Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I had a blast with my grandchildren Emily & Eric one afternoon. They wanted to make a pirate boat. Reesha's livingroom was transformed! Please note Eric's fish in the sea and Emily's island with the green palm tree and "pillowy" sand. Don't we look scary???


The May flower is not a pun; it is the Brazilian name for the USA Christmas cactus. This year my peach variety can only be summed up in one word: glorious!!! It has never had so many blooms arranged with such sublime symmetry and grace. This year for the first time I have a white Christmas cactus with delicate pink. Dare I say they are almost divine?? I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Emily was brave and adventurous.
Eric was a bit more cautious, but loved it!

I come from a family of tree climbers; Grandma Dilly was still climbing trees just a few years ago. I felt it my duty to teach my two grandchildren the delights of tree climbing. We had a wonderful opportunity while visiting Neval's parents farm outside of Camaquã.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Serenity Personified

My blood & bones

The fam: Julia at 1 week

I'm amazed at Julia's
tiny, teeny fingers and toes
rosebud mouth
blue eyes that search for mine
doll-sized head
black hair like her Daddy
little dimple on her right cheek like her Mommy
big soul tucked somewhere inside that little body
God who knew how to create her from nothing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


This is Emily and Eric's hands next to Júlia's.
Tickled pink!--paternal grandparents

Here is Julia Joy Dugan Batista. She is reigning and everyone does her bidding. Nice life, huh?


Patricia called me on the phone on Friday morning, May 9th, and after her opening question "Are you busy running around?"(I was getting ready for her baby shower that night) all I heard were sobs and more sobs. My mother's heart froze as I questioned her and only got sobs as an answer. When she got her emotions under control she said she had just been to the doctor's office and her ultrasound showed she was losing amniotic fluid. The doctor said the baby was fine, but he wanted her to come back in on Monday for another exam and if she was still losing fluid, she would have a C-section. Well, that was unsettling news, but Patricia assured me she was all right and the doctor had okayed her coming for the shower. Coming for the shower? That didn't sound like a good idea to me. She hung up and my mind was whirling with questions, fears, anxieties and an attempt to trust God in all this. After more phone calls it was decided that Patricia shouldn't come to her own baby shower...

My next quandry was if I should go ahead with the shower...and after weighing the pros and cons and asking God what I should do, my conclusion was that we walk by faith (which, by the very word, suggests we aren't absolutely sure about what we're doing) so I did what I thought was the Lord guiding me...and I'm so glad I did. My shower preparations were a bit jerky, meaning I ran hither and thither trying to do many things at once. I tried making a marshmallow filling for the cake, for example, but the Portuguese recipe didn't explain things clearly so I looked at a similar recipe in English and discovered the right temperature for the syrup was 242º (can one get any more exact than that?) so I whipped out my candy thermometer and started watching the needle rise, but it stopped at a certain point and only moved up very, very slowly. Unfortunately, I started beating the egg whites too soon, so I turned off the beater and when my syrup was ready to pour into the egg whites, the egg whites had dissipated! And, the syrup had gone OVER 242º and turned a nice amber color! What to do? I started over on the egg whites and went with the burnt syrup (later adding vanilla and almond flavoring to hide the taste--it maybe helped a little.) I spread it on my cake and popped it into the freezer for a while. When it was time to serve, however, the sticky marmallow was so "firm" (putting it mildly) that it stuck to the serving knife and made the layers fall apart on the plate (ufdah! as we Norweigans say), but everyone liked it anyway!!

To summarize this too-long account, the party was lots of fun and everyone seemed to have a good time. We called Patricia by skype so everyone could greet her and she could thank those who came. A friend prayed for her and as she prayed, baby Julie gave her Mommy some hard kicks (I think she was telling her to get ready cuz she was coming!).

Only about three hours after the last guest left, Patricia was already at the hospital to have Julia. God knew she couldn't wait until Monday to have this baby. The doctor later said the baby was losing weight as well...but God was taking care of her and we praise Him for a healthy baby girl that was born at about 37 weeks.

Thank you, Lord, and welcome to our world, Julia! I love you.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Tower and a Rock

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." Pv.18:10

"...He will set me high upon a rock." Ps.27:5b

Friday, May 02, 2008

I found an artist walking the beach...

he was out for his morning walk (I think) and allowed me to capture a few seconds of his life.

Vacation at the Beach

Floripa (short for Florianópolis) has some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil!!

Not a blue ox, but brown is good, too!

After a week at the beach and busy times getting ready for baby Julia, I am back!

Pat and I arrived at vacationland coming from different directions--he from a meeting up north, and I driving myself from the south. We rendezvoused at the bus station in Floripa--how romantic!!
However, I had to stop at our favorite spot along the way -- Engenho Lanches-- to devour cheese bread They also serve freshly-squeezed sugar cane juice (which I don't particularly like), but which is their calling card and the charm of this restuarant. Here is Mr. Brown Ox at work making sugar cane juice.