Wednesday, November 30, 2005



So tomorrow begins the December Challenge!  I wanted to get input from as many people as possible, so I've rearranged my thinking several times.  I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas as I do.  Some celebrate Hanukkah, others have different celebrations or none in December.

I have celebrated Christmas all my life as the recognition of the birth of Christ.  One memorable year, when I was 8, I celebrated Hanukkah with my friend Mady.  Before going, my mother explained the Festival of Lights to me and the miracle of one day's oil lasting the 8 days it took to purify more oil.  It was a wonderful story and I have delighted in researching and learning more over the years.

So this month as we mark our celebrations, I would like to hear your traditions.  What is the special meaning behind the traditions in your home?  What do you do to prepare for your holiday?  Who started the traditions.

I'd like a different tradition or memory that changed your outlook on the holiday each of the 21 first days of the month.  If you can't think of enough to fill the days, then tell me in this special month what you will be doing to reach out to others less fortunate than yourselves.

You can leave your daily comments here or write them up in your journal and leave a link here for me.  I need to apologize to Vagabondevermore whose thankfulness came in some e-mails that I totally missed when I went searching to send them back.  I am so sorry.  I hope you can forgive me.

Starting tomorrow morning, I will begin to post my memories and traditions for you.  I hope you will join me with enthusiasm.

Be blessed this evening, my friends, I love you all.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Time OFF!!!



This is so cool!  I was off Sunday and Monday and am off tomorrow and Thursday as well.  I really need this time with Rob and Andrea.  A lot of times its like we are ships passing in the night.  I come home so very tired and want nothing more than a light supper and my jammies.  They want my attention.  They want to show me what they've done for the day.  Dufus wants my attention . . .Scooter starts cooing as soon as I walk in the door (he's a dove, for crying out loud) and Sammy the greyhound can't wait to beat me up with his tail.  Tomorrow and Thursday they get me all day.  It's nice to be loved.

Please pray for my boss.  He's just returned from a trip to Africa and is now very very sick.  He was transferred to ICU this morning.  He's a robust man a little older than me, so we are all surprised at his quick and critical illness.  Elaine and I were very quiet today.  She has worked for the company longer than he has and she's come to know both him and his wife quite well.  I've just know him eight months, but he's an easy person to like and to work for. 

Well, my friends, I am going to post the December Challenge tomorrow morning.  I hope you will all participate with me.  I think it will be very interesting and fun.  I expect we will post until the 21st or 22nd and I will send you back your e-mails right after that.  Do you want to know what we're going to do?  Check in tomorrow!  I'll probably post it by around 12 noon our time here in California.  I'm excited about this.  I would like to see us do a monthly challenge - might be stretching ourselves a bit, but maybe the challenge will be diverse enough to be quite enjoyable. 

Our Christmas tree is purchased and sparkling.  We got a fiber-optic tree.  It looks so wonderful at night. Rather than blinking lights, the light just seems to flow through the bulbs and branches.  Really reaallly cool!

I'm of now to see what kind of trouble I can get into before I dropoff to sleep.  I can't believe how tired I am . . .

Blessings to you all,


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday Ramblings


Sunday morning in Ventura.  We awoke to quite a chill in the air.  I'm one who is nearly always cold in the fall and winter months.  I put on my fuzzy shoes and heavy sweatshirt and wandered out to the computer.  I'm still not caught up on my journal reading, but have at least made a dent in it.  If you get a comment for something you did days ago, it's probably me. I really miss my laptop.  We are going to take it in to see how much the repairs will be.  I hate that this happened so near to Christmas.  I may have to wait until next month to get it fixed.

We are going to go tree shopping today.  We were going to do it last night after I got home from work, but Rob hurt his back and football was on.  It was fine with me.  I picked up some Chinese and we stuffed ourselves and went to sleep. Good for the diet, I know, but I was still exhausted from Thanksgiving anyway.  Andrea went to Sam's Club with Hank, so it was kinda quiet around here anyway. 

Andrea has now gone off to Sunday school and I am deciding what I will wear to church.  I don't have to translate today, so I will just relax and enjoy the service.  I usually put on a headset to listen to the translator.  This way if he gets stuck I can help.  Next week I am working on Sunday, an unusual step for me.  But my co-worker never gets andy real time off, so I am subbing for her so she can go to a rodeo.  I really like Elaine.  She's a down-to-earth gal.  The customers love her.  I would think she is the best advertisement for the business.  People come in, see me and ask for her.  They hope I haven't replaced her.  I would never be able to do that.  She's one of a kind. 

I guess I am just rambling along here.  The sun is out now, but I am still freezing.  I could never live where there is snow.  I'd probably die.  Or at least turn into a really round popsicle.  My hat is off to my kids and to those of you who live in those areas.  You gotta be tough!  I'm a wimp and proud of it.

Be blessed today on the Lord's Day,


Saturday, November 26, 2005

I just had to post the pictures of Thanksgiving in our new home.  There have been quite a few firsts since we moved in last May.  This is special for us.  We loved Thanksgiving with the kids in Mexico, but they don't quite "get it".  Last year, we enjoyed the day immensely, but were in Hank's house.  As tiny as it is, this is our home now and we had a ball!

Andrea's friend Amanda stayed Wednesday night, so was here to help Andrea and me with the preparation of the meal.  I've cooked for an army for so long, it was difficult to get a small turkey.  In fact, I love turkey leftovers, so I just went whole hog (bird?). 

The pictures probably tell the story better than I can.  We shared our meal as well with Hank's worker and his wife.  It was a great time for all of us.

I won't linger on my thoughts about "Black Friday".  It's a shame that people have to hurt each other to get a bargain.  I'm worth so much more than that. 

Anyway, today is my "Friday".  I get two days off after today.  Then next week, I have a couple of extra days in the middle of the week.  I need them.  I would like to get my Christmas shopping done early.  As well, I need to prepare for the December Challenge.  Get your thinking caps ready . . .I think it will be an enjoyable time for all of us.

I'm so blessed to have all of you in my life.  Please pray for Carlene's husband Danny today.  He had a heart attack the other day.  This is also their 34th anniversary weekend.  Pop on over and give them some support.

Have a blessed day, my friends,


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Day


I just thought this graphic was so cute!  Over the years, tradition has placed us at the table with a variety of persons.  We have had and have been the grandparents.  We've been the kids and the parents.  This year, though there are just four of us, Thanksgiving is proving to be a wonderful experience again.  My pumpkin roll came out of the pan perfectly and I am getting ready to make the filling now.  I can hardly wait. 

We are eating a little late this year because I slept in.  The turkey is looking wonderful, will be done soon.  I'm so thankful that I can cook for my loved ones.  Tomorrow it will be leftovers, which I also love.  And we will begin to prepare for Christmas.  We have decided on a tree and will probably get it in the next few days.  Rob has worked hard to ready our living room for its arrival.

But for today, I'm not in a hurry.  I'm going to share my gratitude with my family, see the end of the football and maybe watch a movie.  How much better can it get? 

You are all in my prayers today.  Blessings,

Happy Thanksgiving and the End of the November Challenge


A challenge I made for thankfulness

Your thanks I asked, and nothing less

Day by day I mentioned my own Hoping that I'd reap what was sown. 

Here it is the already the twenty-third

And many of you are readying the bird

I'm doing that too, my friends, today

And counting the blessings along the way. 

 Below are my thanks as I've written each day

I couldn't ask you if I didn't play. 

I am going to save this list of thankfulness

For the days when my life is just not bliss

I'll look at these things as gentle reminders

There's a way to be grateful if I take off my blinders

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to you

Here are my words yes, faithful and true:  


I am thankful that my son John introduced me to journalling.

I am thankful that my back & neck are better and that we made time for prayer

I am grateful that our bills are paid and that we have money left over.

I am thankful for answered prayer.

I am grateful for J-Land

I am grateful for my husband Robert.

I am grateful for our friend Hank

I am grateful for nearly 30 years of sobriety.

I am grateful for my health I am thankful for my education

I am so grateful for our bed

I am thankful for my daughter Heather

I am truly grateful to those who have and will continue to serve to keep our country free

I am grateful for friendship

I am grateful for creative "pooper scoopers" sometimes it's the little things

I am grateful for precious memories

I am thankful we have enough

I am grateful for my past - it makes me who I am today.

I am very grateful to be smoke-free for 17 years

I am grateful for my family

I am grateful for my mother's love

I am grateful for my church

I am so thankful that we have all we need and most of what we want

I am grateful for those who have shared their gratitude with me.  

Most of all, I am grateful for my salvation in Jesus Christ who died for me.  

Be blessed today,                                                                                                           

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Last Day of the November Challenge!!


Today is the final day of the November Challenge.  I have already begun to put your lists together and expect to begin sending them this evening.  Since I don't have my laptop for the moment, I've gone to AOL through IE at work and yesterday I printed up 7 pages of gratitude!!  You guys are good! 

We've been having lots of computer problems here at the Perez house.  The computer Andrea uses won't recognize the Internet, my poor laptop needs ICU and Rob is having to let me use his computer to do my journal, read my mail, etc.  I am so far behind!  Your journals are important to me, but I haven't been able to comment as much as I want this week.  Have patience with me, guys.  I'm still here.

I am grateful today for those of you who have been open enough to share your gratitude with me.  When we were in Mexico, each year I would ask the children in our care what they were grateful for.  Then I would send their gratitude list out to our friends and supporters.  It was my favorite letter of the year.  Those kids were grateful for the most wonderful things - mostly having to do with their families and the Lord.  Since I have left, that letter is not mine to do and I miss it.  I guess that's one of the things that got me thinking of this challenge.  Could we find something to be grateful for every day?  Yes, we can.  Maybe I will come up with something different for December.  What do you think?  Would you like a December challenge leading up to Christmas?  If you would, send any ideas you have to me in an e-mail to .  

Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, November 22, 2005



Well, my turkey is here already!  I am just waiting for Thursday to come when I can get up early and do the cooking.  With my sister's permission, I shared her Pumpkin Roll recipe with Betty and she made it and published it in her Home Life Decorating Blog.  I love this recipe.  My sister always makes it for us.  She's the pro!  I sometimes have problems rolling it, but I will tell you, it's better hands down than pumpkin pie and I love pumpkin pie.

Today is day 22 of the November Challenge.  Just today and tomorrow to get your comments to me either in my comment threads or e-mail.  I'm going to be a busy little bee the next couple of days sending them back to you.  This has been a lot of fun for me.  I hope it has been for you.

This morning, I am thankful that we have all we need and much of what we want.  There is no blessing that can top that.  We are as broke as we've ever been, but payday is around the corner, there is food in the refrigerator, we have a home, heat, pets and MUCH LOVE.  There were times in Mexico when we worried about tomorrow's meals.  There have been times when my children were growing up that we worried about food and a place to live.  For today, those worries are well in the past.  I am grateful to God for His provision for us.

Here are the pictures of the pumpkin roll that Betty took:


Doesn't that look yummy?  I will tell you, it's scrumptious. 

Be blessed today, my friends


Monday, November 21, 2005

Safe, if not sound


It's Monday morning and I have the day off.  I was going to sleep in, but that just didn't work out.  Happens around here a lot.  I have a doctor's appointment this morning and Rob has one this afternoon.  Kind of shoots the day off, doesn't it? 

I am so excited!  Today the BIG boss is going to get the estimate for my teeth and make a decision how much they will pay for and how much I will pay.  The estimate was less than half that of the estimate I received from the "Dental Clinic" near our house. When I went there, they took x-rays, sent in the dentist to make a diagnosis and disappeared.  Then they sent in the money manager and she told me what needed to be done, how much without insurance (which they sell) and how much with insurance.  I walked out of there stunned.  They did mention that they would help me apply for credit to do the job!  I guess they carry their own credit, which only means that I could have paid super high interest for the overpriced work they offered.  Then I went to the dentist near my work.  He is the one that pulled my tooth and now has given me that wonderful estimate.  I trust him.  He is kind and gentle and his office manager didn't offer insurance or credit options.  I can't wait to hear the news.  I want my teeth fixed so bad I nearly cry every time I think of it.

Today is Day 21 of the November Challenge.  Two more days to go before Thanksgiving.  Wow!  The time has flown by.  Last night, a former employer of our directors at the ministry in Mexico gave me a call.  He said he hadn't heard from them and was beginning to get worried.  He had tried all his ways of contact, had called family of the couple and they tried by Nextel and no contact.  They were supposed to be home from a sailing trip no later than the 12th of November.  I called our covering pastor - they had not heard anything, but would go and check when they went to Mexico for Thanksgiving.  I began to get worried and shot off an e-mail asking them what was happening.  This morning, we got a reply.  They are safe!  She had the bus ride from he** to get back home and he is still with the sailboat.  They hit high winds and had to get to the safety of a small cove until it died down.  What a nightmare for them!  We will get more details later, but I am so thankful they are safe from harm.  For today, I am grateful to God for hearing our prayer and for their safety.

Just a little comment below about my laptop:

Be blessed today,


Sunday, November 20, 2005



Just a few days now until Thanksgiving.  Today we had a Thanksgiving potluck at our church.  I swear to you, this is the eating-est church!  They love to gather round the table together.  It's a real blessing.

We had a different preacher this morning.  One of the young men that lives in the King's House next door gave the message.  He talked to us about our personal growth.  It was great.  It was the first time he had preached, but the message was clear.  We need to continue to grow. If we don't, we won't get closer to God and may find ourselves cut off from Him. 

I have to be careful each day to keep in contact with the Lord.  One bad day and I could be totally in the pits.  Friday morning could have been one of those days.  I think I've fried my laptop.  I spilled coffee on it.  The warranty doesn't cover coffee.  It's an expensive fix or the purchase of another.  There was also a wildfire right near us as I said before.  If my contact with God was not good, I could have been a major grouch all day.  I am kicking myself for the mishap, but it will all work out.  I'm growing!  No more coffee near a laptop!  Sometimes growth is downright painful. 

Today as we celebrated the Sunday before Thanksgiving at church, we took time to tell others what we were grateful for.  I am so grateful we've found this body of believers and that they are quickly becoming family to us.  And that's what I am thankful for on this 20th day of the November Challenge.  You can still join in.  Just make sure you leave me your e-mail address so I can send you back your gratitude. 


Saturday, November 19, 2005

The last, final, end of the discussion . . .

This is absolutely the last post I will make about the journal ads and the exodus.  I came to J-Land just over a year ago, made friends and began to post regularly.  I loved the way everyone treated me.  It was like I had come home to a community of treasured friends.


Starting this week, some of the friends that I have read regularly decided to leave.  That's okay and I respect that decision. What really bothers me is that some have begun to harass those of us who have decided to stay.  Some have made large postings in their journals with crude or nearly crude criticism of AOL.  It is your right to do that, too, I guess, but I'm losing respect for you. 


In my mind, there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with this.  I've sent e-mails and AOL has responded to each one.  That lets me know they are at least reading what I wrote them.  


Harsh criticism and harassment of members who choose to stay is not the answer.  I don't know what is.  I will tell you that if you're harassing my friends or making crude statements in your journal, I'm done reading you.  You've slipped a notch in my book.


Next, there are many of you I love and care about and will read where ever your journal is.  I will make comments about as often as I do on AOL.  That's the long and short of it.


I went to see Joyce Meyers a few years ago.  She's a television preacher who is pretty well known.  She asked her audience if anyone was feeling put upon, - you can't believe the number of hands that went up, mine included.  She stood there and nodded, chewed on her glasses a second and said one of the most profound things I have ever heard:


               "Get over it!!"


Be blessed today my friends



John's Weekend Assignment


This weekend, John is asking us who we will miss most on Thanksgiving.  Of course I miss my grown children and grandchildren . . .who wouldn't.  And I miss my sisters and their families.  The person I miss most of all is my mom. 

A little over 8 years ago, my mom went to be with Jesus.  She had cancer and she had also broken her hip.  She was in a lot of pain.  As much as I miss her, she's not in pain anymore and for that I am truly thankful.

My mom was one in a million.  Her life didn't exactly as she planned.  She was in pre-med studies when she met an married my father.  She had 3 daughters right away.  The marriage failed and they separated.  It was rough.  They did try a reconciliation, but it just didn't work.  I came from that reconciliation, so I guess you would say something good came from it.  He left and married someone else.  My mom never remarried.

I won't go into it all, bu out mom raised 4 daughters with some help from her parents and by herself.  She went to work when I went to school and continued to work until she was in her early 70's.  She always seemed to see the glass as half full.  She spoiled me, as did my older sisters until they regretted it.  She was always there for me.  She answered my every question.  I loved that she wasn't perfect.  She was great just as she was.

Thanksgiving and Mother's day are the hardest for me.  I miss her most then.  She taught me how to prepare and bake a turkey when I was 9.  I've done it her way since then.  When my hands go in to mix the stuffing, I think of her.  I'm not morbid about it.  I know I will see her again.  But this time of year, I sometimes get a little misty for no apparent reason.

I am tremendously grateful to be spending the day witn my husband and our daughter.  Just a quiet space in our lives to give thanks for all we have. 

Extra Credit??  Well, I really like pumpkin pie - - reminds me of my grandmother - - but . . .PECAN is the winner hands down!  That's all I have to say on the matter, thank you.

I suppose this might be my only entry for today.  I have to go to work and I think I fried my laptop by spilling that coffee on it.  So I will add my comment for the November Challenge here.  I am grateful today for having had a mom who was willing to give all for her children. 

Be blessed today my friends,

Friday, November 18, 2005



I do love the fall season.  It's still warm enough most of the time here in California and the rains haven't begun to hit yet.  The sky is beautiful.  We've had Santa Ana winds this week but other than a few messes, there haven't been too many problems.  Until about 3 am this morning.  The hillside directly opposite our house is on fire.  News choppers are flying all around and the water dropping planes and choppers have been coming in since sunup.  It likely won't get near our house, but there are oil fields over there which could be a problem.  I'm going to work, so if there's a problem, Rob will have to protect the dog and birds from the stench. 

I did something awful this morning!  I spilled coffee on my laptop!  What a mess.  I've been online with HP support for a while and know what I have to do to try to fix the problem from here.  If I can't, it's going to be a very costly cup of coffee :(

This is day 18 of the November Challenge.  Next Wednesday and early Thursday you will be seeing your gratitude land in your inbox.  I'm excited about this.  I can't wait to print up my own list and present it to my family on Thanksgiving.  I may just make a journal entry out of it as well. 

Today I am grateful for my family.  I have 3 sisters who live in various places.  I had the opportunity to be with them all for the first time in 40 years last year.  We took a picture together. I can't get into Hometown now to show the picture, but it was nice to see them all again.  I was born 8 years after the youngest of them and have always been the baby.  It's funny, when we all got together again, I was still the baby . . .the only one without gray hair!  I love them very much, but we are so far apart that we probably won't be able to do this again very soon if at all.  I am grateful for the love and patience they have shown me over the years.  Each one is my favorite in herown way.  My sister Sharon and I are both raising young children, Charlotte was my other "mama" when I was young and Sylvia is a holy roller just like me.  They are so special.  Sharon came to Mexico the year our mother and my husband died to keep me from having Thanksgiving alone.  It was the best present a sister could ever have.  I love you.

Be blessed today,


Thursday, November 17, 2005



Today is the American Cancer Society's Great Smoke-Out.  It was this day 17 years ago that I quit smoking.  That was the best decision and the roughest time.  I was real crabby for a couple of months, but I succeeded.   My husband and I were going to live on a boat that was clean and white inside   It didn't have any of that familiar yellow tinge and I didn't want to put it there.

 I missed cigarettes for quite a while. When a smoker would walk by, my nose would follow that little trickle of smoke.  It would smell SO good!  But I didn't give in.   

So on this, the 17th day of the November Challenge, I am grateful to be smoke-free for 17 years.  I made it!  My house smells good and I am free of a habit that cost me more than money. 


Be blessed today,


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reflections on Gratitiude


Today is day 16 of the November Challenge.  While many in J-Land seem to feel there is nothing to be thankful for, I find my self reflecting on my gratitude.  My life hasn't been the simple one that some of my age group seems to have had.  They graduated from high school and college, got married, had children and are spending their later years with the man they married back then.  Wow. 

I think of my sisters and their nearly 50 year marriages.  I've been married 4 years this time.  I was the black sheep of the family.  I didn't get into legal trouble, but I sure bolluxed up my life.  Or did I?

My experiences have made me the woman I am today.  They have given me the ability to work with moms in Mexico who had their lives all turned around.  I could relate to their problems.  I had been there.  Their children came to stay with us for a time while we worked on a solution to get the family back together.  Nearly every child that came into our home there was place back with loving parents or parent.  That's a blessing that God gave them and us.

I am grateful today that whatever mess I made of my young life has been helpful to me and to others in the here and now.  I am thankful to God for that blessing. 

So today, I do "Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory."

Be blessed today,


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

John's Mom Weighing In

I think I said most of it in my previous entry.  Those of you going off to other places, I wish you well and will visit when I can.  I've been reading through some of your entries and your comments on John's and Joe's journals.  I really thought some of you were more civilized than that.  Your language is hurtful and really very close to nasty.  These guys may work for AOL, but they don't run the train. 

I am sure many of you work for other people.  You may not like the decisions those people make, but you are responsible to carry them out.  That's the way it is. 

It's time to grow up, kids.  Remember sticks and stones when you were a kid?  Same thing applies to AOL.  Call them names if you will, but you're not going to break them. 

There's a lot of you I will miss terribly.  I hope you calm down and come back.  I'll be here waiting if you do. 


Blustery Day


Okay, so it's not morning anymore, but this is the graphic that's appropriate for today.  The wind is blowing like crazy here!  While driving into work, a gust picked up the front of my car and set it back down.  Boy am I glad I have a big, heavy car.

To address what I've seen this morning.  Banner ads above my journal.  I hate them, too.  I like AOL more than I hate the ads.  I'll tell you why.  I had a blog somewhere else.  I wrote in it for 5 months.  No community to read it, but I got spammed to the tune of 150 times a day.  I can't even figure out how to shut the darn thing down and their help channel is no help.  So, last I looked there were over 3,000 e-mails in that inbox.  I spent one whole day deleting them and now they are back!  Will I journal someplace else?  NO.

There is a sense of community here in J-Land that I have never seen anyplace else.  It's sort of like a one-stop blogging community.  I can IM you, e-mail you or send a note through journals.  I have a place to complain.  I already chatted with John about it.  I can send my opinion to someone else.  Yes, I know I can get AIM for free, but I like all the other stuff that comes with AOL.  Enough said. 

This month, we have been counting our blessings leading up to Thanksgiving.  Are any of you finding it hard to find another thing to be grateful about?  Sometimes it's hard to see what we have to be grateful for when the world is spinning out of control around us.  I feel that way sometimes.  My money is running out before my month this month.  What did I do different?  I always seem to have enough.  Well, there was that dental work, extra expenses to the government for Andrea's citizenship, warm jackets for my daughter and her kids who live in the mountains.  What, you say?  I should be grateful I could do those things?  I am.  I really am.  For the first time in many years, I am able to purchase needed items.  I used to have the belt so tight that even needed items went by the wayside.  I am truly blessed.  The belt is in a few notches until payday, but we are not going to starve, the bills are all paid and we had enough for some extras.  WooHoo!  Yes, I am truly thankful to have enough.  What are you thankful for on this the 15th day of the November Challenge?

Be blessed today,


Monday, November 14, 2005

Krissy's Photo Scavenger Hunt

This is so fun!  I just haven't had much chance to participate in these photo hunts.  I think I did one for Krissy year ago.  It was just too hard to get the pictures from my camera . . .a very good one, but limited to using a mini-cd for the pictures.  So Krissy, my beloved friend, I can finally get in on the fun.  I took several pictures of my Fridge, but after looking at them, I'm not showing you that mess! So below are pictures of the outside of our fridge and the freezer.  It's kinda cool taking pictures of it, actually.  It's the first appliance Rob and I bought for ourselves.  All that time in Mexico, nothing we had was our own.  We came back here with nothing but our clothes and personal items.  Of course I brought my pillow! 

Well, I digress.  Here are my fridge pics! 

and the freezer . . .


You can see by the freezer that I have my work cut out for me.  Imagine the fridge . . .naaahhh - don't go there. 


John's Monday Photo Shoot

I've never done John's Monday Photo Shoot before.  It's not that I didn't want to, just that I was kind of lazy.  This week, I'm going to do both his and Krissy's Scavenger Hunt.  Love my new camera.  this entry is for John.  He asked us to find a picture of a man-made landmark. 

In August, we were in San Francisco for the day and visited many places.  Here is a shot of Coit Tower from a distance . . .


It stands on a hill in the middle of San Francisco and like a beacon, it can be seen from everywhere.  We truly enjoyed our visit there.  We drove up the hill and spent more than an hour wandering around outside, then paid a few dollars to go up top.  I didn't realize there were steps to climb after the elevator ride!    Here's a view from outside looking up 330 feet.  The windows you see are where we stood for a while looking out over the city.


Be blessed today and make sure to go see Krissy and John and participate. 

Precious Memories


It's Monday and my day off.  Andrea and I had a mother-daughter breakfast this morning.  We went to a little place called Eggs 'n Things.  It's a cute, homey place.  they give you crepes with every breakfast.  We don't get very much time together because I'm always at work or exhausted.  This was very special for us. 

On the ride home, Andrea saw an owl flying and mentioned it.  That brought back some memories of Mexico.  We lived out in the country.  Way out in the country.  I suppose the roads might have been named, but until they were moved, we told people to go down the dirt road behind the mission for about 2 miles until they came to the cows, then make a right.  Then they moved the cows and we had to put up a sign.  Just after that right turn, we would go up a hill.  Cut into the side of the hill were many small holes.  They looked like squirrel warrens or snake holes.  One day, we saw a pair of eyes observing us as we passed.  An owl!  It was very tiny, but most definitely an owl.  After a few days, there were two sets of eyes.  The owls would hold deathly still, as if to melt into the white/brown clay there.  We would stop and stare, they would stare, not blinking.  Shouts of "buho! buho! (boo-oh)" were heard from the kids.  It was often the highlight of our day.  Sometimes only one owl would be there.  We'd see the other nearby on a small branch watching us . . .making sure we didn't get too close.  We learned from the Internet that these were Pygmy Owls, indigenous to desert areas as in Mexico and Arizona.  We were excited to watch what was happening.  After some time, we looked up and saw 3 tiny sets of eyes peering out from the rocky place!  The parent birds were trying to get our van to pass more quickly by flying back and forth in front of us.  This only excited the kids further.  We felt they were our pets, in a way.  A little discovery in the side of the road just for our pleasure. 

That time is gone now,and the owls with it, but we have a precious memory to savor every time we unlock it.  Today I am grateful for precious memories. If you haven't joined us for the November Challenge, I invite you today.  It's not too late to be grateful.

Be blessed in Him today,

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Survey Like No Other

Okay!  I'm giving in to peer pressure.  I know it.  Here it is:

1.   What sign are you?    Capricorn

2.   What's your favorite color?   Red

3. How many waffles could you eat in one sitting?  2

4. Can you touch your tongue to your nose?  No.  My mom could do it and the kids were in awe of her.

5. If you had to choose between cats and dogs, which would it be? I guess dogs.  I love cats, too, but have allergies.

6. What's something you've learned recently?  I learn something new every day.  Most of the time its just small stuff, like how to cook something new.  I learned how a quilt is put together.

7. What's your favorite quote?  If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything.

8. What's your favorite entry in your own journal?  I have several, but my most recent favorite is one called Memories.

9. What color is your bedroom? is transition a color?.

10. Where is your favorite place to visit?  Yosemite National Park

11. What is one thing you want to accomplish this year? Finish up with Andrea's citizenship

12. Why do you write in a journal? It's my way of thinking out loud.  I have always turned to writing since I was very small.

13. What's your favorite joke?  It's time for a very rich man to die.  When he sees the angel coming, he is beside himself.  He begins to gather things up.  The angel tells him, "You can't take all that to heaven!"  In tears, the rich man begs to be allowed to take just ONE bag.  "Oh, all right, but just one," the angel says.  The man fills a bag with gold bars. Happily, the man follows him to the pearly gates.  Saint Peter looks at the man and asks, "What have you got there?"  The man hugs his bag tight and tells St. Peter that the angel said he could bring it in.  Sighing, St. Peter looks in the bag.

"You brought PAVEMENT?"

14. Do you like the city or the country?  I guess it must be city, though I call it suburbs.

15. What style is your house decorated?  Early apple crate.  Actually, it's a work in progress.

16. Who's your favorite artist? Monet - well, maybe Gainesborough

17. Can you pat your tummy and rub your head at the same time? Yep

18. Are you a night owl? No

19. What's something you love in your house? We have a picture of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.  I just love it.

20. Do you believe in God? Absolutely - with all my heart.

21. What hobby could you never give up? Computing

22. What color makes you think of Hope? Green - fresh, new, inviting.

23. What color makes you think of Love? Red - passionate deep red.

24. What's your favorite flower? Poppies

25. If you had one wish for the world, what would it be? That everyone would know Jesus Christ.

26. What's the best surprise you have ever received? A Southern Belle doll my son Robert gave me on my 40th birthday.

27. What can you cook like no-one else? Lasagna, although I've not made it in years.

28. What do you think about most?  Jesus

29. Who is your favorite poet?   Eugene Field

30. And last but not least, if you could wrap yourself up in one word...what would that word be?   MOM

Sometimes it's the Little Things that Count


This just looks so peaceful for Sunday morning.  We woke up in our separate places this morning.  Rob was really sick last night and as much as I adore him, I didn't want what he had.  Still, I missed his snoring and talking in his sleep.  Those noises are reassurance to me and I have learned to sleep with them going on. 

Andrea will be coming home after church today.  It's strange not having her here.  She comes into my room at least a dozen times each night and says, "Hello Mother" and pops out again.  Just wants me to know where she is.  She jumps in the bed to cuddle me and sometimes takes lotion to give me a foot massage.  I miss that little bundle of joy.

There's another reason I miss Andrea today.  It's her job to pick up the dog poop in the yard.  She and I agreed that we would handle that job if we got a dog.  Rob gets really sick doing it.  So Andrea accepted the job as hers and she's been faithful to do it every day. This morning, however, she is not here.  Rob came in and said,  "There's a lot of stuff out there . . ." and looked at me.  UGH!  I promised.  I'll do my duty.  So out I go.  When we first had the dog, we picked it up with plastic gloves.  Then we got one of those things that looks like a dustpan on a stick.  None of that was really acceptable.  In the pet store, we saw this thing that had a spring and kind of a claw for lifting said deposits.  Andrea wanted it.  Rob said we should buy it for her.  I looked at the price.  I always look at the price.  I embarrass them because I look at the price.  I said, "It's $20!"  To this they replied, "So what?"  I lost.  They won. 

This morning I have had the privilege of using that thingamabob for the second time.  First of all, let me say this.  I can't believe Sammy weighs what he does.  Not with the VOLUME of deposits he leaves.  And secondly  ::hanging head::  that thing is worth its weight in GOLD.  As long as we have a dog - I don't care what it costs - we will hastily replace it as it breaks or gets old.  There, I've said it.  I'll eat crow on this one. 

So . . . for day 13 of the November Challenge, I am grateful for creative "pooper scoopers".  Sometimes it's the little things that count.

Be blessed today,