Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Good Morning!  So I fell into bed last night early, crashed before I could even see one TV program and slept right through until 6:30 am when my bladder insisted I get up.  Through the night, I heard door creaks and door slams as people got on and off my IM.  I also heard alerts and the little click when the alert (23 of them!) was sent to my mailbox.  And though I heard it all, I couldn't wake up.  I guess I needed my sleep

First thing this morning Dufus climbed onto my shoulder and gave me "cari├▒os'.  He didn't get my attention last night.  He's been back to the cage once to go potty, but is clinging close to me.  I just love this little bird.  Never thought I would care this much for a bird. 

The pictures are some more from our trip on Saturday to see family.  I just had to take pictures of these roses!  Have you ever seen so many colors on one rosebush?  I haven't.  Even the single color ones are just beautiful.  On our way home, we ran into weather for a bit and Rob got some great pictures of the angry clouds on the horizon.  Just thought I'd share them with you.

I really like my new job and believe it or not, I actually like working.  It's been so many years, I didn't know if I could adjust, but here I am.  Working in the 21st century!  Wow!  Never thought I would.  Figured I was too old.  That's what I get for thinking.


Monday, April 25, 2005

I'm a Little Gold Key

So I'm reading thru Heather's entry for today and she has a link to Danielle, who asked:

What Kind of Key are you?  Intrigued, I went there.  This is what it says I am:

You're a little gold key, and you unlock other people's hearts. Your kindness and willingness to be there for those you care about lets people open up to you knowing they will be accepted. People will rely on you, but be careful not to give more than you have.

If you want to try this out, go here:

I'm sorry - I just haven't totally figured out how to paste it with someone's name on it, so there you are.

Have a good evening!  Blessings, Penny

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Finding Family

Yesterday was a day for family as we travelled the 2 - 2 1/2 hours from our home to visit Rob's father.  It was kind of a serendipity because we weren't sure if we would be able to go.  With me working, our travelling has been cut back a bit.

I really wanted to sleep in, but since Rob's relationship with his father has just been renewed after many, many years, we decided this was an important trip to make.  So, after Rob roused me from my slumber, I sluggishly got ready to go.  He loaded my laptop and a disc of pictures from our time in Mexico into the car and after coffee, poured me in as well.

Rob said that his nephew "Junior" lived not too far from his dad and he wanted to call him and reconnect as well.  This would have been easy because twice Rob has gotten the phone number from his brother.  Except, Rob lost it both times!  So since Rob was driving, I had to call his brother and admit that he lost it again.  His brother cracked up, but gave me the number.  This was kind of tricky because I didn't have a pen or pencil . . .so I used my pocket knife to scartch the number on the back of my checkbook.  As soon as we got to the restaurant, I used one of their pens to darken the number so I could have Rob call his nephew.

After lunch, we met the nephew at a freeway off-ramp and he led us to his home.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that he was living in a beautiful home with a beautiful family.  His little boy greeted us as soon as we walked through the door.  Not a bit shy, little Elias was immediately our friend.  In a few months, the little guy will have a new brother or sister.

We had a great visit, making the all-important trip to see Elias's room, playing hide and seek with him and just hearing how their lives were going.  Rob hasn't seen his nephew as a grown man, so it was a change from what his imagination held from years ago.  Though the visit was short, it held promise for a future relationship with these wonderful young people and a chance to have additional "grand-babies" to love and cherish.

From there we went along to visit Rob's dad.  This is a precious relationship.  Rob's parents separated when he was young and there was a step-dad in his life for most of his growing up years.  There wasn't any real closeness for Rob and his father.  Years ago, they just didn't agree on anything and his dad didn't want him around.  Last August, on a whim, we showed up at his front door.  Surprised, he welcomed us with open arms.  We have been in contact by phone or visit since then.

He such a special man.  He worked hard all his life, though uneducated, to support himself.  He built his own little home - the walls are about 2 feet thick - and has been there for many years.  He's lonely now.  His children are all far away and don't come to visit often.  Whatever the reasons for their separation, those times are gone and it's time to renew and refresh. 

Rob has developed such a love for this man who left so long ago that it just makes my heart swell with joy!  However long they were apart, they are truly father and son now.  He wants us to come and stay the night, but I know we won't sleep in that little house.  We have to bend to get through the bathroom door!  There's a little motel nearby and we have promised to make a longer visit soon.

After visiting "papa", we also stopped to see the last of the uncles just a block away.  He's getting older, too, but Rob has such vivid memories of him.  He tells me that he would watch him rise every morning and scrub his face.  For some reason, that memory is strong and warming to Rob.  I wish I'd had a chance to know these men when they were a bit younger.  Rob's history is tied up in them and I see glimpses into the past as we talk.

So yesteday was a family day. I am so rich!  When I married Rob, I got aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters and a father-in-law.  It may not mean much to you, but all of the older generation of my family has passed on and with them, the history of who we are.  Rob and I have living history together.  I think that's cool.

Have a great Sunday.  I know we will.  Blessings, Penny

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


We are struggling to get Andrea's paperwork done for her citizenship.  Because she's legally adopted, she automatically becomes a citizen once admitted to the country.  That's the problem.  She's here on a visa until we can do the other paperwork.

The adoption decree in its entirety is over 2 inches thick, but only the last 10 pages are critical for getting her legal status here.  BUT we have to have them translated and certified for immigration and for Social Security.  Well, I have been trying to get estimates of cost to translate (which I could do, but can't certify) and I am just about overwhelmed.  One man said he would charge me $90 per page plus a certification fee!  So I've been doing a little shopping.  On the internet, I found a place, but they wanted 14 cents per word!  I think I'm in trouble here.  I've faxed out a couple of copies of the work for estimates, but I'm beginning to panic.

My beautiful daughter is worth every penny and more of the translation cost, but we will still have US Immigration's fees to pay (over $500 for one request) and then to guarantee her citizenship, we will immediately have to get her a US passport.  It's going to take everything I earn in the next month to pay for all of this.  We don't use credit cards, so cash is our only option.

I didn't realize how daunting the paperwork could be.  Downloading the forms from immigration is great, but you also have to download instructions for the forms, not make any mistakes, have your certified copies available to send in with the forms, the payment and perhaps your arm and leg. You also have to make sure that it's the right form.  Waiting to talk to them on the phone is not easy - sometimes over an hour wait. 

Does it seem like I 'm complaining?  I guess I am.  It took 5 1/2 years for Mexico to finish the adoption, months to get her Mexican passport and more time to get her visa to cross the border.  I just want a little girl who has my name and my citizenship.  Is that too much to ask?  It seems like a lot of hoops to jump through and I'm just not the most patient person in the world.

Monday, April 18, 2005

It's a good thing I'm not a betting woman.  I would have bet that we would have been in this house by the end of February.  I would have lost!  We're still not in.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not complaining.  We have a nice set up here with Hank.  We pay the utilities and live here and use his home as if it were our own.  He never complains.  We get to watch his HUGE screen TV, his washer and dryer, all of it.  It's just that we want to live alone as a family of three.

The house is almost ready.  Actually, it's been that way for what seems like forever.  Our couches are here, I got a cool new desk, we have a new bed on order, we have all the frou-frou for the kitchen and bathroom.  Now all Hank has to do is put in the toilet, the tile and the kitchen sink. 


It's not a perfect place by any means.  The bedrooms are small, there's not enough closet space and the bathroom is a postage stamp.  But it will be ours. Well, we'll get to pay the rent and utilities and treat it that way.  It's unlikely that we will ever own a home, so this is it for now. 

So . . .anybody out there up to make a bet?  How long do you think it will be before we move into our little dream cottage?

If you make a guess and get it closest, I'll be happy to post your name and a link to your journal. 

C'mon, guys, I'm desperate . . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2005

What Happened Here?

I look through my eyes and  I see

Everything that used to be . . .me.


Thin and young, full of energy

Ready to try it . . . that was me.


Eager to go and eager to do

I wanted to be friends with you.


No wrinkles graced my little face

Windblown hair, always our of place


Now I see through eyes of another

‘Cause in the mirror I see . . .my mother!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

On the Hearth

Today we had a wonderful day.  We wnet shopping, yard sale-ing and then off to Ventura Harbor to see the shops and the ships.

So close to home, we didn't even know it was there.  I thought that the only place to go was the pier . . . and it only has a restaurant.  This morning, Hank gave us directions (which I messed up) to see the marina and harbor shops.

Row after row of boats are moored in the marina.  Some are sailboats, others power and yet others work and fishing boats.  There was a black and red sailboat named "Dragon Lady" with chinese symbols and dreagons on the side.  it was really cool.  I told Rob and Andrea stories of the time I lived on a boat in San Diego.  Boat people are a little wierd.  Not to say I'm not, but I'm glad to have been a land-lover (I know) for many years now.

The first place we wandered into was a little shop that had a collection of memorabilia, junk, seashells and art work.  It was full of treasures for the eye to behold.  I was immediately in love!  I turned to one side and saw the above statue sitting on a bench.  I stroked her head.  She's about 18 inches high and I couldn't take my eyes off of her.  The truth is, I had been looking at a small figurine similar to her, but the price was way out of our range.  The gal behind the desk said, "She's beautiful, isn't she?"  I said yes and walked around the shop some more. 

Crammed into the tiny shop were wonderful things.  There was someone's former collection of decorative spoons sitting in a a crystal box.  Andrea and I looked at the names of the places and things on the handles.  In a basket off to the side, Rob found a silver bracelet with abalone shell.  It looks to be old.  It's the kind that you bend around your wrist.  He showed it to Andrea and a deal was struck.  Her chocolate eyes glowed and brimmed with a couple of tears.  I was happy. 

Then Norma Jean (yes, that's actually her whole name!) saw me staring at the statue again.  "She's only $24 dollars."  I picked her up and held her and another deal was struck. She will be placed on the hearth in our new home.  She reminds me of the love I have for all the babies I've held over the years.  There's a special bond when you hold a baby close.  It may not have come from your own womb, but there's a birth right therein your heart the moment you hold him or her to your breast. 

I'm really done with babies now, although I still love to look at them and stroke their precious cheeks.  I'm not too old to raise more, but now it's time for Rob and Andrea and me to bond as a solo family.  As we held hands and strolled the harbor and on to the beach, I felt so content. 

I feel just like this statue.  I love my family.  God has truly blessed us and has given us a beautiful life.

Thanks, Lord.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Has it been that long since I posted?  I can't believe it!  It's been a busy week, I guess.  I'm still getting used to being a working person.

On Monday, I had what looked to be a small skin cancer removed from my neck.  It didn't hurt, except for the nummy shots.  They cut a huge area to make sure they got it all and plastered a bulky bandage over that when it was done.  After 48 hours, I got to take off the bandage and take a real bath.  The scar is about five inches long and fits nicely into the fold of my neck - very cosmetic.  Now it itches, so that's a good sign. 

I'm finishing the end of my second week of work and I still like it. I get along good with the manager.  They big shots were concerned because they didn't want the manager to think they were pushing her out of a job.  It's just that she's a widow now and needs help.  Today I'm going in a little later so they can teach me how to close up.

SNORING!  Now you all know I love Rob with all my heart.  He's my prince charming. And his snoring doesn't bother me once I'm asleep, but it's that getting to sleep that is the problem.  The man is like a freight train!  Last night he fell asleep really early and snored so loud I could barely hear the tv show I was watching.  Every once in a while, he would wake up and ask me to turn down the TV!!! He's got some nerve.  I thought I had solved the problem with a little machine that amplifies the sound of the television, but it also amplifies his snoring.  AAAARRRGGGHH!  Other than that, our life is idyllic.

Lest you think I'm complaining about my life, let me tell you that I'm just where God wants me to be and I'm happy.  So many times in my life I've felt desperation, loneliness and fear.  It's been a long time since I've felt that way.  I have a great husband, am raising yet another beautiful daughter and home is where the heart is.  This is one of the greatest blessings a person can have.  Money and things are nice, but love and family are everything.

Well today is Tax day - I hope you all have your taxes finished and sent off.  It's becoming more and more difficult to do this.  It used to be that all of your income and deductions could fit on one page.  Now all you see on commercials are tax programs for the computer and tax companies competing for your business. One company is offering a drawing for $10,000 dollars.  Is that money tax-free?



Sunday, April 10, 2005

John's Weekend Assignment - Words of Wisdom

This is my favorite saying:

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

The truth is, you have to have convictions or you will bend every which way when things get tough.  I know who I am and what I believe.  It's not important that you believe the same way.  It's more than opinions.  It's who I am at the core of myself.

There.  I've said it and I'm glad.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005


Monday, Rob and Andrea and I went shopping most of the day.  We bought a couple of tires for my car and some other cool stuff.  It was really great.  We enjoyed ourselves tremendously.  Then we got home . . .

There were 21 messages on my voice mail!  One was from a friend, the rest were attempts from my pastor and his wife to locate us.  We thought there was an emergency.  There was, of sorts.  The pastor wanted me to start training on the job yesterday!  I was nearly paralyzed.  I knew that I was going to start.  I knew it would be around the first of April.  I knew these things, so why was I surprised?  I hadn't even prepared my resume.

The first day was yesterday.  For two days I will be training in Carpenteria, then on the the office in Santa Paula.  With a bit of apprehension I arrived at the right time and began my training.  The job will be easy!  In Santa Paula, I will be the only office worker, so I can take a book to read when it's slow, a laptop, whatever I like.  It's a really relaxed atmosphere.  The "big boss" called from Vista to welcome me to the family.  How about that?

So now I'm a member of the workforce.  It's totally amazing.  Just two days ago I was a retired missionary.

Andrea hates that I've gone to work.  She thinks her daddy should be the one.  She wants more mommy time.  I understand, but am glad to be doing something finally.  I think I'm going to like it.