My Thoughts: Learning About Love From My Dog

When I look into the eyes of my dog she teaches me what true love is all about. I learn from her loyalty and unconditional love just how important it is for us to be faithful and loving to one another.

Thank you, God, for giving me my dog. Her very presence gives me peace and comfort every day.

My Thoughts: And a Cherokee Prayer for Wisdom and Self-Control


Great Spirit,
Help me always to speak the truth quietly,
to listen with an open mind
when others speak,
and to remember the peace
that may be found in silence.
~Cherokee Prayer

When I am walking the trail, which I do almost daily, I know that Gods spirit is guiding me, and I realize that I am never alone. This gives me the strength to walk my life-path with confidence and the assurance that whatever decision I make in my life, God is leading me to a good place. I believe that each day, every step I make is part of my dance. I believe that I will always be known by the tracks I have made. If every day is a new dance, I am giving thanks daily for my new direction.

I know that others can never walk my path for me, and only I can walk in these shoes. Some may walk with me, but never walk it for me. For those who walk with me, I am grateful.

I Guess That I Shall Never See a Poem Lovely as a Tree

I discovered this unusual pine tree years ago while hiking in the wooded hills near my home, here in Eastern Washington.  It is one of my very favorite spots to hike to. I often take friends and family to see this very special tree. It has sparked many conversations and questions as to how it came to be bent in this loop. I love being in nature and discovering interesting and beautiful things, all made by the hand of God.

This unusual tree recently sparked a memory of the old, simple poem by Joyce Kilmer, titled, Trees.

Trees
By Joyce Kilmer

I guess that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree;

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
a nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
who intimately lives with rain;

Poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.

Remembering My Friend, Glen Douglas


Glen Douglas, February 1, 1927 – May 22, 2011

I miss my friend, Glen Douglas. I danced at the local (Spokane area) pow wows with him for many years. He was a special person and a good friend to many. Glen was always there with a helping hand, kindness, and words of wisdom to show support, and even guidance to his friends.

Many years ago, when my grandson, Joey Nania was a young teenager, I was able to introduce him to Glen. Joey often accompanied me to the local pow wows and he became quite a good dancer. This particular pow wow was the Gathering at The Falls Pow Wow, and is a night I will always remember as being very special. Glen was impressed with Joey and took an instant liking to him. He put his hands on Joey’s shoulders and softly said to him, “Keep doing what you are doing, I am honored to meet you.” Joey and I danced the next song and after it was over, Joey said to me, “Grandpa, when Glen put his hands on my shoulders, I felt a warm feeling go through my body and I knew he had blessed me in a special way, and I also know that he didn’t mean just for me to keep dancing! I feel empowered to know that I have a special path ahead of me.” The moon was full that night, making the experience seem even more magical. We both reflected on what a special evening we had experienced together, and that it was a night we would always remember.

Joey has since truly chosen his path wisely. He pursed his life-long passion for fishing and has become a successful Professional Bass Fisherman. He moved to Alabama to be closer to his fishing opportunities. There, he met and married the love of his life, a wonderful young woman named Jessica. They now have two delightful little boys and continue to work together to build a good life for their family. He is also now co-hosting his own fishing show, called Sweetwater Fishing TV. Joey is very happy and that makes me very happy.

Another memory of Glen’s goodness stands out in my mind. I had been to the sweat lodge for Native Americans at our local Veterans Hospital with a close friend of mine named Tom. Like Glen, Tom had also been through the Vietnam war. Tom came back from the war with a lot of stress and regret, and suffered trauma because of it. Glen helped him so much! He took an eagle feather, prayed over it, and lightly brushed it over Tom’s head, saying, “The Creator has taken away the negative energy that you have been carrying, and now the pain from the past memories will leave you.”


Glen was always surrounded by friends.

I will never forget how in his wise and gentle manor, Glen was able to help so many people who had suffered through the same kinds of experiences that he had in the war. He was a true warrior who was blessed with the ability and character to overcome adversity and help others who had experienced the trauma of war because of it. Many of the wounds of war are carried for years within the minds of warriors, and Glen used his Creator-Given gifts to help his fellow Veterans. He loved his country and was a true Patriot.

In May of 2011, at the age of 84, Glen Douglas passed away and went to live with our Creator. Many of his native friends and relatives came to his funeral. I felt truly honored to be there and be included as one of his friends. We gathered at the graveside together to honor him and wish him farewell. Part of the native custom is to take a handful of Mother Earth and place it in the grave with a prayer. As we did this, we heard a familiar loud chirping above us, as a Bald Eagle circled the grave and flew away high in the sky. There was not a dry eye among us at that moment. We all knew it was his final farewell to us. It was an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Thanks, Glen!

Rainbow, A Sign of Hope and God’s Promises

We have had some amazing rainbows in our neck of the woods lately! I took this photo a couple of nights ago from my front deck. It was exactly what I needed to see on that very day, at that very time. I love it when that happens. God’s Glory, as shown in nature, always leaves me in awe. Thank you, Father.

I have set my rainbow in the clouds,
and it shall be a sign of the covenant
between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13

I also love this Hopi Indian quote: The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. ~Hopi

Thank you!

Thank you so much to all of you who recently purchased a Suncrow Flute! I sincerely hope that you enjoy owning and playing yours as much as I enjoyed making them.
~Howard

Please visit Suncrow Flutes on Facebook!

Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington became a city in 1891. For hundreds of years, long before the City of Spokane existed, the Native People camped and fished at the falls on the Spokane River. The salmon would swim over the falls to go back to the their spawning ground. The young Indian men built ramps that would go out over the falls in order to catch the salmon. They would then pass the salmon over to the women and children waiting on the shore. The women and children would then clean the fish and lay them out to dry. Many families would come to the falls to share in the gathering of the salmon. It was a grand celebration of abundance and unity.


Spokane, Washington, Peaceful Valley, 1925
Monroe Street Bridge in the background

The Spokane area native people are blessed to host a Pow Wow and dance in this location, which is now Spokane’s Riverfront Park. Here, they continue to celebrate and honor the past. This beautiful and lively celebration is open to the public. For more information : Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow


Talking with Spokane’s Mayor, David Condon

I take part in this celebration almost every year. We dance to give thanks for the gift of the salmon, and the beauty of the rushing water; thanking our Creator for all that He gives to those of us who follow His path. The dances have been learned and passed on to people for many generations. This makes this a sacred place to gather with common unity.


 Melvin Ellenwood, Tom Wesley, Howard Ball

My Thoughts: My Flute Song is a Prayer of Thanks

Wood is an awesome resource for which I am incredibly grateful. When I stop and look around, I realize so many of the things that we all enjoy and use every day of our lives come from wood. Trees supply so many of our basic needs. Our homes, furniture, and many of our household tools are created from wood. I love playing an instrument that is created from this gift from God.

When I play my flute the song that comes out of the flute is my prayer, giving thanks to God for the trees and all of the truly beautiful and amazing things in nature that he gives us.

My Thoughts: Pain and Suffering

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Every time I feel pain, either physical or emotional, I remind myself that this pain will make me stronger and that whatever comes my way will be a challenge that I will be able to face with strength and gratitude. I know that it will also be an opportunity to grow in Spirit and peace; always remembering that tomorrow is a new day. I’m confident that each day will bring new and exciting blessings.

My Thoughts: Looking into the Eyes of my Dog

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Sometimes when I look into the eyes of my dog, I understand that all of God’s creatures have a loving spirit, and my soul is blessed.

“Perhaps one central reason for loving dogs is that they take us away from this obsession with ourselves. When our thoughts start to go in circles, and we seem unable to break away, wondering what horrible event the future holds for us, the dog opens a window into the delight of the moment.”
~Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Benne Roo Ball, our beloved Italian Greyhound passed away recently after blessing our lives for 12 amazing years. Our family will miss him until the day we each greet him in Heaven. Benne, you will be loved forever… 

Photo used with permission from my daughter, Debbie Nania: www.colormybliss.blogspot.com

My Thoughts: Rise Above the Storm

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When there is a storm in the air all of the other birds seem to seek refuge, but the eagle flies above the storm and observes what is happening. Sometimes I will hear him speaking high above the trees. I want to be more like the eagle and rise above the storms in my life. Thank you Father

Praying For America, My Prayer For Today

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Today I am praying for our broken Nation, praying for all of my friends and relatives; thanking our Creator for everything that is positive that he has created for our world. We all need to pray for our leaders including Donald Trump! Please join me! Thanks.