Monday, November 14, 2011

2 Posts in one day!

Take the time and read both posts I've added below. Some of you may have read the "Dash" one in our church newsletter, but there is yet another post below that!


Every life has a beginning date and an ending date. These dates are almost always listed on a grave stone in the form:
· August 14th, 1908 - January 22nd, 1986
Looking at a grave stone doesn't tell you much about a person. Everything accomplished by a person can be found in that little "dash" nestled between the dates.
· When your end date arrives, what will your dash mean?
· How did you live your life?
· What will someone say in an obituary or eulogy?
I always thought this was such an amazing way to look at your life. But it never really hit home until the past couple weeks. As most of you know, my cousin, Professor James Miller, of Goshen, Indiana was brutally murdered for a reason we do not know. In listening to friends, colleagues, students and family talk and reminisce about Jim, I am left wondering…wondering if I am making the most of my dash.
Jim certainly touched many lives and in many different ways. As a cousin, I knew Jim as a really smart, geeky, quirky but wonderful guy! I didn’t remember a lot of him from growing up, due to our age differences and the fact that his level of schooling and mine took us in different directions. I got to know him as the “connection” to our family in Goshen. He was the one who we could count on to return an e-mail, to make a phone call, and to just stay in touch. It’s not that the others don’t care; it’s just what Jim did! I knew him as the girl’s basketball nut that would sit thru HOURS of driving only to turn around and sit thru HOURS of basketball, even when he was in lots of pain from back troubles. He would call and ask, “How are the girls doing” and I could never answer him as completely as he would have liked. He LOVED the t-shirts that Hiland seems to spit out like candy, and always wanted to know what they looked like, and could I please send him one, he’s sure he can sneak another one past his wife! He would show up in mid-January just like the groundhog in February! Always dressed like he was entering the frozen tundra!!! I’m always cold, but Jim took cold to a new level!
He was the one who always had that quirky joke no matter what the situation….some sure were good for a laugh and others for a groan. I never had a clue that he used those in his college classes! And it never failed, he was usually one of the last to finish his family calendar page for us, no matter how many times we told him when the deadline was! Wonder if his students had that ability to push the deadline back just a bit?
And when Jim stopped in for basketball, he always made time for church. And boy could he sing!!! I loved to share a songbook with him and listen to his voice. That’s just one more thing Jim did and did well. He left that with his family, a strong faith that will not be shaken, even as the days without him grow long. Their faith is strong and God will protect them.
As I sat at his calling hours and then the funeral and as I have read the many pages of print, I have learned soooooo much more about this man I called my cousin. His students loved his corny jokes and his passion for science! He was gentle, I can’t count the number of times I heard that word used to describe Jim. His students often called him D.J. Mills! Jim…. D.J. Mills…..never would have believed that one! He was always willing to go the extra mile for his students as well as his family! And if you had a question about anything, he would always look for the answer.
Jim left behind a wonderful wife and 3 children, and we can’t forget his 1 and only grandson! He was soooo excited when he was about to become a grandson. “Can’t you just wait and do the calendar after he’s born?” (He was due at the end of December!!!) But he laughed and said he understood that we had a deadline to meet. His family can smile and know that Jim’s DASH was filled from end to end. He never worried about himself; it was always about someone else.
I’m sure when I hear a corny joke, no matter who tells it; I will always think I should make a note to tell that one to Jim, as he would love it. They even told one of his jokes at the funeral! I could go on and on and on, but we all have memories we’d rather not share, that we want to treasure in our hearts. But it sure made me think, what am I doing for my DASH??? And what are you doing for yours?

Here are a couple of Jim’s jokes…enjoy!

Why can’t a bicycle go as fast as a car? It’s 2-tired!

What did the number zero say to the number eight? Nice belt!

What goes underground at 80 miles per hour? A mole on a motorcycle!

And sometimes he just would say a phrase that made you stop and think:

There are 3 kinds of people in the world…those who understand numbers, and those who don’t!

My church accepts all denominations, but prefers twenties!

42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot!

Bloopers were also a favorite of his. His son Robert told me that his college computer is full of these jokes, phrases and all kinds of things to make you laugh!

So now that you’ve heard a tiny bit of Jim’s dash, what are you doing about yours? It doesn’t have to be huge; it’s often the little things that people will remember the most. So don’t wait until it’s too late, start adding to your dash today, and let God lead the way.


Back and forth we go...on the road again! But loving every minute of it!!!! As we travel, I always try to look at the odd and different things that some may not take the time to see....such as shingles on rooftops, goofy looking drivers, deco in yards, and the list goes on! As we travel back and forth to Virginia, I always hope to see a bear!!!! A real live, in the wild bear, not one in a zoo, but one living free!!! One of the last trips to Virginia, Erica and I took a drive up on the Skyline Drive and I finally got my wish!!! One jumped off the bank, ran in front of the vehicle coming at us! I hit the breaks and yelled, "It's a bear....get the freaking camera!" As you will see in the picture, Erica managed to get a picture of his butt, but....that's more than I had before! ;)

Friday, October 7, 2011


Ya just gotta love the creative cousin I have!!! This pumpkin guy even came with his own TP, which I might add, came from our bathroom and was already trashed thanks to our cat, Chowder! Seems like I've been slipping up and not "punking" back lately! I better get my thinking cap on to compete with this!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011


How is it possible that I have a daughter at college???? It seems like only a year or 2 ago she was starting kindergarten....or maybe Jr. high. She has spread her wings and is off to Virginia to EMU. Most of the feedback we get is positive, and for that I'm glad. She has a huge dorm room with 2 roommates and I haven't heard anything negative at this point. Can't wait to go and see her in October! She has been to a couple VB games with Uncle Mitch to watch Aunt Gina coach, and has been to lunch with Aunt Gina! So glad they are nice and close to her. She has been getting a nice amount of cards and even a couple boxes of goodies. Sure hope the mail keeps coming for her! Hint! Hint! So even though it doesn't seem possible, I now have one kid in college and the other one is driving and is now a Junior in High School. I'm sure his days at home are limited.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Maine and now College

This summer we took a family trip to Maine! It was amazing in soooo many ways, yet bittersweet, as we knew when we returned we would be getting our daughter ready to head to college. She is now moved in (during some lovely wind and rain) and seems to be settling great! FB and texting sure make it easier to keep in touch. She is in Virginia and close to my brother and sister in law, so that does make me rest a little easier at night! Counting down the days until we see her again in October!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Today I had PT in the morning, then it was canning all afternoon! Canned 15 quarts of stinky peaches and 5 pints of stinky peaches (can you tell I don't like fruit!!!) and 22 pints of yummy banana peppers!!! I canned a bunch of peaches last week too. I'm canning some in pints for Erica to take along to college. Thought that would be a nice taste of home. The peppers are a huge favorite around here on salads, pizzas, haystacks and just to munch now and then. I plan on doing at least 1 more batch or 2. Then it will be time for corn...that's my favorite thing to put away for the winter months. Ordered it today and should have it in a few more weeks. I want to get it finished up before we take Erica to Virginia to college. Then I also need to do applesauce...that might come before the corn, and can't forget the pizza sauce!!! Some things just taste soooo much better canned and frozen then from the store!

Friday, July 1, 2011


We just returned from a wonderful trip to Maine! Loved every minute and "bite" of it! Delicious seafood! I'll post pics of that trip soon. While we were gone, someone came to visit! Such cute things now live in our flower beds!! Check them out! I personally like the little tin man the best! Chris had a friend here skateboarding and I asked him if he saw our crazy rooster? No, I thought that Geeky Beek thing was what you meant when you said you got punked! Poor kid had no clue what crazy things I like and add on purpose....thought a rooster was my choice! Guess we'll have to be a little creative the next time "some people" go away for the day or week! ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


For the past several years we've been looking for an old car to use on the ice cream go getter! Well finally, after a LOT of looking we found one! It's a 1965 Thunderbird! Can't wait for that first ice cream cone!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Prom day was a bit drizzly and chilly, so it was decided to have the Grand March inside. Great idea on every one's part, as it was really yucky until the actual March time arrived. My wonderful cousin said he would LOVE to take Erica and her friends in this awesome pink Buick! So glad the girls didn't have to try to stuff themselves into a regular sized car with those pouffy dresses! The theme was A Summer's Night in Paris and was just beautiful! So much time and effort went into transforming the gym into a trip around the world! They also celebrated Kelsey's birthday (the girl on the left) at midnight! Erica baked a cake and took it along so they could party at the stroke of midnight!

Monday, March 28, 2011


It's been quite a long time since I've posted....but life got in the way. There have been LOTS of trips to Cleveland, high school basketball tourney trail, kids and their "stuff", getting ready to send one to college and now I'm trying to plan a summer trip to Maine!!! But other than that, life has been great. We finally got the rest of the tree mess cleaned up and the front of the house looks even more bare than it did before! We still need to get the stump ground up and see about planting another tree, but at least the brush pile is gone...thanks to some friends from church! As for the trips to Cleveland, Scott needed to have his kidney function tested, and I'm happy to report that all tests came back great! So thankful to have that out of the way. Now we are seeing a Dr. on Wednesday about his SEVERE reflux and heartburn trouble. We also saw a Dr. in Cleveland about his hernia issue and that can be put on the back burner for now! Whew! Sure hope we can get some relief for the heartburn troubles. On another note, Scott is back in his workshop a lot right now...trying to get some new stuff made and keep up on the best sellers! Spring is here and the birds need attention and so his feeders tend to move quickly. I found some other goodies for him to make, so that should keep him occupied for awhile!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Top picture is the first half that crashed, middle pic is the 2nd half and the third pic is my view of the mess from under our deck!


The first week of February brought quite the change in weather! The weather report was for LOTS of snow and a possibility of freezing rain and sleet. I set my alarm and got up every couple hours to see the snow arrive! Much to my dismay....around 2 am, I heard rain...looked at the thermometer and it was only 26 degrees! NOT GOOD!!! Rain....what a rip off....just could not believe we were not getting all this snow! I went to work in the morning and not very many people made it in....the van drivers just couldn't get all the people picked up, but we muddled thru the day with who showed up. That night a little after 8pm, we were snuggled down watching NICS when we heard this roar and a crash! What on earth...hubby said, 'I think we just lost our tree!' Yup, but only 1/2 of it crashed. Looked like some of it was on the road, and then I saw our wonderful neighbor headed down the hill with his chainsaw. So we went out to try and get the branches that were on the road cut back....good luck standing up on this junk! Erica stayed on the deck with her dad, the dogs and the neighbor boys while Chris and I tried to stay standing while the neighbor started cutting....great combo...chainsaw and ice!!! Got the stuff off the road that was a hazard and then tried to get back into the house! I was whooped and ended up crashing on the couch...setting the alarm for every couple hours so once again I could see this snow! Never happened, but more ice did! At 10:30, Erica woke me and said we had another crash and she thinks the rest of the tree fell....looked out the window at the same time the neighbor did...yup, we sure did! Waved at the neighbor, closed the window and decided if anyone was out driving on this ice, they could just hit anything that was on the road! So early the next morning, I found out Weaver Leather was closed! The neighbor and I headed out once again to try to clear branches from the road while standing in an upright position. Mission accomplished and back to the house we went. The next hoot was all the ice in the driveway! When it's slick on the drive, we usually slide down, then quickly slide into the grass at the bottom to stop! Not this time, there was a tree in the way. So on Thursday, after quite a few phone calls, I was able to finally locate some salt. Dad picked it up and was able to back into the bottom of the drive. The kids and I spread 150 pounds of salt on the drive and let it and the sunshine do their work! Wow, what a week!
Really gonna miss that tree, but soooo thankful it didn't fall onto the house! Only thing damaged was the top rail of my split rail fence by the mailbox. 2 families have been nice enough to come and collect the wood and brush that evil Mr. Icehole tore down!

Sunday, January 30, 2011 for BeeBops!

We made it to letter A....which was Angello's in Canton a couple weeks ago....Italian Californian cuisine! Delicious!!! Mom and Dad went along and when we pulled up, the first thing Dad said was, "looks like an old funeral parlor!!!" Yup, we think it was, but it was still wonderful. I had mushroom stuffed ravioli which I loved. The bread was amazing, but then, what Italian place doesn't have awesome bread.

Last night we headed to BeeBops Grill in Wilmot for the letter B! Great food, and very large servings! Scott loved the deep fried pickles! Check out the picture I've included! Looking forward to continuing our journey thru the alphabet. Several people at church have indicated they would like to go along! Sounds like a plan to me!

Friday, January 14, 2011


My crazy brain came up with the idea of eating from A to Z this year! Gonna try to hit a lot of different places and use as many coupons as I can! Tonight we are trying Angello's in Canton. Heard it from some friends that it's excellent! Taking Mom and Dad along on the adventure tonight. I'll fill you in later about how great it was! ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Check out this cool looking family! We had church pics taken and thought they turned out pretty nice!

HELLO 2011

Life seems to be in fast forward! How on earth did it get to be 2011 already? Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the Fourth of July! We are happy to report that Scott's pain pump is working very well and he is still pain free most of the time! The weather changes will always bring pain, but that's something we can live's that daily pain that never lets up that is so miserable for him. Praising God and thanking all who have walked this journey with us! Our journey will never be over, but for right now, we are at a much more tolerable place!

Christmas was great, as we spent a lot of time with family. Wish it wouldn't have gone by so quickly, but we treasure the time we had. Snow is starting to fall again this morning and with a little luck, we'll have a nice blanket by bedtime! We love the snow and think it looks soooo much better than mud!

Christopher has started his driving classes and will be attempting to get his permit next week. Should make for an interesting next couple of months at the Beck house!