce.  He didn’t want to be gone on weekends anymore or traveling when he might have a chance to see his kids.  And life with the rodeo, is apparently, a life on the road.


He is still on the road quite a bit, back and forth between South Dakota and Wisconsin.  In fact, he grabbed his coat just this morning.. and headed for home.

He gets a few hours tonight with the kids..

And he loves that they .. are the ones now picking up the rope.

In fact, my daughter, since meeting the Cowboy has learned quite a bit.

Even she reminds me;  Real cowboys use a rope.  When you’re above your head and its a in a circle, its still not called ‘a lasso’.  It’s called swinging your loop.

I can still hear her.. the last time I messed up and called it the wrong thing, and then asked, ‘why, again’?

‘That’s just what you call it, mom.’

I believe that’s the same answer (minus the ‘mom’ reference) I gave the other day, to my girlfriend.

Sometimes …

Sometimes… sometimes it isn’t church people need to reground them.  Like I talked about yesterday.

Sometimes it’s a mountain.  I used to hike when I lived in Montana and that always felt like going to church.  Even looking at the mountains.  Peaceful.

Sometimes it’s a good book that takes people away.  The Cowboy and I were talking about insightful versus just good fiction reads tonight.. as we spent some time at the bookstore.

Maybe a long, hard workout.  Or a hot yoga class.

Or a ride.  On a bike.  (Sarah, never noticed the police sticker on the back of the bike until was posting this pic from our ride.. curious of the story behind it!)

Or, a horse.

Maybe a concert.  The dog park.  Or a night out with friends.

There are a lot of things that help someone let go, step back, escape for even a few minutes.

Sometimes though .. there is just NOTHING like a good vacation.  Forces you to step outside the drama of the everyday.  Helps hit the reset button.

If I could send a few wonderful people on a good vacation right now, for even a few days, I believe the world would be a much more calm, happy place.  Maybe.

Maybe not.  But sometimes, it is nice to think about, if not try.  Because then, even if it is for a few moments, you can pull yourselves away from their drama.

Tomorrow’s blog (I think. If nothing else pressing comes up):  Why it’s not called ‘a lasso’.  Or, perhaps, ‘what happens when your child walks in on ….’ You know, a much lighter, mortifying topic.

About more than you or me …

There is this room I will often go to within our church, to pray.

Which.. is why I go there, actually.

It’s called the prayer room.

It is beautiful.  Quiet.  Sunlight on a Sunday morning almost always is streaming through the windows.  Even when it’s gray outside.  It seems the sunlight finds its way in.

And when I need to gather my thoughts, further ground myself in life and in my faith and sit tight for a moment, really wrap my head back around the reality of how small any of our problems are in the big scheme of things.. this is one of the places I like to go.

And I needed time there today.

I have so much to be thankful for .. and I don’t feel like I can ever express my gratitude enough for the gifts I personally have in my day-to-day.  For the people in my life and for the opportunities to grow, explore and help wherever I can.  And time.  After losing too many I love in this life, I am keenly aware of the gift of time.

Time is one of those things you can never get back.

Which is why I pray today so much of the stress, animosity and unnecessary anger I’m seeing ruin time, opportunity and relationships around me.. find some way to heal.  And this isn’t aimed at any one person or group of people, contrary to what they might want to believe.  I see it at work, in the lives of many whom I love, in our community, in our state right now and everyday in the news.

I try, in the time I ever get to spend sitting alone in that little room, with the sun on my face.. to always focus my thoughts on what issues I can own, what I can work on myself, what I might help others with and then I give the rest over to God.

Now, I don’t mean to go all ‘church’ on anyone here.  But I think its important, especially as this is a day to day journal/personal account and legacy project of my own for my daughter .. that she understand, my faith is an important part of who I am.

I try and go as often as I can to church because I find it healing.  She and I love to go together whenever possible, she actually enjoys it to the point she asks to go.  The Cowboy and I have especially been doing all we can to make it to church when he is visiting as well.  I love that we all are able to share this.

And as we’ve been dealing with what seems an extraordinary amount of drama, hurt and challenges as of late .. from all angles .. family .. life, career …..on a micro-level:

The message today couldn’t have been any better.  (It’s how I usually feel each week as we get into the sermon.  That there couldn’t have been a more appropriate message to address and help me think through how I’m living my day to day, based on the challenges of that particular week.  I hear a lot of parishioners at our church say the same .. )

We all get so caught up in our own stuff…

That we forget, the world is actually a very big place.

Where most people are actually trying literally .. to just survive.

Their problems are no food.  Unsafe drinking water.  Personal safety.  Trying to keep a roof over their heads.

And I’m/we’re focusing our time and energy .. where?


The link above is to an app called Living Earth our pastor pointed out this morning.

“When God sees our planet… he sees over all of this,” explaining what the app shows.  “We’re completely different.  When left to ourselves, we think its just about ourselves,” he said

“We get an idea,” he added .. “that the world is .. ‘our own little sphere’.  Our little neighborhood or our little county.  (He pauses)  The world is big.  A lot bigger than our little sphere.  God is committed to blessing the entire world.  This app reminds me of God’s concern and love for the entire world … And he’s doing that through ordinary people, like us.”

How can we make a difference?

How can we remember, as we’re enveloped into our day to day and head back out into our own little worlds after the service ends each week….

..that there is a bigger world out there.  A world God needs to pay just as much attention to, if not more than many of the issues we feel overwhelmed by here at home.

How can we work together, to heal a broken world.  State.  Neighborhood.  Or home.

I’m pretty sure I’ll find my way back to the prayer room to contemplate that again in the near future.

In the meantime.. for anyone that might read this and cares to hear more from todays sermon –  http://www.blackhawkmedia.org/MP3/2012Feb19.mp3

Runners étiquette ..

We hadn’t gone far Saturday morning..

When we ran across another runner.

“Hi,” I said …

“Hi,” … she replied.  Smiling.

The Cowboy was running alongside me.  He said nothing.  The only sound coming from him, now a step in front of me to make room on the path for the other runner .. was his breathing and the sound of his shoes hitting the bare pavement.

“Hey,” I said.  “I’ve never asked, but do you know runner’s etiquette?”

The Cowboy starts laughing…

“You remember where I live, right?” says the Cowboy.  Now we’re both laughing.  “The only thing I run by when I go running… are some cows.”


I love that I live in a city full of runners.  Long distance, short distance, professionals and novice runners.  And I couldn’t live on a bigger thoroughfare for athletes in this town.  I’m just a hop, skip and a jump from the main loop many train on each day, so hitting the path to do something I’ve done since I was just a little kid, do now to stay in shape and enjoy immensely, is easy.

While it may seem like you just go out and jog.. there are some rules runners live by.  (Despite being a runner, I do not know them all..)

First, say hello when you pass another runner.  Or at the very least, a small wave as you glance over and keep going on your journey.  When others are on the path, or if you’re on a sidewalk, stay in your ‘lane’.  If someone is coming at you, stay to your right.  If you’re on the street because there are no sidewalks, do the exact opposite.  Run into traffic so that they can better see you and you them.  Keep your shoes tied.  Your head up, unless you’re running a big hill and then sometimes its better to look down right in front of where you’ll take your next step so that the hill doesn’t look so intimidating.  Long distance runs?  Strike heel to toe, don’t land on the ball of your foot.  Sprinting is another story.  And breathe.  Probably the most important there.  Some of those last points weren’t etiquette.  Just good advice I’ve gotten over the years.  I think.  Take it or leave it.

One more thing, if you’re running with a dog.. or even walking, pick up after it for the love of Pete.  (Don’t ask who Pete is.  Just needed a name there.  And picking up after them, a discussion yet to come..)

The first time I took the Cowboy running with the dogs, he had one of their leashes full out and almost clotheslined a biker who expected that as they got closer, the dogs leash would get shorter and the dog out of his way.  If I weren’t laughing so hard trying to help the Cowboy reign in the dog.. I might have been mortified.

As we laugh.. there is a seriousness to it all.  And a system.  And we chuckle as we get ready to head out on another run..  they forgot to add, ‘say hello’.

There are over 40 miles of bicycle paths in Madison. These paths are used by a variety of users; including bicycle commuters, recreational bicyclists, families, pedestrians and skaters. By following a few basic rules, these paths can be shared safely by all users.

  • All users should keep to the rightside of the path, except to pass.
  • When traveling side-by-side, stay on the right half of the path.
  • Faster users should yield to slower users.
  • Always travel at a safe speed,with due regard for others. Faster users may want to consider alternate routes to ensure the safety of all users.
  • Pass others on the left by slowing down, giving an audible warning such as calling out, “Excuse me, passing left”, and waiting for a reaction before passing.
  • Move off the pathway when stopping.
  • Be careful when crossing streets and driveways. Watch for traffic and make sure other drivers are aware of the path and your presence.