Part V – MY Stone of Destiny

Last year my husband and I came across a movie to stream called “Stone of Destiny“.

By, Fair use,

We were pleasantly surprised. Not only did it star Charlie Cox – aka: Dare Devil, but the plot was based on the true story of Scotland’s Stone of Scone and a few university students who actually stole it from England and brought it back to Scotland.

As soon as we found out we were taking a trip to Scotland to visit our kids, my son told us to think of places and things we want to see.

I asked if he knew where the Stone of Destiny was? He, being a history major, knew exactly where it was and it would be easy to see.



So on our journey we went. In my previous posts on MY Scottish Journey, I talked about some of the challenging aspects. All the walking up and down hills and on hard cobblestone surfaces. A bit painful by the time we fell into our bed at night but so worth it.

I wanted to suck all I possibly could from my Scottish heritage and connection to this amazing land. One day, just before Christmas, we set off by train into The Highlands. Be still my heart. The beauty, even in the dead of winter, is surreal. How one small bit of land in this vast world can be so diverse is mind boggling. Or is it? I come from the USA where the difference in terrain goes from frozen tundra to wide vast prairies to rocky shores and sandy beaches on two different oceans and tropical places all along the southern border! But SCOTLAND has more magic, at least to me. A fascination that draws you deep inside of its very heart. And faeries! Don’t forget the fairies. ūüėČ

Here are some images from our train ride into The Highlands taken through the train windows..

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Our destination was Fort William. I beautiful and quaint town set into the hills and water –¬†Loch Linnhe, one of Scotland’s longest sea lochs. One of my goals was to walk on beaches. Any kind of beach was wonderful to me. In Fort William there is a beach and that day the tide happened to be out. My son and I set off onto the wet stones that covered the bottom of the inlet along with seaweed. It was a bit slippery but nothing stops me from walking on a beach.

Camera in hand and a smile on my face I walked and snapped images and looked for some wee treasure to take home with me. And there it was. Right before me in the wetness of low tide, MY personal Destiny Stone.

MY Destiny Stone – complete with MY initial

I bent over to pick it up after taking a photo. It was so slippery and I was layered with warm clothing, I just couldn’t get it. I started laughing. My son came over and asked if I needed help. YES! It’s my stone of destiny! He was quite surprised at that “C” on that stone for his mom. He picked it up and I was thrilled. I could go home a happy woman. My gift from Scotland.

Here is a glimpse of Fort William…

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After enjoying Fort William and our stay in an Air B&B we boarded a bus the next day and went to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. What an enjoyable and beautiful place. I did look for Nessie but she was no where to be seen that day.

Urquhart Castle…

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From here we bused up to the city of Inverness. Oh Inverness, how I fell in love with you. I promise to spend more time with you in the future. The locals have thick Scottish accents and I love it, even though you have to listen very carefully to understand them. And unicorns…….

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From Inverness we hopped onto and train as the sun was setting and ended our trip back in Edinburgh the day before Christmas Eve. A very satisfying and beautiful journey.

Until next time…..


Cate B






Part III – The Natives – MY Scottish Journey

I’m pretty sure group tours are a great way to see and learn about your trip. Our family, however, have never taken a group tour or preplanned tour (The Great Wall of China was with a group but no one spoke english so it was just a magnificent guided walk). We love to get into the flow of everyday life among the people who live there.

Our son and his wife have a lovely flat. When you stand in front of the building, and look to the end of the street, you have lovely view of Arthur’s Seat. It’s a hill that pops up out of no where. A lovely back drop to streets lined with what we, from the US, may call brownstones or apartment buildings.

Arthur’s Seat in the background – Edinburgh, Scotland

I have to say that I was impressed with their flat and the simplicity of appliances and such. While the bathroom was narrow, to say the least, it was practical. You can even brush your teeth while sitting on the toilet. But the most practical was the hot water heater for the shower. Just a box that held the shower head and heated the water instantly as you needed it. I’ve heard of that type of hot water heater in the states by builder friends but for some reason they don’t seem to have taken off. I like them.

The ceilings were super high, it was an old building. The windows are old but also very high. The kitchen was small – my small kitchen at home was bigger – theirs is more practical. No dishwasher but a washing machine under the counter! Tiny, but held a lot of laundry and washed them well! The radiators in each room proved to be excellent dryers in the winter months.

The refrigerator is the what we may call a dorm fridge. Also under the counter, and that meant shopping fresh every other day or even every day. So “old world” to our spoiled, busy world. So quaint.

We had a great mattress plopped on the living room floor each night. Warm and comfy right next to the fresh Christmas Tree.

In the winter, because they are quite a bit further north than we are at home, the daylight begins at about 8:34 and ends at about 3:34! Say what? Short days and that threw us off kilter a bit. Had to get moving a bit faster than I like in order to see things in the daylight!

Our daughter made us fresh coffee each morning with toast or porridge. It was wonderful to be waited on.

Our first day…..

We are not use to city life. We live in a small country town and there is little to no public transportation. So out the door we were hustled and walked at a fast pace to the nearest bus stop. We felt old. My husband has a knee that can act up and both of us have lungs that wish hills didn’t exist. But onward we went.

We arrived shortly to Princes Street near Waverly Station ( the train station when we first arrived to Edinburgh) where the festivities began. The Christmas Market! But wait! I heard my name, “Mom”.

My son pointed and there was a young man holding a Barn Owl. I looked at my son and said, “Can I”?, like a child in a petting zoo.

Here is the result……

Gladstone the Owl

Gladstone and Me

Okay, my trip was done, I could go home fulfilled. I held an owl and learned all kinds of info about them. Pinch me.

The Christmas Market was wonderful. Here is why:

  • Vendors of all kinds form everywhere
  • smell of food cooking…….
  • happy people all around
  • amusement rides all with the backdrop of a Castle
  • did I mention the people?

Let me tell you about the people. It was so crowded at the market and got even more crowded as Christmas approached. BUT, unlike America, we encountered not one rude person. Smiles everywhere. No pushing. No anger. No bad looks.

I thought it was because it was the whole Christmas outdoor market thing…. but wherever we went in Scotland the people were the same. Just plain nice. All the time.¬†

I fell deeply in love with Scotland that day.

Here are a few random images of the beginning of our trip…….


I have to say that from the start, the people impressed me. I confess that I had a “picture” of the Scots in my head – loud, rowdy, etc. And I have to say we never encountered a single one as I had preconceived. A wonderful happy folk.

Tell next time…..


Cate B





I’ve had a bit of alone time the past couple of weeks. That means more time to hear my thoughts and my heart.

Those times when you reflect on things. The future is one I like to reflect on. Dreams. Goals. The thoughts bounce up and down and back and forth.

I had a strange dream the other night that caused me to reflect about how I see myself. ¬†In the dream I was in a room with a large mirror, waiting in line. I saw myself in the reflection of the mirror but my eyes were closed, so I really didn’t see myself. I saw, as the observer view in my dream, a reflection that I thought was me but not quite.

Then, a friend of mine was in line with me and wanted to take a selfie of us both. I saw her fumbling with her phone to turn the camera around. I kept posing with her but she wasn’t’t ready. Then, when she saw herself on the phone screen I moved in for the selfie but didn’t appear. I moved closer. Then – in real life – my phone rang and I was awakened from the dream.

This caused me to reflect over my morning coffee. Have I ever seen myself in my dreams?

I know I have seen me from the observing view. That view of how I look in the role I was in the dream. But I realized I have never, to my recollection, seen myself in my dreams of how I really look. I see others clearly, but not myself.

I confess, I do not think highly of my looks. It has been a life-long battle. Some days I feel I have conquered the negative thoughts and some not an inch.

The dream was convicting. As a woman who hangs out with The Father, Son and Holy Spirit as much as I can, how dare I not think myself a beautiful reflection of the One who made me?

There is beauty all around me. We are included in that beauty. How do you see yourself? Or how do you see the things you do? Are you always critical of yourself?

You are beautiful. From one of my favorite books – You are kind, You are smart, You are important. (The Help)

Reflect on that.


Cate B

Dusty Dreams

There are about nineteen days left in 2016. I never make New Year resolutions, but I do always look forward to what may be in store for us/me in the upcoming new year.

Ever an adventurer……

My future at this point is rather swelling with fear¬† anticipation. Last Thursday was the last day of my son’s semester at University and that marked the last day of me caring for my three year old grand daughter. I have watched her pretty much full-time for the last three years and her sister, now in kindergarten, since shortly after¬†she was born.

I have mixed emotions. More on the side of taking the dreams off the proverbial shelf and dusting them, throwing away some, creating new ones, OR curling up on the couch and watching NETFLIX for a while……. a long while.

I do love changes. They actually wake me up and make me feel more alive. But know, Dear Reader, that I am extremely human (as opposed to being simply human ??) and I am terrified of what I am to do.

I see this change in life as another adjustment. As a loss in some ways. The girls are only just over an hour up the road. I have already FaceTimed them twice. But I shall let this minor grieving time have it’s way in me and I know that I will see my future, my new roads and dreams more clearly as the days go by and as I finish up a series in NETFLIX.

Have a Great Holiday Season!

Cate B


TaDa! A New Year!

Here we go.  Another year is ending and a new one beginning.  Do you like that or dislike that?

I always like it.  Even though I feel old and my life is flying by, I still welcome a New Year.  I like the idea of changes to come and new adventures and old ones closing, perhaps.

I have very little idea of what is to come for Cate B.  I will still be caring for my lovely grand-girls this New Year.  But those days are numbered.  Last year at this time I was dreading the girl watching to end and them moving on.  I was ready to pack up and run with them dragging husband and dogs with me.  But now, a year later I feel  differently.

I feel that I should start dreaming again. ¬†Dreaming of things that I desire and that the Lord has instilled in me long ago. ¬†It’s still a bit fuzzy and foggy. ¬†I do believe the fog will lift and I will see again.

Sometimes I visualize a tug o’ war going on in my spirit. ¬†Little lies of “you’re too old” against great truths of “you’re never too old”. ¬†I am on the side of truth, even though, somedays it is a battle to believe. ¬†Especially when you say goodbye to a friend who died too young and you see headlines the day after Christmas of deadly storms sweeping the nation.

One of my favorite verses in the bible that tells of great advice for all is:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.¬†Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

I want to be worked into God’s most excellent harmonies! ¬†There’s ¬†a dream for the New Year and my life! ¬†I think I’ll start there.

So here goes, Dear Readers, may these last few days of the old year be joyful and fulfilling for you and even more, may the New Year greet you with more Joy and Dreams coming to pass.  May you be able to choose the truth and dwell on it. And may you be found in His most excellent harmony!

And because I cannot resist silliness…………. ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†10530886_797526963601794_8208936784582723757_n


Cate B

Field of Dreams

Yesterday my husband and I took a drive – we do that a lot. ¬†I just love getting into the surrounding countryside to see what I can see. ¬†I know I’m not the best photographer and my camera needs an upgrade, but I just love trying to capture what I see.

the drive started out with lovely cotton ball clouds
the drive started out with lovely cotton ball clouds

more cotton ball clouds
more cotton ball clouds

It has been a desire of mine to see a sunflower field.  We tried, a month ago on a trip to Kansas, to find one.  After all, the sunflower is the state flower of Kansas.  But yesterday we went off into the countryside looking for a Missouri State Conservation Area that I came across on Google that shared our last name РBryson.

We were only about thirty minutes from home and couldn’t find the area. ¬†My husband wanted to turn back but I wanted to go a little further. I love going the extra mile – the adventure of the unknown.

As we turned the bend in the road we spotted a large field full of yellow.  Do I dare to hope?  As we got closer this is what we saw:

field of yellow
field of yellow


We were thrilled beyond words! ¬†I wanted to go a little further and then turn around and go back and get out of the Jeep to get closer pictures…… But there was a side road up ahead (not paved) that ran along the side of the field. ¬†There was another car there already taking pictures. ¬†We pulled over and here is what I captured:

DSCF8619 DSCF8621 DSCF8624 (1) DSCF8626 DSCF8627 DSCF8628

Isn’t it amazing?? ¬†We were so blessed. ¬†It got better – thanks to my adventure spirit – we kept going on the gravely dirt road. ¬†The unknown. ¬†And guess what? ¬†We found our Conservation Field:

DSCF8637 DSCF8638 DSCF8644

Made our day!


cate b ūüėÄ


Definition of cheerleader

: a person who is a member of a group (typically a group of young women) who shout out special songs or chants to encourage the team and entertain the crowd during a game in sports like American football and basketball

: a person who encourages other people to do or support something

On my ¬†page About¬†page I express one of my passions: “I am passionate about the potential I see in others.‚Ķ‚Ķ. I want to help them get there. ¬†I want to¬†bring hope to others.”

I never was “cheerleader” material. ¬†Too shy, too quiet, too terrified, and no confidence or desire to do things outside the norm for me. ¬†As I matured along life’s path I developed more confidence. ¬†I started doing things that were out of the norm for me. ¬†I took on a “why not” kind of attitude. ¬†What have I got to lose? ¬†Some things were harder than I thought and still cringe at what I went through to achieve something. ¬†But I did come out knowing I could do anything I put my mind to.

I had a few cheerleaders along the way. ¬†Here and there a good friend came alongside to say “You can do it!“. ¬†My husband is my biggest cheerleader and I can think of a few dear friends who have remained faithful to me and my crazy ideas over the years. ¬†I am totally thankful for their encouragement to me.

You see, the thing in my life that I am the most passionate about is also the biggest hindrance to me. ¬†The fear of not achieving what I desire or what I know I can do is always jumping up in my face and thoughts. ¬†That lack of confidence is always rearing it’s ugly head and telling me lies. ¬†The beast will succeed if I let him. ¬†If I give in to the lies he is telling me and start believing them 100% he wins. ¬†It happens to all of us. ¬†The choice lies within us. ¬†Don’t listen. ¬†Don’t give him an ounce of room to dwell there.

I don’t always know¬†how to¬†accomplish my goals or yours. ¬†But I do know that I can see the end result. ¬†I can see my dreams and desires are very real. ¬†I can see the potential in others to accomplish what they desire and what God has made them to be – even if they don’t see it yet. ¬†And I do know that I can be a cheerleader for you and for myself. ¬†You can do it. ¬†I can do it. We just have to at least try…….


cate b

Amazing Human Nature

As most of my readers know, I am in a season of life where I care for two of my grandchildren while their parents attend full-time University.  It has been an incredible journey for myself and my husband.  We are learning to be loved and to love on a whole new level.

Human Nature. ¬†Sigh………

We are all born into this world with a mind that is so ready to learn. ¬†When I began giving birth to my own babies and found myself in an unfamiliar life setting I read, I talked, I observed and I listened to what others were doing and not doing with their children. ¬†As parents I think we find ourselves in a life full of busyness and just plain old work! ¬†Keeping the house work up to the best of our abilities, changing diapers, feeding our babes and spending loving moments with them. ¬†AND, don’t forget, longing for sleep and time to ourselves and with our spouses. ¬†Our whole world changed – hopefully to the better. ¬†Mine did. ¬†As a matter of fact, we tend to spend so much time tending to the babes physical needs (and that is VERY important) that we wonder if we are fulfilling their other needs that lead them to become the amazing human beings they are meant to become. ¬†We don’t always feel that we are making a difference, do we?

Does that make sense? ¬†I do believe they take in a lot by observing us and how we treat them and others. ¬†Example is nine tenth’s of the law – is that how it goes? Whatever……

But what about that human nature? ¬†I do believe that babies come into this world with a need to be loved and held and comforted. ¬†They have a need to be fed and cared for…… Feed Me! ¬†Sometimes my human nature takes over and doesn’t want to love them right now – I don’t want to hold you, I just want you to sleep so I can sleep…….. Know the feeling?

Well, as a grandparent, I can tell you that it’s a whole new ball game. ¬†It is not my responsibility to be their parents. ¬†It’s a new freedom to be able to love on them and comfort them and spoil them to some degree and then send them home. ¬†Since I have them five days a week, and most of the day, I, of course, change the diapers, take to the potty, wipe the snot, etc. ¬†BUT, I also have a different perspective than when I was the mommy. ¬†I get to see things about children I didn’t have the time for when I raised mine. ¬†It’s amazing. ¬†Well worth the wait for this time in life.

But back to that Human Nature. ¬†We teach them to love and be kind, and we better, because in each of us is this uncanny ability to be mean. ¬†There, I said it. ¬†I sat here and watched as the little one (one and half years old) approached the bigger one (almost four years) and wanted what Sissy had. ¬†Thankfully, Sissy is kind, most of the time, to little sister. ¬†When Sissy wouldn’t give in to little one, the little one became a human piranha – her mouth flew open and she came at her sister with the intention to bite. ¬†And bite she did! ¬†Other sibling confrontations have been pushing, knocking little one over, etc. ¬†All normal behavior as far as I’m concerned. ¬†Usually they work it out among themselves or parental – type intervention comes in with time-outs and good talks.

Have you ever wondered this – we teach them to love and be kind and to help each other, etc. ¬†But how did they learn to bite? ¬†How did they learn to want what the others have? ¬†They seem to pick up on all the selfish traits and desires much sooner than they do the love and kindness and sharing. ¬†It is born in us. Baby, you were born this way……..

So, that being said, what is our “job” as parents, grandparents? ¬†I see it as a very serious and high calling. ¬†Guess what peeps? ¬†These little ones have come into our charge, whether we were expecting them to come or they were a total surprise. ¬†And these very little ones will be the people who are in our government offices or businesses or neighbors when they grow into adulthood. ¬†These very little ones are the future of our world. ¬†This is serious stuff. ¬†Don’t ignore them. ¬†Feed them with love and kindness and giving hearts. ¬†Listen to them. ¬†Get to know them. ¬†Each little babe is an individual human being with a built in personality and gifts that we, as parents, need to discover and nurture them into the adult they were meant to be. ¬†There is no one solution for every human being.

A particularly favorite Proverb of mine is: English Standard Version
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This isn’t easy. ¬†It takes some serious time with our babes to see who they are. ¬†It would have been much easier for me, as a parent, to have treated my four all the same. ¬†Even the same discipline techniques did not work on all four – I know, I tried.

So, Dear Parents and Caregivers, let’s do our best to know our children and raise them along that path. ¬†Then, when they grow and mature into adulthood we can look at them with love and pride. ¬†We can continue to cheer them on and we can rest assured they will do their best to make right decisions for themselves and others and this crazy world we live in.

Who could not love these………


cate b


Thinking Too Small

I’ve mentioned before that I have a passion for seeing people progress into their destiny. ¬†For seeing their potential and hopefully I can encourage them to get there.

I am not a professional in that area. ¬†Heck, I don’t even know what to call it. ¬†It’s something that I can do.

Let me tie the title of this post and the paragraphs above, together.  Bear with me on my thoughts here.

Today, I went to a function in our lovely town. ¬†It was a Christmas event where people dressed as characters from Dicken’s era. ¬†Some set up in shop windows weaving a basket or drinking tea, etc. ¬†Some were on the streets strolling around town. ¬†Some were singing Christmas Carols and some were carrying instruments to local businesses. ¬†There was a cart pulled by two horses that you could ride in around the town. ¬†There is to be a tree decoration and lighting in about an hour.

All great ideas but poorly attended. ¬†The very dreary weather and penetrating dampness could have been a factor. ¬†We went into the old courthouse building, mostly to get warm, but some students/faculty from University of Missouri encouraged us to go inside for a hot drink and cookies. ¬†We did, apprehensively. ¬†You see, our town is a University town. ¬†But not for University of Missouri. ¬†We have UCMUniversity of Central Missouri. ¬†We went in and I asked the people if they knew they were in Mules territory. ¬†We all laughed. ¬†I was secretly trying to scare them. ¬†No where did we see recruiting for our beloved UCM. ¬†Just a banner on the courthouse lawn. ūüôā

Now, I know I’m new to town and I am still new to the way of thinking of the Mid-West. ¬†I admit that. But I just couldn’t help it,¬†as I walked around I saw potential. ¬†I saw potential¬†in the community, the locals, the ones not even connected to the University. ¬†I realize that towns in the midwest are likely not to be connected geographically – there are a lot of farms out there – like a vast ocean between towns. ¬†But The Burg is the county seat. ¬†I could see building up this type of event to the point where more people will want to come.

So now, where I’m really going with this. ¬†It got me thinking about my own life and potential. ¬†I think too small. ¬†I get ideas of things I can do or see others with their ideas and then I get discouraged. ¬†I actually talk myself out of those dreams and desires and ideas. ¬†They look too gigantic and just down-right impossible. ¬†But are they?

I do not see the whole picture.  I do not see the hows and the whens.  I give up way too easy.  I think most of us do.

I also have a firm belief that my dreams and desires do not start with me. ¬†They start with the God that I put trust and faith and anchor my hoper in. ¬†But do I really believe that? ¬†I confess right now, that when I doubt and talk myself out of pursuing my desires and dreams, that I do not believe that they can happen. ¬†That’s not good. ¬†I’m my own worst enemy.

What makes me doubt?  The delays mostly.  I read an encouraging post today from a fellow blogger here:

This part shined right out at me: “For the longer payment is withheld, the better for you. Compound interest is this law‚Äôs greatest benefit. While you wait consider it an investment in your character.”

Payment being what I dream and desire……my character is being greatly invested in.…. if I let that happen. ¬†We really need to stop looking at delays and discouragement as failures. ¬†Failures should be the very instrument that makes us succeed. ¬†We need to get a new perspective on our life. ¬†Many great people will tell you of their failings and how they were necessary. ¬†We do not see the whole picture of our life – we just don’t. ¬†But we can gain a new perspective. ¬†A higher view, so to speak. ¬†A God’s – eye – view.

I can do this. ¬†I can dream and I can slow down and gain new perspective. ¬†I can also encourage others that I see doubting and floundering around, on the verge of giving up. ¬†Let’s help ourselves to rise up to new heights and let’s help those around us. ¬†Every human being has potential to be great.

I’ll leave with this thought. ¬†From the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, the main character, PL Travers, handed her driver (Ralph) a piece of paper for his daughter (who was disabled). ¬†The paper had a list of names on one side:

download (2)


Even with their deficiencies, these people succeeded to greatness.

Now Let’s go!

cate b

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