Thursday, December 31, 2009

This past year...

  A New Year's Meme .

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I traveled to Uruguay

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did resolve to loose weight  and managed to loose 35lbs in 8 months, this year I would like to lose another 20lbs.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but my oldest daughter will be having her third baby in March.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?
Argentina, three times, and Uruguay.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
The return of my daughter and her family to Paraguay .

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June. Jewel left for college in the states. December, Had a hysterectomy in Paraguay.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I'm still here aren't I????

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being disciplined enough to finish my autobiography

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not compared to what some of my friends have gone through , like Brendas Blog from Paraguay!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A dryer

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband, as he cared for me during sickness and surgery, and made me laugh even when it hurt!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Obama Administration

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent ,food and college!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The fact that my home schooled dyslexic daughter has a 3.25 GPA in college!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
'Bury My Heart on the Mission Field'

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Sadder... miss my kids!
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
Poorer, I have a kid in college

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Shared my life with more people and finished writing my book!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
 At home recovering from surgery. Web cammed with the kids on Christmas Eve and enjoying the meal prepared entirely bu my husband and youngest daughter.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes.With Paraguay.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Criminal Minds

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word.,but,  "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." Proverbs 8:13 KJV

24. What was the best book you read?
'The Big House', by George Howe Colt ~ Reminded me of my husbnad's Aunt Sara's beach house  in South Carolina and all the good family history that has happened there.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My friend Z singing 'Mary Did you know?'

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted to feel at home in this country and now I do.

27. What did you want and not get?
I had hoped to fit in a size 10 dress....

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 Went out with my hubby and had cake with the kids. I was 40 something, still am, and ever shall be!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my son and daughter in law lived near by!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Comfort. I have not bought any clothing since arriving in Paraguay in August 2008!

32. What kept you sane?
.My faith in the sovereign will of God!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Not much impressed with celebrities...  but I LOVE Sarah Palin.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The bail out that never ends. I am morally opposed to  leaving such a debt to my children and grand children and really dislike being 'owned' by the Chinese.

35. Who did you miss?
Oh so many people ~ in Venezuela ~ in the USA ~ friends across the globe!


36. Who was the best new person you met?
There were several, can't really single out one.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Philippians 4:13 (King James Version)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

The old, gray, mare she aint want she used to be....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Things I See...


Talking with Jewel

on Christmas Eve!

For photos of our Christmas Eve and Morning,

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Paraguayan Christmas

A Paraguayan Christmas

In Paraguay at Christmas time
There's not a sign of snow.
Folks spend their Christmas holidays
With sweating faces all aglow! 

The scorching weather fits right in
With the happy Christmas mood,
Around the pool and barbecue,
There's  terere, too.

So don't feel bad for your Paraguayan friends.
We may not have the cold
But we have fireworks to spare
 and that, just never gets old!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Timely Quote

Christmas commemorates God’s personal intervention in human affairs to rescue man from the consequences of his willful rebellion. Just as importantly, it provides a yearly reminder of the subordinate role of politics in the ultimate scheme of things, and the fact that it is ultimately through submission to God’s sovereignty that the individual becomes free. Such reminders are valuable in any age, but they are critical in an era in which … our social architects are laboring to organize the world as if God didn’t exist.

William Norman Grigg

Matthew 1:21: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reflections on the Nativity

Growing up as a christian in a christian nation, I was very early aware of the traditional Christmas themes and celebrations. As a young child I remember being part of the annual Christmas pageants in school and church, which usually involved a cute reenactment of the birth of Christ in the manger. An adorable Joseph holding the arm of a small Mary with a pillow under her night robe. Angels, shepherds, kings and all the animals whimsically standing by the new born babe, usually a blond, blue eyed doll in a laundry basket. 

I never questioned this sanitized version of the account of the birth of Christ until as an adult I found myself in the jungle. I was helping a young tribal girl delivering her first baby. She was about 14, lived in a small, mud hut, in a tiny isolated village.

Like Mary.

A frightened child, trying to understand the pain wracking her body Some of the very young girls cry out for their mothers. One 12 year old did not speak for three days after going through a difficult birth. Squalor around about, the dirt floor becomes soaked with blood and fluid and as times goes by, it begins to smell. The dust of the palm roof drops down upon your heads, littering the place with dust and insects. Dogs, pigs and chickens wander in the hut, rooting about.

Anywhere that houses animals will not be clean or smell nice. Mice and rats are a given in such a place. In the jungle, we must build a small smoldering fire near the laboring mother to ward off the insects attracted by  the body fluids involved in a birth, even if the temps are 100*F, we need the fire nearby. No fan, no AC, no running water, no comfy bed with soft linens, merely an old, stringy hammock or a seat on a spongy, banana stalk cut for just that purpose.

And in the case of Mary, not even a wiser, older woman to help. Just Joseph.

After sharing the birth experiences of young girls in the jungle, I have a new appreciation for Mary, the teen girl who found herself  pregnant and unwed, far from home, in pain, probably missing her mother.

Friday, December 25, 2009

And it came to pass in those days,

Luke 2 ~ with photos from our church Christmas Program~

Pastor John Lennon

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Iglesia Bautista Espernaza

Andrea and Jayde prepare to sing

Jorge, Jayde, Samuel, and Andrea provide the music.

Merry Christmas from Paraguay!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS" ~ (International Versions)

 Venezuelan Version ~ By Jayde Vernoy

T'was the night before Christmas
And all through Caracas
Every house was buzzing
Everyone making hallacas

No stockings were hung
But there were presents under the tree
Pan de jamon in the oven
Children singing happily

Papa turned on the television
And Chavez began a speech
For this was the fastest way
To put the children to sleep

And later, 'round midnight,
Papa flipped off the remote
For a very odd sound
Had caused him to take note

He looked out the window,
And ran for his gun
For the man climbing over his glass-shard covered wall,
Was a big one

He was all dressed in red,
Carrying a big sack
He looked like a Chavista
And Papa didn't need that

He ran for his gun,
Scared half to death
This man looked like a ladron
But with white hair on his head

Ho Ho, se rio
As he climbed back over the newly painted gate
Papa stood and stared at the window
As the hour was late

Then this man disappeared
But his voice boomed out loud,
Merry Christmas to all,
and Feliz Navidad!

Paraguayan Version 
Written by Bob Boston

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the barrio

Not a person was calm, not even old Mario.

The stockings were hung by the kitchen with care,

In hopes that Papa Noel soon would be there.

The children were running around through the house,

Fireworks exploding, scaring even the mouse.

And Doña in her tank top, and I in my cap ,

Gave up on the idea of a long summers nap

When out on the cobblestone, there arose with a clatter,

I sprang from the hammock to see whats the matter.

Away to my rejas I flew like a flash,

With my windows open, smelly gunpowder made me gasp

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen dust

Gave the luster of grey to the objects at dusk.

When, what to my watering eyes should appear,

Through the dust, the gun smoke, and the sparklers veneer,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight exhausted reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than car window washers they came,

He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

As fireworks lit with a candle they fly

when they met an obstacle, go to the sky.

So up to the flat top houses they flew,

the sleigh with few toys, as everyone knew

Cracking the tiles, I heard on my roof

the landing of rockets, and thrown sparklers too.

As I ducked flying objects, and was turning around,

down the kitchen extractor came St. Nick with a bound.

His eyes-how they twinkled! His nose red like a beet!

Fireworks and explosions, he´d braved to my street.

His droll little mouth was smiling at me,

At midnight, with a heat of one hundred and three.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a shout,

Having used up the fireworks, it was safe to go out.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Feliz Navidad, and to all a good night”

Spanglish Version

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,

Not a creature was stirring -- Caramba! Que pasa?

Los niños were tucked away in their camas,

Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,

While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado

In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado

To bring all children, both buenos and malos,

A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose such a grito

That I jumped to my feet like a fightened cabrito.

I ran to the window and looked out afuera,

And who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero

Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.

And pulling his sleigh instead of venados

Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre

Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:

"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,

Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho

He flew to the top of our very own techo.

With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,

He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,

With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,

He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos --

For none of the niños had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,

He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.

And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,

Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

Jim and Nita Lee (Dec. 1972)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The things I see...

My tree.
This year Jayde and two of her friends did all the decorating as I was unable to help.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As I recall

I just had my first hospital stay in the country of Paraguay. I was operated on at the Adventist Sanatorium and was happy with the care and attention I received.  I am going to share a few of the things I remember of my surgery and hospital stay.

The first surprise was that I was not fully under for the surgery as I had expected to be. I have a few memories of clarity during the procedure but most are a blur, except I DO remember the doctor showing me my uterus in a jar, something I had never expected to see!  My first thought was,"How did my son ever fit in there?"  and then I was wishing I had my camera in the OR so that I could take a picture of it and post it here on the blog! Luckily for you all, I did not have one with me!

When I was returned to my room, I kept badgering my husband about the fact that my legs were paralyzed. I  could not understand why this did not concern him as it did me!

I had a friendly nurse from an island off the coast of Argentina in Tierra del Fuego! Imagine how hot she was finding our high 90's weather!  I also met an Ecuadorean/ Canadian who is here serving a short term mission and working in the hospital.

A long time blog reader dropped in to visit with goodies in hand. Kathy comments here frequently and lives in Curacao. She brought me very good medicine in the form of Hersheys!

The food in the hospital was vegetarian. I didn't eat solids until the last day and so the food was mostly tasty. I still don't know what they served me for dinner though. It was orange mush, wrapped in a green rubbery substance, but you know me, I will eat anything! Upon arriving home, Friday at mid day, my husband served me chicken and rice and it was DELISH!

I recall being accompanied by a talking llama in the elevator as I was transported from the OR back to my room. I swear! He was on the elevator with me. I am still unsure as to how a llama came to have a British accent though...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Vernoy children, Christmas Eve, 2007 ~ Beaufort, SC

 A re-post, just for fun!
Don't mess with me and my chocolate!

My daughter, Jewel, takes on her brother and cousins in defense of her chocolate.


Christ with us

Christ was born in the first century, yet he belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.

George W. Truett

This is a simple jungle gourd which an indian hand carved and painted with a nativity scene inside.
It is special to me and part of our Christmas decor every year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Cartoon

All I want for Christmas...

and you can make it happen!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Update ~ I'm home!

I just got home and am doing very well. I appreciate the prayers  and support of you all so much. The procedures all went as expected and I am glad to say that I have had much less pain than I had anticipated, so far I have not required any narcotics. Still  tire easily and am weak.

Thanks for all the lovely comments they BRIGHTENED MY DAY!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This picture was taken from the porch of the hotel we stayed in one night during our recent trip. It was a great spot to enjoy the morning and spend time in prayer and meditation. You can even see my coffee! It was very peaceful and refreshing.

I will be in the hospital for at least three days and do not know if my husband will be able to update here  but know that 'no news is good news'.

I covet your prayers in these upcoming days for myself and also for my husband.

I'll see you later!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sleepless in Asuncion

A question for the ladies...

I will be having  a hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair surgery tomorrow morning. (wondering if I should go with hardwood or ceramic???)I have received many emails from some of my regular readers telling me they have already had this surgery. I am wondering if you could share any information or tips with me as to how best to recover quickly and painlessly. Also, what pain medication were you given? How long did you need it? Did you have any unexpected symptoms or pain?

  Any information at all would be appreciated!

 A lot on my mind...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I need Thee

I found my Lord next to me when my very soul was wounded, bleeding and broken. My spirit wanted to flee from the duty of following in His path until the end of my days.

My Lord came alongside me and whispered in my ear, "I hear you. I know you."

His word has taught me love, gave me faith amidst my doubts, filled my heart with joy and warmth! He gave me a new desire and a new love for Him and others. He invited me to share His table and His bread, and I knew it was my Lord and none other.

My Lord and Savior!  Teacher, Companion, I never walk alone! Stay by me, My Lord! Dwell with me and help my unbelief. Share my sufferings, give my hope new life!

Renew my faith.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Surgery on Tuesday

This REBEL will be taking a PAUSE from the blog next week.... ENJOYING not USING...I think...

I will be having surgery on Tuesday. Not the best time for it, but that is how it happens some times. I will be in the hospital for 3 or 4 days and will be absent from the blog during that time. I am sure I will come back with interesting tales from my first Paraguayan  hospital experience!

My surgeon is Russian, and as I mentioned, we sort of understand each others Spanish. He says I am getting  every 'ectomy' possible!  Or , I think that is what he said...maybe it was a lobotomy? It would seem equally appropriate right now...

Please keep me in your prayers ~ and my husband too! This will be another Christmas for the family lore, like The Gallbladder Christmas of 2004.

And I'm off...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just a quick observation:

This is such an interesting country to live in!

I am an American living here and yesterday I went to three doctor's offices. One is Canadian so we speak to each other in English. 

The next one was Russian, so we communicated with each other in highly accented Spanish... well, at least we knew what each other was trying to say!!! 

The third doctor was Korean, we spoke to one another in Spanish... anyway, I think it was Spanish...

 I was reminded of this post I wrote a few months ago.

Every country and culture has its own style and personality. I find that I mentally classify the different countries I have lived in by attaching a human face to that personality.

The United States of America

It's all about success and prosperity. Some folks love us while others detest us. We can be a bit ruthless as we strive for achievement, and yet, people keep coming, hoping to partake of our wealth. Even those who do not like us, often admire our tenacity. Some people find us to be arrogant because we know were are #1 and don't really care what people think of us, bad hair and all!

If the USA were a person, it would be Donald Trump.
Rich, driven, controlling and somehow entertaining at the same time.


I only lived in Mexico for a year but the thing that stood out the most to me was their love of family and food. Very comforting.

If Mexico were a person, it would be Paula Dean.

Warm, friendly and good cooks!


In Venezuela personal beauty is very important, especially among the women. It is said that Venezuelan women are born wearing high heels.  There is a great love for children but sometimes, the Venezuelans can be a tad bit arrogant, .like we Americans. They can be violent at times, but it is mostly just for show. We forgive them this because they really are beautiful people for the most part.

If Venezuela were a person, it would be Angelina Jolie!
Beautiful, but can be over the top sometimes!


What can I say? Paraguayans are so friendly and yet, you just never quite know what to expect in this country. Something new and strange seems to be lurking around each corner. Whatever it turns out to be will be interesting and never boring! Its all good!

If Paraguay were a person, it would be the character

Willy Wonka!


I never lived in Canad but   its seems to be nearly invisible to us although it is our next door neighbor. We often forget about Canada but do enjoy knowing it is so nearby when needed. You know it is there and in a pinch will help you out, but for some reason Canada never is in the spotlight.

If Canada were a person, it would be the character
Wilson of 
the TV show "Home Improvement'.
Our hidden neighbor next door!

Where do you live?
What person would describe your region?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Things I see...

This was the bathroom in our hotel room on our trip.

Something is missing!

Where could it be???

OH! There it is!
 In the shower, of course!

If you have never traveled to Europe or South America,
I'll just let you wonder about the strange looking apparatus visible in the toilet bowl.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Jesuit Mission Ruins in Paraguay

Here are a few photos I took of our visit at LaTrinidad, a ruin of the once magnificent Jesuit mission. This mission is one of over 30 which were peopled by the Guarani indians under the supervision and education of the Jesuit priests. The level of civilization they acquired in a matter of decades makes one contemplate what they might have accomplished had the Spanish Crown allowed them to continue in their path of progress rather than expel the priests which led to the decline and abandonment of the cities due to the raids of the Brazilians and Spaniards looking for treasure and slaves. These abuses led the Guarani to return to their nomadic lifestyle and return to a primitive life in the jungle.

The church at La Trinidad

Some of the beautiful stone work

When I look at the tool marks left on the stone by the Guarani  man who shaped it,
I feel a great  sense of pride at what these indians managed to accomplish here
 and sadness that they were not allowed to contiue to do so.

The Bell Tower

Looking down  from the Bell Tower towards the remains
 of one of the indian housing complexes and the church yard.

Over 5000 Guarani lived and worked here at The Trinidad with several thousand more spread out caring for the cattle and crops. At Trinidad they also manufactured  iron weapons on their own.

Internet Woes

I am experiencing internet problems and have not been able to upload the pictures for you as of yet. I can only connect for short spurts and can not get a long post to publish.  

But I am still here! Don't leave me!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Home at last! 

We spent yesterday walking all over the Jesuit ruins of Trinidad and Jesus de Tavarangue. Absolutely  amazing. 

Photos to come.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

On the road again

 We will be driving all day. We are packing up the car to leave Uruguay, drive across Argentina, and on into Paraguay. We hope to be able to stop and visit some of the Jesuit Mission ruins along the way.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Our dinner

This is chivito, a Uruguayan dish. 
 French fries, covered with steak, ham and eggs.
Can't go wrong with that!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The things I see...

 A tour of Salto, Uruguay on a motorcycle.