A Dog’s Life




Watercolor Credit: Lindsey Tonak


A Dog’s Life
By David De Jong

We’ll go meandering for morning walks
Just to have our silent, extensive talks
Learning, discerning for paths of whitetail
Searching and sniffing all along the trail
You follow their scent and I track their tread
Gaining your prized treats, winter antlers shed

We’ll sit on the ridge, watching a red tail
Attempt after attempt ending in fail
To catch his prey scurrying in the brush
A rooster pheasant unwilling to flush
Taking his chance under an old tree pile
Sneaking out the back in keen rooster style

We’ll share a watermelon slice of fun
A tempting, sweet treat to your gentle tongue
Both so content as we nibble each slice
Knowing one will never, ever suffice
Then there on the porch we’ll just sit and stare
While dragon flies dart and pass through the air

We’ll play in the snow, the deepest the best
Racing the frisbee, your favorite test
You’ll turn your side into a giant ski
And slide down the hill in jubilant glee
You’ll roll and tussle to pick up some stink
While I cuss, and wonder just what to think

We’ll find puddles and muddles none too small
So you can splash and crash and spill them all
You love water more than fish in the creek
Sunny or cold, any day of the week
Once soaking wet you take hours to dry
With towels and fans, whatever we try

We’ll crash on the couch and you’ll twitch your eyes
Hinting with pathetic, endearing sighs
The days not over and there’s things to do
More toys to fetch or hide, more bones to chew
Just one more time, get your boots and your coat
Quit pretending, you’re some tired old goat

A dog’s life it is, for you and for me
Darn good one I must, admit it to be



Our Beloved Kopper


Whispering Blooms



Watercolor Credit: Nicole de Jong


Whispering Blooms
By David De Jong

Mere pigments, paper, water and brush
With hints of heated capsicum blush
Sweet strokes of genius, perfected flair
Grows a bouquet, endearingly rare

Soft painted flowers adorn a frame
Sifting sunlight while fanning the flame
Feathering edges enclose the bloom
Holding silent their starlit perfume

Tarry too long they will draw you in
Fast losing your way beyond the stem
Up turned parasols scanning the sky
Purest of beauty tempting the eye

Delicate dancers, flirting with ease
Whispering their secrets to the breeze
Telling all of whom they bloom the best
For a love that loves eluding rest

Take Hold My Heart


Take Hold My Heart

By David De Jong

Take hold my hollows and thread me in
Mend my many stitches fat and thin
The knurls and burls of whimsical past
Lanyards of memories, unsurpassed

Hold fast my trimmings and clasp my ends
Lest I lose your charms and satin trends
Cut cautious, trim carefully my fray
Allowing space to dance, hearts to sway

Your eye so keen for colors that meld
Vividly vibrant, beauty beheld
Dazzling emeralds with which you see
Reveals true the love, you have for me

Take hold the hollow my cold steel heart
Welcomely warmed in your hands of art
Hold me closer and tether me blessed
That I be the heart upon your chest


These are just a few samples of the jewelry that my lovely wife, Shirley creates. They are elegant yet whimsical. So love her creative heart and hands. She never ceases to amaze me with her talents, which inspired this poem for her.

What I Learned From Mom

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers in this world.


Beppe and T

What I Learned From Mom

By David De Jong

To Work
Purposely (To present responsibility)
Effectively (To present dependability)
Skillfully (To present true quality)
Joyfully (To present integrity)
Thankfully (To present pure dignity)
Diligently (To present productivity)
No matter
What you are
You work
For the Lord

To Love
Openly (So it can be seen)
Generously (So it can be shared)
Respectfully (So it can be honored)
Sacrificially (So it can be valued)
Mercifully (So it can be compassionate)
Unconditionally (So it can be unquestionable)
No matter
Who you are
You Love
For the Lord

To Live
Contently (For what you have)
Gratefully (For what you don’t)
Currently (For where you are)
Tactfully (For where you are not)
Graciously (For where you have been)
Confidently (For where you are going)
No matter
Where you are
(Each breath)
(Each moment)
(Each place)
(Each thing)
Is a gift
So Live –…

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Leftover Steak and Vegetable Soup

Steak Veg Soup

We had some leftover grilled steak in the fridge from dinner a couple nights ago and lots of fresh vegetables. The weather was a drizzly/foggy/drip so some type of comfort food sounded good. The soup turned out bold and hearty. Served it with some fresh dinner rolls that we warmed in the still warm oven, and we were stuffed.

Leftover Steak and Vegetable Soup

David De Jong
We used leftover grilled Flat Iron Steak.
(Ingredients are approximate)

1 Lb. Left-Over Steak and any drippings
1 Medium – Large Onion
4 Large Carrots
3 – 4 Stalks Celery
2 Cloves Garlic
8 Cups Water
6 Cubes Beef Bullion
1 Can Tomato Soup
1 Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper (I roasted 2 and kept ½ of each)
8 oz. Mushrooms
4 TSP Butter
2 TSP Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Pepper

All the vegetables except the Mushrooms and Garlic were cut into large ½ – 1 inch size pieces.
Garlic was sliced thin and the mushrooms were sliced as normal for sautéing.

Sweat – Onion in 2 TBS Butter, Season with pinch of Salt, add Celery, Carrots, Potatoes, Steak & Garlic. Cook for 5-7 Minutes. Add Water, Beef Bouillon, Steak Drippings and Tomato Soup.

In separate pan, sauté Mushrooms in 2 TBS Butter and Worcestershire Sauce. Add entire pan contents to soup once done.

Add Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper. I used ½ Red Bell Pepper and ½ Yellow Bell, Cut into ¼’s and Roasted for 6 minutes each side in a 400 Degree oven. I also had them on Broil for final 2 minutes (skin side up) to blacken the skins. Set them aside to cool, then peeled and sliced them.

Allow to simmer slowly until vegetables tenderize.

Salt and Pepper to taste and enjoy!

Makes about 10 – 12 servings, so now we have more leftovers that we divided and will freeze for a meal on a cold day.

I’m Back

And so it ends. Seven weeks are over already and I am ready to get re-acquainted with my digital self. I avoided any and all association with a computer and computer-like devices with the exception of using the phone and e-mail. My hope was to go extreme analog and read and write profusely. I did get some reading done: I read four books and started reading three others. My goal was to write; something, anything, at a prescribed time daily – never happened. I did do some pen to paper but not nearly to the extent I had hoped.

What I learned – what sticks out in my mind – is the amount of things that occur in such short periods of time, and how precious time really is, how lives change in a moment.

Shirley and I each lost an elderly uncle. She was more familiar, close to her uncle than I was to mine. I had met this particular uncle of mine once, as a child, but the time is one of my fondest childhood memories. His name was Omma Jan (Uncle John) from Friesland, Netherlands. My father’s brother. He couldn’t speak English, only Friesian. Communication was very limited between the two of us – but we spent a day together; on a lazy river, in a cow pasture, fishing.

The night before; Dad had to take him for a drive to teach him how to drive our car, an old 60 Chevy. He only knew how to drive a stick-shift and Dad’s Chevy was the first time he had driven an automatic. All the letters on the steering column had to be explained until he remembered. “D” for Drive”, “R” for “Reverse”, “P” for “Park”, everything had to be converted to Friesian terms. Then it was directions to the spot on the river and what all the country road signs meant. It was quite the adventure for a young lad on a hot summer day.

I can still see Dad and Omma Jan, sitting in the front seat, windows rolled down, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, broken English and Friesian, explaining, comparing all the particulars of driving in America, and things we passed along the countryside.

In the end we spent better part of the day together. Wandering up and down a river shore with a can of worms we dug up the day before, couple fishing poles, sandwiches and coffee that Mom had packed for us. Very few words were exchanged (I understood very little Friesian), yet we both enjoyed that time together. Good memory.

The last part of the “sabbatical” has been spent recovering from surgery. After a trip to the docs, some pokes, prods and scans, it was confirmed I had a hernia and possibly a second developing. Surgery was advised as soon as it could be scheduled. So in the course of a morning; life’s general activities and plans were put on hold. I am doing quite well, amazed at how quickly the body gets weak and how fast it recovers. Thankful for modern medicine and doubly thankful for a loving, caring, wife; who has had to wait on me over the course of a couple weeks. My reading came to a halt other than the daily Bible readings because my comprehension flew out the door with the pain meds.

I have been reading anywhere from 1 – 3 Psalms a day and reading Romans 12 each day. At the start of the 7 week period I read the book of Jeremiah because I was reading a book about the Prophet Jeremiah. Even through mockery, outright persecution, Jeremiah stuck to his faith. He knew he could trust God and His Word. Romans 12 is a great daily reminder of what is expected from someone that calls themselves a Christian. Whenever I wonder what to read, I go to the Psalms (and an occasional good, old fashioned western novel).

In conclusion I have no great profound proclamations gained from deep insightful knowledge other than reiterate, keep life simple: live it, enjoy it, share it; with those you love and who love you – it can all change in a moment.

Take care,


I Can Never Love You


I Can Never Love You

By David De Jong

Like a mother loves her newborn child
Like an eagle soars to love the wild
Like a sandy beach soothing your woes
Like the color red calling the rose
Like a leaf clinging to summer’s dew
I can never love you
Less than that

Like a breath of sultry sea breeze air
Like sweet slices of succulent pear
Like sunshine melting a winter’s day
Like cooling mist from an ocean’s spray
Like every sunset coerces a view
I can never love you
Less than that

Like a Sunday morning coffee’s cream
Like the lingering lilac spring day’s dream
Like a kitten’s purr against your cheek
Like the river’s calling to the creek
Like sky beckoning to purest blue
I can never love you
Less than that

Like warming glows from a midnight fire
Like carols sung by an angelic choir
Like life itself each beat of my heart
Like painted mem’ries, pieces of art
Like all these things, I know it be true
I can never love you
Less than that