Monday, February 28, 2005

Monday Blahs

Ever have one of those mornings when lazy is the operative word for yourself?  Today is that day.  It's cold and rainy and I have sniffles and I just want to crawl under the electric blanket and "veg out" for the day.

Rob brought me coffee and the bird is begging for attention and Andrea is cleaning her room and all I want to do is go back to bed.

Truth is, I don't have to do anything.  Andrea will do her school work no matter where I am.  Little angel is now doing her laundry.  I wonder what she wants from me.  If she leaves me to my blanky, I'll give it to her.

The bird is sitting on my head.  I put him there so he'd quit chewing on the mole on my neck.  He seems reasonably happy.  Silly bird took a shower with me yesterday and then I dried him with the blow dryer.  He loves to do that.  Even when he takes a bath in his cage, he comes out so I will take him to the dryer.  He's a little spoiled.  Guess it's time to take him back to the cage.  He climbed back down and seems to be choosing another mole.  Ouch!

Guess I'll climb back into bed and dream about the cruise I'm going to take instead of the safari.

So, how's YOUR Monday going?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Weekend Assignment # 12

Joh's journal asks:

Weekend Assignment #12: Thanks to time travel and invisibility, you can be on the spot for any important event of the last 100 years (1905 onward). Which important historical event do you choose? As a twist, if you actually were at an important historical event, you can't pick that one. Why? Because you were there already. What, you want to be there twice? Think of the paradox!

I thought of all kinds of world-shattering things, but kept coming back to this:  I would have liked to have been there at Iwojima on February 23, 1945, when the Marines raised the American Flag?  Why you ask?  Well, I hadn't thought about it much through the years until I married a man who was born on that same day.  Can you imagine the joy and exhilaration of the soldiers as they raised our flag?  Such pride we Americans had then for flag and country.  Do we have it now?  Likely not as much.  I wish we did.  What a wonderful country we livein!  What fabulous freedoms we have.  Ever doubt it?  Go to a 3rd world country to live and then come home and kiss the ground of the best country in the world!

Extra Credit: Think of a piece of now-dated slang that should be brought back into circulation. Make it reasonably clean slang, please

Well, John, I always liked, "Bitchen"  but then I thought then I was a surfer girl. 

Memories of a Simpler Time

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.  Hard as I tried, that pillow just kept calling me back to rest a bit more.  Rob wanted to make the bed, so he made it around me, which reminded me of a time long past.

When I was a very little girl, my mama would change my bed when necessary.  I don't remember if it was every time, but many times after she got the bottom sheet on, I would scramble up onto the bed, sniffing the sun-dried sheet.  Mom would continue making the bed: topsheet, "my goodness!  look at that lump!"  and she would pat down the lump and put on the blanket.  Again she would proclaim in dismay about the lump, which by this time was beginning to giggle.  Then came the coverlet and mama would smmoth and tighten and claim sadly, "I must be slipping!  I can't get the lumps out!"  Hysterical by then, I would pop out and scream, "Mama, it's me!"  Laughing, we would fall back on the bed and she would tuck me in and kiss me good night.

Rob says it sounds like she spoiled me and probably she did.  I was the last of her daughters, born 8 years after she thought she was finished.  I was also her last link to the man she fell in love with.  She never remarried after the divorce, even though she dated a few times.  I don't know how you feel about your mom, but mine was the world's best. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

10 Things . . .

From By the Way  here are 10 things I have done that you probably haven't:

1.  Been married 5 times.

2.  Cared for over 350 children in a span of 12 years.

3.  Spent 15 years living in a foreign country as a missionary.

4.  Been attacked by a duck . . . .

5.  Completed 5 of 7 days of Iowa's RAGBRAI bike ride

6.  Delivered a baby in my home ( 13 yr old mom - 10 lb baby!)

7.  Got carded when I was 22 - dancing as a go-go girl in New Mexico

8.  Drove through the wall of a cemetery (let's not talk about that!)

9.  Preached in a foregn language(Spanish) weekly for two years.

10.  Counseled teens for 12 years

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

20 Questions

I got this from Queeniemart's journal as I was scrolling through my bazillion alerts from yesterday.  Something happened to the cable internet in all the storms and one day really made a difference!  Can't think of much to say, so I thought I'd answer questions instead.


1. What's the biggest lie you've ever told someone you were involved with?

That I would never leave him - oops!  I thought I was tellin' the truth at the time!

2. Pick the pain that's the most bothersome to you:

            A.) A toothache

            B.) An earache

            C.) A headache

Toothaches it is!  Drive me right up a wall!  Soon there won't be any teeth left to worry about . . .aaaaahhhh!

3. Whose one person you always enjoy spending time with?

My firend Donna - she doesn't expect a thing from me - loves me like I am.

4. What kind of toothpaste do you use?

Whatever is in the cabinet.  I don't have that many teeth to worry about, lol

5. If you could switch places with one fellow blogger for one day who would you pick?

nicurnmama - I'd love to be caring for those babies . . . .

6. When you're out driving on the road what is your biggest pet peeve?

People who cut me off just to be "in front"

7.How many colds have you had this winter?


8. Is there anything you do that's annoying that you're aware of?

Lots of stuff - I giggle sometimes when I shouldn't

9. What sitcom family would you most like to be a part of?

I really don't think I would have wanted to be on any of them.

10. Did you have anything that you've owned since childhood?

My pillow, my books and some pictures and my dolls.

11. What is your favorite horror movie?

Never watch them - too scary.

12. When you go to the grocery store what's your first stop?


13. What new tv show are you most looking forward to checking out?

Law & Order - Trial by Jury

14. You're given $300 to spend just on yourself what do you buy?

Computer stuff! 

15. What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?

Seeing the Mexican army come in to take our homes. 

16. What are three things you still hope to accomplish?

Get my daughter through college and see her settled, own a home and die peacefully

17. What professional would you least want to hear the word,"Oops." from?  
                A.) A doctor

                B.) A hairdresser

                C.) A plumber
Definitely A!!!!

18.Have you ever expierenced deja vu?

Yes I have

19. If you could rewrite the ending of one old movie which one would you pick and what would you have happen?

Can't think of one I'd change

20. Are you upset that the NHL hockey season was cancelled?


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Getting Back in the Swing

I'm sitting here folding clothes that Andrea washed a couple of days ago.  I know for sure she washed them because almost everything is inside out!  She doesn't see the value of having them turned right side out yet and nothing I say will convince her.

There's not too much I can do yet, although I feel pretty good.  My tummy hurts still and I've been told it will be a while before I can lift.  I just want to be productive, though, so I loaded the washer this morning and will have Rob bring me things to fold later.  I'd like to do dishes and straighten the kitchen, but I get tired too easily.  Another day, maybe.

The pastor's wife called last night.  They were out of town when I had the surgery.  She felt real bad about it, but I didn't really care to have visitors at the hospital anyway.  I mean, you feel like you have to talk to them and entertain them when all you really want to do is let the pain medicine put you back to sleep.  They might come by today if it doesn't start raining again.

I took two walks yesterday.  One to see the progress on the house and later to the supermarket.  Dufus likes to go there.  He sits on my shoulder and people come up to admire him.  I'm grateful for the shopping carts.  It gave me something to lean on. I got a broccoli/potato/cheese thing to eat and Robert got a burrito from a restaurant.  I'll be glad when I can cook again.

Wow!  has my life gotten boring!  I have had a chance to read a few journals, which I like to do and at least today I feel good enough to write.  I spent nearly an hour looking for a picture of Aflac the duck so I could put it in Krissy's journal photo contest for "Delicious"  I couldn't find his picture, but we weren't the ones to eat him, anyway.  I gave him to a local pastor and his wife because I just couldn't stomach the thought of eating Rob's pet duck.  Let someone else who has no emotional connection do that.

Actually, after Aflac, all the duckies went away.  I was afraid if one would attack me, then what would happen if one of the kids ticked them off?  All the other animals had pens, but the ducks were free-roaming and with 20 kids from babies on up, it was a risk I wasn't willing to take.  Now, all that's left are the pigs and the chickens.  The goats went to another ministry to make cheese, which they share.  The bull went to stud, traded for a stud pig.  The sheep have become "birria" which is a spicy red soup filled with shredded meat and toped with onions, lime, oregano and sometimes sour cream.  Quite good if you like that sort of thing.  Rob was happy to have the bull go to stud - I saw him as meat on the hoof (M.O.T.H.), but he was Rob's pet.  But that's another story.

Blessings, Penny

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Weekend Assignment - Animal Attacks

I don't know how amusing this was at the time, but after a few months, we are all laughing about it.  My husband, Robert, bought 8 little ducks for the ranch last year.  At first, they were just cute and messy.  We built an outdoor pen for them.  5 of the duck survived the 20 kids and the trauma of living in captivity.  In about April last year, Rob finally let the ducks out to roam the ranch.  Every morning they would follow him as he fed the animals.  One particular duck seemed to love him.  Rob called him Aflac.  It would jump onto Robert's head and hang around with him.  We all thought it was cute and funny.

On June 1st, Rob had to go to the US for health reasons and I was left to wait for the new directors.  I took over the morning chores, evenig chores, et. al.  Aflac figured that I must be his replacement and he followed me everywhere.  I had to be quick to close the doors, else he would be in the house with us! 

One morning after I finished the feedings, I went to the laundry room to talk with an employee.  Aflac followed.  I told him gently but firmly, "No ducks in the laundry room."  He followed anyway and I picked him up, petted him and put him outside.  The happened 3 times.  After the 3rd time, Aflac was ticked and flew right at me - wings hitting my face and webbed feet landing on my arm.  Well, I started to scream!  I didn't know that ducks had such long toenails.  Aflac was pulled off of me and I had to go to the doctor for the damage. 

Aflac has long since become "mole de pato" (that's duck stew to you) and my arm has healed just fine, thank you.  We won't be having ducks at our new home, however, I've had enough.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Well, the days passed and the surgery is over.  It didn't happen the way I thought.  I had too much pain and had to go to the ER.  They admitted me, put me on antibiotics and did the surgery a day early.  I spent 2 nights in the hospital and came home this evening.

I'm in pain, but it wasn't as bad as my head projected it would be and I'm safe and warm in my own bed.  The hospital is not a place to get any rest.  Here I will be papmered by Rob and Andrea and no one will be poking me with any needles. Needles are not my friend.

I'll probably get back to the journal in a day or so when I can sit long enough.  Thanks to all for the prayers and e-mails. 

Blessings,  Penny


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Two Days to Go

All my resolve in the last entry went to hades in a handbasket.  I got a load of laundry in the washer, but couldn't even transfer it to the dryer.  I've heard from the surgeon's office and am scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.  As much as I dread having the surgery, I am ready to be rid of the pain.

They tried to draw blood on Thursday, but my veins collapsed.  Three sticks and only a quarter vial of blood.  She said it was enough.  I do hope they've left me a vein for surgery.  I don't want to be awake for that. 

Rob and Andrea have been treating me like a princess, though I'd rather be queen and running my own household.  Poor Andrea thinks I might die and we've done everything to reassure her that it's a simple procedure and I will be home the same day.  Things surely have changed. 

Anyway, I'll probably be away from my journal for a few days.  I wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!  Give someone you love a great big hug. 

(((((HUGS)))))  Penny


Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Wednesday Morning

It's Wednesday morning and I've been stewing in self-pity for several days.  I had a very painful procedure/test on Friday morning and haven't felt well since.  Addin insult to injury, I also have to have my gall bladder out.  I haven't really wanted to talk about this too much, preferring to wallow when possible.  I've been online some, even wrote in my other journal.  Fortunately, I can't stand this another day.

I'm getting up to work on some things around here.  I don't care if it hurts, I've had enough.  I need to do laundry and perhaps cook a meal today.  We did go out yesterday to buy a vacuum cleaner for the new house.  It was all I could handle.  I came home and took a 2-hour nap.  Boy!  My life is exciting!

Rob and Andrea have been wonderful.  They have pampered me no end.  Of course, Andrea has an ulterior motive . . .she thinks if I'm sick I won't make her study.  Poor kid was sorely disappointed.  Rob just wants his wife back.  At least I'm not too grumpy. 

Saw the house again yesterday.  It's coming along.  Hank put a deck on one side so we won't fall through to the shop.  Looks real good.  He's going to buy white cabinets for the kitchen, which suits me fine because I'm going to make the room bright by painting trim chinese red.  Don't worry, there's not too much trim.  I'm doing the room in chili peppers.

He's also ready to finish up the bathroom in the next day or so.  It's really small, but the tub is great - an old cast iron tub that's plenty deep.  I will be a happy camper.  Our pastor's brother brought carpet for the rest of the house.  Mostly it's on the brown side, but one good sized piece for our room is hunter green - my favorite.  Think I'll do our room in jewel colors.  I can't wait to share pictures when it's done.

Thanks to all who wrote with prayer support.  I've really needed it these past few days and just knowing that you thought of me was a blessing.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Weekend Assignment # 46

This is a dream assignment for football widows.  We can make any rule we want!! I've thought about this for nearly two days now.  I sometimes watch the game, but I'm not the obsessed one.  Seems Super Bowl Sunday is waay too long.  The game doesn't start until late in the day, but the revelers get started early.  They watch old game highlights, older game highlights, game replays, pregame warm-up, the game, the commercials and the post-game wrap-up.   In our house, nobody drinks, but the passion is there just the same.

So here's my rule:  for every hour they watch Super Bowl stuff, "widows" get an all-expense paid hour of shopping.  Let the teams pay for it, after all, the fans pay for them.  That's it in a nutshell. 

Of course the Eagles are going to win the game.  They aren't favored and won't rest on their laurels.  If I'm wrong, so shoot me.

If you'll excuse me now, I gotta start my pre-game shopping.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

The God Box

I've been having a rough couple of days.  Not only am I going through all kinds of medical tests and have to go see a surgeon tomorrow, but I am in physical pain.  I am even having difficulty walking from this house to our new house 2 doors away.  I'm apprehensive about the next 2 appointments and that's probably adding to my pain.  I've also been grouchy.  My beloved husband and daughter can attest to that, poor dears.

In the middle of this, I have the joy of the Lord.  I know He's taking care of it all and that whatever the answers will be, His hand is there.  It's easy to say that now, but I used to have a major trust issue with God.

My dear friend, Pat, always had a smile on her face.  Her comment when I complained that my life was horrible was this:  "It's okay, honey, God'll take care of it!"  That was hard, or nearly impossible for me to believe.  I had just left my 3rd marriage, lost the house, had two kids to raise and no place to live and of course, no money.  I had to do something, but what?  My prayers felt like they were falling on deaf ears.  I knew in my heart that God heard all my prayers, but I felt terribly alone.

I was cleaning houses and selling Tupperware to earn the money to get a place.  It seemed like my problems always followed me wherever I went.  I had heard someone once talk about writing down their problems and putting them in a "God box".  What the heck, I thought.  I'd give it a try.

I found an empty oatmeal box - the cylindrical one - and put sticky shelf paper all around it, sticking the top on so I couldn't get back in to check out what I wrote.  I cut a hole in the top and bought a small tablet to carry with me.  The box went everywhere I went.  Whenever I thought about something upsetting, I would write it down:  "Dear God, Rene owes me money."  or "Dear God, I am afraid I'll never find a place to live" or "Dear God, the kids are driving me crazy." 

The act of folding the paper up and shoving it into the box was a physical prayer for me.I always told God it was His now to handle.  Often, I wrote the same petty thing for days on end.  I filled up the box and had to make another. When I went to clean a house, I would leave the box outside the door, laying all my problems asideso I could be a good worker.  Many times, people would notice the box and after several visits, get up the nerve to ask what it was.  I would reply that those were my problems.  Sometimes we'd talk about the physical act of leaving my problems outside when I would enter a place.  For me, that's what it took back then.  My problems seemed overwhelming.  Once in the box, they were an entity that God had to care for. 

After I got settled in a little house of my own with the kids, I was no longer carrying the box.  I don't even remember when I stopped.  Somehow that stuff wasn't so important anymore.  As I was emptying out all the boxes of stuff from our move, I came across one of the boxes.  Dying from curiosity, I ripped the top off the box and sat in the shed reading paper after paper of my cares and worries.  ALL of them had been resolved!  God took my worries, whatever size and made ash of them.  I took the box, the papers and all and burned it in the barbecue. 

So as I worry an fret about what's going on here, I know one thing for certain:  God is in control, 

I'm thinking about you guys out there in J-Land and am grateful for your comments and prayers.  I'm trying to get to journals, but just can't seem to make time right now.  If I have to have surgery, I have a feeling that I will have plenty of time on the 'puter while I recover. 

Blessings to all, Penny

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Home Sweet Home

These are the first pictures of our new house!  Hank is doing a destructo-derby on the kitchen and bathroom - redoing the plumbing throughout.  I am so happy that it has a bathtub!  I will continue to be able to soak in bubbles. 

It has two yards!  The little fron yard has room for a table and chairs so we can watch traffic go by . . .The side yard is big enough for a tool shop and a doggie!  Of course, the doggie will be in the house a lot, but she will need an outdoor place to run and play.  Also, Hank is going to put a little deck on the back so we can barbecue out there. 

Andrea joined Robert and Hank to pull the cabinets out of the kitchen.  The house was probably built in the 1920's, so the changes definitely have to be made.  The windows are the old weighted sash windows which Hank is going to try to fix. Many of the other windows have been replaced.

We will have to paint the entire place and the carpet will have to be cleaned or replaced, but our pastor has a brother who will get us carpet for free! 

I'm not excited or anything!!! I feel like a kid getting her first place.  And in a way, this is our first place.  We lived at the ministry for many years.  And though it was our home, we didn't have 4 walls that we could call just ours.  This will be a treat and a privilege for us.  God has surely blessed us.

I took a picture of Dufus on the fireplace, of course.  He wanted to get in on the fun as well.  He wouldn't let me put him anyplace else and he promptly left a "deposit" for posterity.  The little entryway will be perfect for my office. 

Most of the tear-down got done yesterday and the plumber is starting today.  We thought we'd have 2 months to get ready to pay rent, but it looks like it might be done a bit sooner.  Aaaahhhh!  Privacy!