As promised, I wanted to share some of the neat pictures I took on my research trip to Minnesota
Just outside of St. Cloud, MN is Quarry Park. It's one of the most incredible hidden treasures of Minnesota. The park is over 600 acres and has the most amazing walking trails. My friend Merrill DeGroot and I walked throughout the park and took photos for my research..
The granite is plentiful in this area of Minnesota.
The quarries here are just a few of what the state has to offer.
Some of these quarries are over 100 ft. deep. The park allows rock climbing and scuba diving with permits, as well as fishing and swimming in specific areas.
Walking through the wooded areas we enjoyed seeing yet another spring come to life. The aspens, oaks, maples were only a few of the trees that gave us a beautiful backdrop.
Of course dandilions were blooming and butterflies were enjoying the warm weather.
In the late 1800's and early 1900's derricks like this one were used for moving tons of granite stone.
This derrick has been refurbished to keep history alive.
When machines weren't available for power, horses would pull the lines and move the rock. It was a pretty amazing feat.
While in St. Cloud I also went to the Stearns County Museum.
The folks there are wonderful to talk to and most helpful. John in the research library knew exactly where the book I needed was located. Cindy helped me with a mass mailing of research materials from the wonderful little shop. Local museums are some of the very best places to get research information. I love supporting them any way I can. This exhibit of quarrying was very useful.
The trip was pretty fast paced, but we did take time out to eat at Joe's Crab Shack. Hey, it was our reward for walking all those miles in the Quarry Park.
Hope you get a chance to visit this great park. Oh, and last but not least - KINDLE has been offering A LADY OF HIGH REGARD for free! I don't know how long this will be available so you need to check it out right away.
By the time you read this, I'll be on the road doing some research business. I'm hoping to get some nifty pictures to show you when I return, but in the meantime, I wanted to update you all on me.
I've been asked a bunch of times to let folks know how I'm feeling with the MS and how goes the weight loss, so I thought I'd post a picture and let you see for yourself.
My hands are on my waist to show I finally am getting one again.
I'm down several clothes sizes and have upped my walking to 2 miles a day and using the incline to build up to doing some mountain hiking. I'm feeling really good and thank you all for the prayers you've offered on my behalf. Keep them coming, please!
More next week!
Oh and be sure to check out this blog review on the Striking A Match series.
I got some great photos of the grandkids and wanted to share them with the world - of course. Some days seem so normal for this little family and others are far from it.
As most of you know my granddaughter Rainy has a chronic and terminal condition that sends her to the hospital on a pretty regular basis. She has a variety of brain related problems including, but not limited to, cerebelum disorder, DandyWalker syndrome, seizures, arachnoid cyst which requires a shunt, and a bunch of other things I can't remember the names of. Of course added to this, Rainy has struggled with abdomenal abcesses that have nearly claimed her life a couple of times. With all of that - you can well imagine the expenses just in travel. So my oldest daughter Jen - a Pampered Chef rep. is working with Rainy's mother - our daughter Julie and her church to have a fund raiser.
So I'm here to shamelessly promote it and let you know if you want to spread the news about it and give folks the link to order - Pampered Chef is giving back a percentage of sales to Rainy's travel needs.
Here's the link: http://www.pamperedchef.biz/kitchjen?page=products-main&showId=3628804
A big thank you to all who participate and who have been praying for my little granddaughter and the family. It's those prayers that have gotten us through this far. We've almost lost Rainy several times, but God isn't finished with her yet and she continues to surprise the doctors and her family by hanging in there.
In my Bible studies the other day, I ran across the verses from John 6: 26-35. Jesus is speaking to a gathering of folks the day after feeding the 5,000. Here’s the NIV account:
“Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
I was really taken by the words Jesus offers here. First of all, he lets the people know that he’s more than aware that they haven’t come to worship Him because of who He is, but rather they were interested in the bread. Then His words remind us that we shouldn’t spend our time focused on working for food or things that will just spoil and fade into oblivion.
Then he tells what we must do to do the works God requires – Believe in the one he has sent – Jesus.
Jesus goes on to remind them of their heritage and that God, not Moses gave the people manna in the wilderness and that it’s God who will give them the true bread of life. Of course, the people want this bread and Jesus tells them how they can have it – by coming to Him.
Bread has driven people for centuries and this verse is proof of that. I found it interesting enough to do a little study on bread and quickly came to realize that people have long depended on bread to sustain their lives.
At one time, being a baker of bread was such an honored and special profession that a Baker’s Guild came about in Rome around 168BC. Bakers and their children were to stay unto themselves as a separate profession. Bakers received special privileges and were the only truly free craftsmen in Rome – all other trades were conducted by slaves. Bakers were forbidden to mix with ‘comedians and gladiators’ and from going to performances at the amphitheater, so that they wouldn’t be contaminated by the vices of ordinary people.
Bakers worked hard to keep their trade a mystery so that not just anyone could be a baker. If someone wanted to become a baker, they had to serve a lengthy apprenticeship – 7 years.
A person’s very economical status was judged by the color of bread they ate. The whiter flours were expensive. They were more refined and harder to produce. Poorer folks ate darker bread. Now a days we see the reverse and the heavier grained breads are more expensive and considered far healthier to consume.
Some other interesting facts about bread:
Jewish people eat only flat breads during Passover, to symbolize their flight from Egypt when there wasn’t time to allow their bread to rise.
The Muslims once didn’t allow bread to be sold, but gave it away or traded it. They believed bread was a gift from Allah.
Early Egyptian writings urged mothers to send their children to school with plenty of bread and beer for their lunch.
Bread is closely tied to religious expression and communion. Hot cross buns commemorate Lent and Good Friday, Greek Easter breads are set with eggs dyed red to denote the blood of Christ, and Jewish families celebrate the coming of the Sabbath on Friday evening with challah.
If you put a piece of bread in a baby's cradle, it will keep away disease.
It is considered bad luck to turn a loaf of bread upside down or cut an unbaked loaf.
Scandinavian traditions hold that if a boy and girl eat from the same loaf, they are bound to fall in love.
In Russia, bread is a symbol of welcome.
Old wives tales maintain that whoever eats the last piece of bread has to kiss the cook.
But always I come back to those verses in John.
“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” May you eat exceedingly from the bread of God and know a full and rich life. Jesus offers us the means to never go spiritually hungry. He offered us this bread freely on the cross and continues to offer it to us today. So dig in.