Monday, April 28, 2008

Near Home

With limited time, the after dinner ride couldn't last very long. But with ideal weather, it couldn't be ignored either. In a pinch, the 3-mile loop will do.

The illuminated foreground with the shadowed background made for an interesting contrast.

So did the yellow flowers popping out of a blue sky.

When not in a hurry, uphills like this are easy.

When the uphills are like this, I can hardly wait for next time.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Prayer for Healing

Holy Father, you are the Almighty and the great I AM. You are all power, wisdom, justice, and righteousness. You are love and worthy of all glory and praise. You, Holy Father, are my creator.

I am weak and needy. I can't find my own way and I lack understanding. You provide my needs. You, Holy Father, fullfill your promises and give me hope. I know that You care for those that belong to You and I know that You answer my prayers. Please, I plead, hear this prayer.

I seek your attention and concern. I seek access to your holy power, your divine wisdom, and your mysterious ways. You have revealed to me that you can do all. You have executed justice, freed the captive, healed the sick, and raised men from the grave. Holy Father, I seek your healing hand.

Please heal my sister.

Where ever my sister walks, she shines your light. My sister reflects your glory and spreads your love to everyone she meets. Because of her devotion to her family, she is praised by her husband and honored by her children. Her young grandchildren have already known her abundant love. She has long been a faithful child of yours. She has a multitude of friends because so many have known the joy of her presence. You, Holy Father, have blessed me and my family through her. Through Christ, she is my sister. Through love she shows us You.

Please heal my sister.

I pray that she will sense your presence. I pray that she will be strengthened and encouraged. I pray that the blessings you have given so many through her will be showered upon her from all of us. Use us, I pray, to meet her needs. I pray that all those that care for her will do so in wisdom and in love. I pray that they will be strong. I pray that she will see your glory and, regardless of circumstances, know your joy. There might be lonely times and times of fear, so I pray, Holy Father, that her faith be strengthened. I pray that she will rise up in courage to meet her adversary. Most of all, Holy Father, I pray that You will heal her quickly and completely. Please heal her so that she can continue her service to you. Please heal her so that your glory will be manifested to those who know her and those who treat her. Astonish those who don't serve You so they might come to know You.

Please, Holy Father, heal my sister.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

A New Route

Here are few photos from the Saturday ride exploring some new roads. I've been wanting to ride out to Lake Ray Roberts and hadn't yet been to the north end. The weather was fine. I had a map, a snack, and some time, so northward I rolled.

Not documented was the herd of about 40 cows standing in the middle of the road. I was too busy trying to figure another way around, thinking that riding "through" them between fences on each side sounded like a bad plan, and trying to figure out how to "herd" them back into their pasture. After playing cattle drive cowboy on a bicycle, I was able to get them down the road and on a side street. I passed without trouble, called 911 to report a safety hazard, and continued my adventure.

A little farther down the road, on a picture perfect day, the irony of this sign caught my eye.

Latter on, in a case of double irony, I actually did have to cross an active low water crossing.

This guy was creative with his house marker. I can imagine the directions go something like..., "Turn right on Chisam Road and go about 4 miles until the pavement ends, go another 1.5 miles on gravel, then turn right at the Hobie Cat hull stickin' out of the ground."

Here's a couple of views from the FM 3002 bridge...looking southeast toward the dam and then southwest toward the shoreline.

Finally, on the return trip, here's the north "Welcome to Sanger" sign at IH-35. There's a similar one on the south end of town.

No problem with the cows on the return. I guess we all had enough adventure for one day.

Busy Back Porch

Some, I suppose, equate a back porch at a rural homestead with a place of leisure and relaxation. They see it as a place to take a break from the hectic pace of life to refresh the mind and body. Not so for Gus and Joey.

Normally, inside the house, they lounge and sleep and appear to be quite lazy. However, they wisely use indoor time to rest and recover from the vigorous exercise they get outside. Let me illustrate.

Here, documented by photographs is one of those wild workouts. Hold on tight. Here we go (captions are below each photo)...

When they get outside, the action begins immediately...

Yes sir, soaking up sunshine is only part of the active lifestyle.

"Wha...? What's going on?"

"Joey! Wake up! I think I heard something!"

"What was it? Where did he go?"

"Oh well. Maybe it was nothing."

"Huh? You say something, Gus?"

"Yeah, I thought I heard something. You see anything?"

"Oh...there it is...the bike dude with the camera again. Let's lay down and get back to work."

Whew!...It makes me tired just watching it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recovery Ride

I came home from work today, jumped on the bike, and rode for a good two hours.

Don't get the wrong idea. It certainly wasn't any kind of "training" or "fitness" ride. It's funny, I suppose, but ALL my rides these days would best be categorized as "recovery rides". For those not familiar with the training language, a recovery ride is one in which the racer rides steady and slower than normal after a particularly hard workout or series of workouts. Recovery rides are intended to promote circulation and muscle recovery. You might say I'm always recovering from something, but I reckon it is rarely a particularly hard workout.

No, I came home from work with an unsettled stomach, low on energy, and hungry. Still mulling-over a few things at work, I simply wanted to sit in the sun and rest...or maybe take a nap. It wasn't the ideal set-up for cycling. On the other hand, the weather was spectacular and I had some spare time. Within minutes, I had loaded the bag with a PBJ sandwich, a windbreaker, camera, cell phone...and was on the road.

Not feeling very zippy, Waide Road seemed like the best plan. Noodling along on late afternoon gravel was just the ticket. Miles of quiet. No cars...and no hurry. Springtime had worked it's magic on the wide-open rolling prairie. The multi-shades-of-brown illustrated in my prior Waide Road post were transformed. Wildflowers and multi-shades-of-green were featured today. Unfortunately, my camera battery gave out mid-ride and I couldn't photograph the best views.

Upon returning to the final stretch of pavement, I noticed the sun dropping behind the horizon. I paused to turn on the lights for the last 10 minutes of the ride. It really is amazing what a two hour ride (and eating a PBJ sandwich on a prairie hilltop where you can see for miles and hear nothing but the breeze) can do.

It can recover your spirit.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Weekend Visit

Some long-time friends came out to our little place on the prairie this weekend. All of the events were not photo-documented, but portions of the Saturday outing are highlighted in the slideshow above. Trust me, just because the relaxing, meaningful conversation, and shared meals are not included doesn't mean they didn't happen. Special times with dear friends are a joy.

The Saturday outing included cycling into Denton for the gents. The ladies, I understand, released the foster bunnies that finally grew to sufficient size. Then they drove into town and met up with us for lunch. The slideshow photo shows us all finishing off the last bit of our ice cream before leaving town. The guys pedaled home and the ladies cruised the square for a little while.

That last photo is of Keith checking out the clown bike. I'm not sure who was more amused...Keith because the funny bike rides surprisingly well...or us because seeing anyone pedaling those tiny wheels is still hilarious.

Friday, April 4, 2008

How Does This Happen?

A common question intended to poke fun at me is, "Do you know how many dogs are in your house...right now?"

That amuses my friends because Janet is a dog rescuer and foster parent. In addition to our own pack, we usually have one or more other furry rascals that do not belong here. It is common for me to come home to yet another pathetic creature needing love. Speaking of pathetic creatures, this is what I found when I came home from work today.


No, we didn't get a new furry rascal today. We were blessed with...count 'em...three. What joy. I could hardly contain my glee.

I'm told that they must be bottle fed until they are "about the size of a baseball". Then they can be "released to the wild". Yep...all that effort, concern, and tender care just to cultivate a larger lunch for a hawk.


Seriously, that's another thing I admire about Janet. She has a deep concern for animals, including wildlife. Those hawks have been looking a little scrawny lately.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April 1, 2008

...just a few photos today.

I returned from work on a beautiful, cool, sunny, spring day. There was a little time before dinner so I rolled out for a little ramble.

Yes, it's mostly bicycle photos. But the light was interesting, the creek was lovely, and I just like to photo-document what I see on the bike. These are the kinds of things some folks miss while they're watching television.

Hopefully, you'll find something in here you enjoy...
(as usual, click on photo for larger version)

It's good to be me.