Saturday, October 21, 2017


Chris and I discovered this display of pumpkins recently at our local grocery store.  We shot this one to add to our portfolio on Shutterstock.

Our most popular photo is of our son's African talking drum.

Many customers have downloaded this close-up of  a Native American stone.

The next thing we need to do is learn how to put our photos on social media.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Davy and Jay in 1954.  I recall telling Jay to comb his hair.

It was two years after Chris and I married that Chris told me that I didn't know why I believed what I believed.  He also said he didn't believe what I believed.  This challenged me.  I began to study the Bible.  My parents bought two Bibles for me.  First I read through a paraphrase of the Bible called "The Living Bible."   Second, I used the New International Version of the Bible to study for my class in Bible Study Fellowship. 

Jay babysitting Davy.

Shortly after that Chris nicknamed me Billy Bob after Billy Graham because I preached so much.  I began to recollect that I had preached to my brothers as well.  

Me babysitting Davy

First I told Jay to comb his hair. Then I told Davy not to kick people in the back of the head when doing headstands in the back seat of the car.  Then there was the time when I was fifteen and Wayne was two.  He refused to eat his peas.  I told him that there were children in Africa starving as they had no peas to eat.  He cried and left the table.  Many years later he became a missionary to Africa.  He taught Jr. High students how to plant gardens.  

Evy babysitting Davy

 Evy babysitting Wayne and Davy

 Davy babysitting Wayne

Me babysitting Wayne and Davy

If you ask me now I can tell you why I believe what I believe!

 Jay supervising Davy

Me checking to see if Davy is eating the seeds.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Grandpa, Mom, and Davy in about 1955

My grandfather, (my mom’s father), lived with us on and off from the 1950’s to 1965.  He passed away in November of that year at age 84. I think the reason for this need to have him live with us was his depression at being so far away from his “girls,” and his lack of a regular job to keep him busy.  His increasing dementia may have had something to do with this also.

We lived in Virginia and his home was in Washington.  Because of the long distance from Spokane, WA to Alexandria, VA this involved tricky logistics of helping him travel to Virginia from Washington and back again several times a year.

I have the letters my parents wrote to each other and to others who helped with Grandpa’s transportation.  One time it involved my dad and Jay traveling with him.  Another time it was my mom with him.  They hitched rides from the Eau Claire, Wisconsin relatives many times as well. 

You may ask why I believe that my grandfather was correct in his thinking.  He was correct about the Communists.  As I recall he wanted to build a fall out shelter in our backyard in Alexandria.  I’m not sure how far he got on it.  My brothers may know.  I was out of the loop after I left home in 1961 for college. 

It could have been just some paranoia but I think Grandpa knew that Communism was an evil form of government.  It flew in the face of his faith in Jesus.  Communistic governments demand that the State is worshiped and not God. 

The Ken Burns special on PBS this month only covers one side of the war in Vietnam.  The Christians who still live in Vietnam today can tell the rest of the story.  They are persecuted and threatened with death and prison.  Here is a recording from the Voice of the Martyrs telling how a pastors wife in Vietnam struggled with the police over her Bible.  They wanted to take it away from her but she was willing to die or go to prison before she would give up her Bible.  Here is another interview on a podcast from the Voice of the Martyrs.  These same conflicts go on in every Communist nation.  Communism is evil and needs to be eliminated.  It will be eradicated in God’s timing. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Iguana in Cancun, Mexico.  Photo by Chris Brown.

On one trip to Mexico we took advantage of the shuttle bus from the hotel to the various restaurants.  On one trip back to the hotel I noticed an iguana next to the curb.  As we departed the bus I asked Chris if he would take a picture for me.  He did.  

Today I read a blog written by Jared C. Wilson.  He is a C. S. Lewis fan.  He used a picture of an iguana to illustrate his reference to a boy becoming a dragon.  He talks about how pain can produce good results.  I thought of our iguana pictures.  Here is another one by Chris.  If you would like to read the blog click here.

Photo by Chris Brown.

Another interesting blog I read today was by Justin Taylor.  He points out the differences between the Protestant and the Catholic church.  I can remember as a college student I determined I would not date any Catholics.  But today some Protestants are actually joining the Catholic church.  If you would like to read his blog click here.

A third blog I liked today was about the excuses God will hear on Judgement day.  I thought Jordan Standridge made some good points.  If you would like to read his blog click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


My aunt Evelyn did not believe that we had a 7" TV.  Here we are watching it.  I think this is in Alexandria at our Jefferson Manor house. Evy is sitting next to Davy and Jay is on the right.

My dad liked to watch TV.  It was a natural tranquilizer for him. My mom hated TV.  She would rather be reading.  The following, I think, is the story of why we had a TV before anybody else in Fairbanks, Alaska:

We lived in California in 1947.  California had TV stations at that time.  Apparently my dad purchased a 7" TV.  I appeared on the Howdy Doody TV show with my Brownie Troop. My mom watched the show and she said that they showed a close up of me.   

Then when we arrived in Alaska in 1950 there were no TV broadcasting stations.  We switched back to listening to the radio. Two years later we moved to Virginia.  In 1952 in Virginia there was at least one TV broadcast station.  We watched "Captain Video" and enjoyed it very much.  I remember one time two neighbors, Beverly Barrett and Rita Raybold came over to ask me to come out and play.  I turned them down so I could watch "my show."  After that I did go out and play with them.  Later I dressed the neighbors and Evy up in old costumes of mine and presented recitals.
Bottom to top Davy, me, Beverly, Rita, and 2 more I don't remember.

I don't remember the names of those five in this picture.  On the right is Evy, Davy sitting below.

  Jay watched cartoons.  I'm not sure how Evy, Davy, or Wayne felt about TV but I know Jay and I enjoyed it like our dad. (Jennifer let me know that Evy liked Seinfeld.  She also liked Mission Impossible as I recall.) My dad and I would bet on how many times Mannix got hit on the head during the Mannix show.  That was an enjoyable dad/daughter time for us. I doubt my mom ever watched the show.  Sarah reminded me that she watched and enjoyed Lawrence Welk. 

Now Chris and I  have cable TV.  We have 24 hour coverage.  I have at least 2 Christian friends who do not watch cable news. I am considering following their examples.  Here is a blog which asks some interesting questions to consider about cable news.  

Here is a You Tube of Springsteen's song "57 Channels (And Nothin' On).

Thursday, September 7, 2017


John Huss

I enjoy reading biographies about Christian missionaries.  After struggling through a Edith Blumhofer biography of Fanny Crosby, (it seemed to twist and turn and was not easy to follow), I switched to those written for children.  Alan Millwright, Sam Wellmen, Janet & Geoff Benge are some of the authors of the "Heros of the Faith" series that I liked.  

Now for the next 2 months, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:  

 (In 2017, 31 October will be a lawful holiday in all of Germany.[19] In order to do this, German states which do not celebrate the Reformation Day annually have passed adequate legislation or made regulations. These states are Baden-Württemberg,[20] Bavaria,[21] Berlin,[22] Bremen,[23] Hamburg,[24] Hessen,[25] Niedersachsen,[26] Nordrhein-Westfalen,[27]Rheinland-Pfalz,[28] Saarland[29] and Schleswig-Holstein.[30]
In the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be hosting an event to commemorate the Reformation in Washington, D.C.

I plan to read biographies about the reformers.  The Cripplegate blog will be posting short biographies of these men on Thursdays for the next 8 weeks.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


One of the acts on America's Got Talent

  As I was reading through the Bible this year I came to Ezekiel 1:15

 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. 16 This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.
19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

This Passage reminded me of the act which recently appeared on the America's Got Talent TV show.  It combined engineering with people who are gifted dancers and tumblers. Maybe the idea for this wheel came from Ezekiel's vision.  According to my study Bible this description represents some of God's attributes -- all knowing and all seeing. You may have heard the folk song written about the wheels:

Ezekiel saw the wheels;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Ezekiel saw the wheels;
Way up in the middle of the air.
And the big wheel run by Faith, good Lord;
And the little wheel run by the Grace of God;
In the wheel in the wheel good Lord;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Who's that yonder dressed in white?
Way in the middle of the air.
It must be the children of the Israelite's:
Way up in the middle of the air.
And the big wheel run by Faith, good Lord;
And the little wheel run by the Grace of God;
In the wheel in the wheel in the wheel good Lord;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Who's that yonder dressed in red?
Way in the middle of the air.
It must be the children that Moses led:
Way in the middle of the air.
Ezekiel saw the wheel;
Way up in the middle of the air.
Now Ezekiel saw the wheel in a wheel;
Way in the middle of the air.
Who's that yonder dressed in black?
Way in the middle of the air.
It must be the children running' back:
Way in the middle of the air.
And the big wheel run by Faith, good Lord;
And the little wheel run by the Grace of God;
In the wheel in the wheel in the wheel good Lord;
Way in the middle of the air,
Way in the middle of the air.

To me this is all very strange.  The style of writing in Ezekiel is poetic.  He draws us a picture of God that is bigger than anything that we can imagine. All I know is that when we face threats such as the natural disaster of Hurricane Harvey, nuclear war from North Korea, and fires burning in Montana, California, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and others, we have a God who is bigger than any of these problems.  He will hear and answer our prayers for help.   Will you join me?

Monday, August 21, 2017

ECLIPSE PICTURES August 21, 2017 10:21 am

Chris and I were able to get some good eclipse images of the partial eclipse we had in our area.   I took the pictures on my I Phone while Chris focused the binoculars on a piece of white cardboard. Here is one raw picture,  one of Chris, and one where Chris enlarged one image in photoshop. 

Chris thinks the blue edge is probably the internal reflections from the binocular optics. And, contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't hurt a binocular to do this, but it can damage a camera sensor.

Psalm 8: 3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?[a]

Psalm 148: 3 Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Roberta Grace 1917

Grace is a very popular name in our family.  On my father's side we have my great aunt Grace who was my grandfather's sister,  and my cousin Janet Grace.  On my mother's side we have my grandmother Grace Belle, my cousin Diana Grace, two nieces--Sarah Grace, and Grace.  

My mom, who went by her middle name, was born in Spokane, WA. on February 16, 1917.  She grew up in Spokane.  Here are some of the highlights of her life as recorded in pictures and print:

At 15 months she was a little sunbeam.

She received a baby doll and her older sister Evelyn did too. Evelyn's doll was Tootsie Margaret, Grace's doll was Hazel Rose. 

Here they were when they were a little older.  The family had a car wreck when Grace was 9.  She lost all of her eyebrows and had a scar on her forehead as a result.

Sister Ruth Jean was born 9 years after my mom. Both older sisters adored Ruth.

Grace attended Audubon elementary.  Front Row 4th from the left.

She listed all the names of her classmates.

She finished Havermale Jr. High in 1932
When she was 14 she had a poem published in the newspaper.

At North Central High School she was very active in everything from drama, (she was an assistant to the director), to tennis, and to the newspaper staff.

She was active in the Saint Paul Methodist church's youth group, Epworth League.  On Sunday nights they would eat onion sandwiches as that is all they could afford during the depression. The above must have been a cookbook published by the youth.

1935 High school graduation picture.

She was a January 1935 graduate in classical studies which included the study of Latin.

At some point she was in a Key Member Club.

She listed all of her activities in the 1935 North Central High School yearbook:

She was offered a scholarship to Whitman college in Walla Walla, WA. but it did not include room and board.  She did not accept the scholarship.  She did complete a course at Kinman Business University in Spokane.  Afterward she worked at a Spokane bank for 4 years and saved her money.  She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. for 1 year before her marriage in 1939.

Wedding invitation

There were many newspaper articles published about her showers and also the wedding.

The only wedding picture I have.  Brother Davy has the original of the wedding party.

One year after the wedding my brother Jay was born on November 29, 1940.  I was next in July of 1943.  Then my sister Evy was born in October of 1947.  Brother Davy in April 1952 and brother Wayne was born in June 1956.  She had definite opinions about child rearing.  She lied to the pediatrician when he told her to bottle feed us.  She breast fed instead.  She taught us to pray before we went to sleep at night like this:

Now I lay me down to sleep
 I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  
Thy love go with me all the night
 and wake me with the morning light.

She didn't want any of us to be fearful as she was afraid of many things.  As a result we all went out into the world unafraid.  We flew off to Mexico, Africa, Europe, and the South Seas.  She insisted that all 5 of us complete college.  Evy was the only one to go on for a Masters Degree.  We are very grateful for a mom who kept us all alive, as well as fed and clothed, until we reached adulthood. 

She had many ambitions.  She wanted to become a teacher, a nurse, a farmer, and a musician.  She accomplished all of those roles as a wife and mother.  

Teacher-- She taught piano lessons as a volunteer.  She taught Sunday School, and Good News Club. She worked as an aide at Davy and Wayne's pre-school. She was a discussion group leader for Bible Study Fellowship.

Nurse-- She nursed me through a broken foot twice and a vicious dog attack when I was bitten on both arms and both legs.  She nursed Evy through 2 operations on the cyst on her neck.  She nursed Davy and Wayne though broken heads and broken noses. She nursed my dad through congestive heart failure and Parkinsons.  She nursed her father through dementia.

Farmer-- She always had plants around either in the yard or in the house.  She made a flower arrangement when I was about 5 that my dad photographed and thought it was so attractive.  He wanted her to have a florist shop. She also cared for many pets for us--  including rabbits, seeing eye dogs in training, cats, and a parakeet.  Jay bred white rats for awhile.

Photo of flower arrangement

Musician-- She played the piano for church and Sunday school.  She also volunteered to play at nursing homes. I hear she played her saxophone in the college band.

She was actually a pretty good seamstress making matching quilted bathrobes for herself and me when I was about 5.  One Christmas she made photo albums for the five of us.

She also did a cross stitch for Chris.

She did take part time jobs starting in about 1958 or so--she worked at a 5 and 10 cent store--Murphys, in Alexandria, VA.  And then of course her job as a pre-school aide at Davy and Wayne's pre-school. Later she worked as a secretary.

When she was almost 60 years old she attended Cañada College.  She studied Spanish, Music, Bible, and Child Evangelism. She completed a 2 year degree about the same time as my youngest brother, Wayne, completed his 2 year degree.  

In her later years she fought dementia.  She, like her father, wanted to keep going like she had when she was younger.  Grandpa wrote about how discouraged he was that he didn't have a specific job to go to.  I think my mom was discouraged because she could no longer keep her children at home.  She lost mental and physical ability and had difficulty accepting it.  She thought Jesus would come back before she died.  I pray every day that God will keep me in my senses so that I don't suffer like she did.  She was buried at Tahoma National Cemetery in August of 2001.  My dad said that he was glad that she didn't have to see the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Here is a link to her find a grave page.