Sunday, April 30, 2006



I was looking through the tags I received today and this one popped up.  My rambling thoughts went to my childhood.  I started thinking about spring.

In my life, Spring wasn't a season,  She was a person. She was my paternal grandmother.  She was an eccentric woman with scandalous ways.  I don't remember her hair being anything but gray and cut short. 

My first real memories of her were when she was living on Patrician Way in the western part of Pasadena.  The road to her home wound through the hills and to a house of wonder with canyons on three sides.  There was a Chinese Red gate with Chinese symbols on it, a front pebble garden with a waterfall and lovely little palms and plants.  We almost always went through the back door. 

It was a house of wonders for a small girl.  To the right as we entered was a room with what I always called a "princess" bed.  It was ornately carved and was so high that there was a special matching stool to climb up to it.  The room had a bathroom of its own and held many hours of imaginary play for me.

To the left of the back door was the laundry area.  There was a washer and dryer there.  There were always blood smears on them from Spring's Great Dane Shane.  Shane wagged that huge tail against the wall and the washers.  Under her feet were the 3 fiercest dogs in the world . . .3 tiny Chihauhuas.  They were the watch dogs and Shane thought she was a lap dog.  We stepped then into the kitchen and dining area to see the panorama of the canyons surrounding the house.  Spring would be in the living room, seated in her favorite chair.  The house was furnished in Chinese style (modern, I think it was called). 

Outside the windows behind her was a long wire . . . a chimp or monkey played there.  I wasn't allowed to play with him because he would bite, but I was fascinated.  I'd watch him and he would watch me. 

I wandered through the house discovering all the pretty things there.  It wasn't homey like at my other grandmother's house.  It was exotic, although I probably wouldn't have used that word then.  There was a chest in the hallway.  It had hundreds of little drawers and Chinese symbols all over it.  It always held my attention for a long time.  There was a special way to open the little doors and drawers.   After the chest was a room with bunk beds in it.  It had a sliding glass door to the back yard.  Spring was having some construction done out there and was keeping it a secret. 

Further down the hall was Spring's room.  It was huge!  Everything in it was huge.  She had her own bathroom there.  The other bathroom was in the hallway.  Spring had a lot of beautiful chunky jewelry.  Her favorites were squash blossom sets full of turquoise.  She wore them most of the time.

Back in the living room, Spring would be drinking whiskey and talking to my mother about things.  In the window near her were her "cigs" and her "stick 'o pep".  She would light up her cigarette and ask me to hand her the stick 'o pep.  It was a little wand-like thing that put a spot of liquid peppermint on her cigarette.  She was smoking menthols before there were menthols.

Usually, we would stay for dinner and Spring would cook gourmet meals.  While she cooked, she drank.  While we ate, she drank.  During dessert, she drank.  By the end of the meal, she was dictating my mothers life for her.  Stabbing her cigarette in the air, she would start out okay, but soon I would hear the dreaded phrase, "Now youu listen to me!" That would signal the end of our day with her.  My mother would cry and vow never to go back again, but soon enough we'd be off for a visit again, all things forgiven.

Spring was married 5 times and divorced or survived them all.  She married one of them twice.  She sent her two sons to military school and was in the WACs when it wasn't popular for a woman to serve our country.  She was a gypsy of sorts, telling fortunes on Olvera Street in Los Angeles and reading tea leaves in China town.  She made her millions billing for anesthesiologists in the Los Angeles area.  She had two cabins in the mountains, a fast car which she drove like a bat out of he** and never hardly ever stopped for a kid to go to the bathroom.  She was the antithesis of my maternal grandparents and I loved her and was fascinated by her.

As I get older, my memories of her come in little flashes.  A drunken Spring sitting outside by the new pool with her friends.  Suddenly she yells "Let's go swimming!  Somebody get Penny"  With that she pulled her denim dress unsnapped and dove in.  She was naked and I was shocked.  I was probably about 8 and she wanted me to strip and join her.  Scared and scintillated, I did as she asked.  Wow!  I remember the rush now.

Years pass and Spring and I have not spoken because she tried to take my illegitimate child and give him to my sister.  She tried to buy me.  I walked away.  I married, lived in Hawaii and had a daughter.  Just after her birth, I receive a telegram.  "Arriving SS Lurline" and the date and time. I was unsure, but went to the dock.  Heather was 6 weeks old and I was 18.  As the massive ship pulled in, I looked to the top deck.  She was there, bigger than life, pointing down toward me.  The wattle below her chinned wiggled as she said, "That's my great-grandaughter!"  How could I hate her?  She was my flesh and blood.  Less than two years later, she was gone. My family flew me from Northern California to see her after she had had several strokes.  Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were a source of pride for her.  They hoped that by seeing me pregnant she would have the will to live. 

She lay on a hospital bed in that room with a view.  Her Siamese cat Nikki lay atop her, wasting away.  Spring's face was distorted and her speech changed.  I sat next to her.  Heather, unaware, climbed up next to her and hugged and kissed her.  She reached her claw hand out to my belly and said "Boy".  She didn't say anything else.  She slept.  Just after my 20th birthday she died.  Her memory lingers on. 

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Make a symphony


Thursday morning and I'm headed off to work in a little while.  The sky is dark and cloudy, predictions of rain come from the newsman.  Same as yesterday.  We only got a few drops. I can handle that.  I really don't like driving in the rain. 

Yesterday was a busy day.  Rob and I started the morning with reflections of days gone by.  I've been married so many times that his confused about the circumstances, so we went back to my life after I left my first husband and talked all the way through the escape from my 3rd husband.  I know its the past, but its kind of cathartic to talk about it.  Truth is, there is nothing about my life that I can't share with him.  I may not be proud of some things, but it's a nice chance to see the Lord never left me while I was being stupid. 

After the mail came, we took off to deposit the check and go to the doctor.  I have had this very dry, tickley cough for some weeks now and Rob was concerned about me.  I managed an appointment for yesterday afternoon, got some medicine, x-rays and a breathing test.  He thinks it might be asthma.  Yuck.

Then we went to the pet store to by a cage for our baby cottontail bunny.  As usual, it was a costly trip.  I think the pet store loves us by now.  I had just bought a new bed for Sammy because we took the loveseat he was using out of the house.  He's not sure about the bed yet, but his couch days are over.  We bought him a 3-man tent for a dog house.  Believe me, it was a whole lot cheaper than one of those pre-fab dog houses.  He seems to like it a lot.

We got home after 5 pm, fed the girls, took them to the church for kidz nite and came home exhausted.  Our prayer time was wonderful and the girls went to bed right on time for once - and no fighting.  What's up with that?

Rested, I am ready for the day ahead.  We sang a song I wrote this morning as our worshipbefore prayer, had a good time of prayer and now the girls are of to school.  This is my favorite time - the lull between their leaving and my leaving for work.  Rob and I have a little time together before the day and its tasks pull us in other directions.

I pray that as your day takes you from here to there that you will take time to remember those in J-Land who are in need.  Krissy's John has been running a fever, Cliff is recovering from heart surgery, Carlene is feeling the loss of Danny so acutely and Lisa Jo's son was beaten up at school.  Our prayers never leave the ears of the Father.  He hears each and every one as sweet music.  Let's offer up a symphony today.

Many blessings to all of you.  I love you very much


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It isn't as if I wanted to . . .


In 1989, we moved to Baja California, Mexico to retire.  It was my husband's greatest desire to retire there near the ocean.  There were plenty of Americans around and a social center which they had formed.  We got involved right away.  I started helping with the little newsletter they put out and we both found the little theatre group and joined.  It was wonderful

We had our own Bible studies and time with the Lord every morning.  A few times, our friend Bill and his girlfriend Lupita joined us.  My Spanish was improving daily, so I was able to help her understand what we were reading and discussing.  We also had a campfire 12-step meeting in front of our trailer every Wednesday. 

One afternoon, one of our neighbors came walking by and invited me to the Bible Study in the next camp.  We knew that the leader was the 92 year-old mom of one of the people we had met at the theatre group.  It took us a couple of weeks to make up our minds, but we finally went - it was the closest thing to church that the American Community had at the time.

In the meantime, the man whose mother was the Bible teacher approached me and asked if I would be willing to take down her poems and make a little booklet of them.  She had been writing poetry since she was a little girl.  She remembered each and every one, but they were in her head and not on paper.  I agreed and got to spend more time with dear Elva as she recited her poems and often told stories about her father who was an itinerant preacher, traveling by horseback to the local towns to preach.  I grew to love Elva as if she were my own grandmother.

Elva's daughter-in-law was also in the theatre group with us and was so excited when we started going to the Bible study.  Our lives were pretty full, we had taken on the partnership of a small pharmacy and I worked there several mornings a week.  My Spanish improved immensely and I was now holding regular conversations. 

June wanted me to come and see the mission that they had built in the town.  They held an outreach and services every Wednesday. I was reluctant to go.  We were so involved!  Bible study, self-publishing Elva's little book, the pharmacy, theatre group, Wednesday meeting, plays, etc., kept us busier than we thought retirement should be.  June kept asking.  Everytime she saw me, she would ask.  I started to be irritated at her.  She was so insistent.  I was just TOO busy.  She wouldn't give up.

Finally one Tuesday afternoon after Bible study when she asked again, I said, "If I go one time will you leave me alone?"  Smiling, she said, "No problem."

The next day, I showed up at the mission.  June walked me from area to area showing me what was done there.  They had classes for every age group and an area for regular services as well.  In the back storage area, they had donated food and clothing.  Each adult in attendance got a bag with rice, beans and some canned goods to take home.  She told me that some weeks a man came fro Los Angeles with day-old bread to give out.  It was a larger operation than I thought it would be.

For the last stop, she showed me an area no bigger than a storage closet.  Crammed inside, with very little walking room was a medical exam table and a nurse and patient.  The nurse had cards with words on them so she could ask questions.  The wall held shelves with donated medicines on it.  She had a few more things in a paper bag.  "This is our clinic and our nurse," said June.  I was thinking they should have stored the food in there - it was such a tiny area.  I began to speak to some of the people waiting for care.  When the nurse heard me, she asked if I could stay and translate.  I said I would.  We worked together all afternoon, patients waiting for a small bottle of pills or a wound dressing while we were packed into that small room.  Toward the end, the nurse gathered some of the women and said it was time to pray.  I translated her very special prayer and felt privileged to do so.  Our arms were wrapped around some very short, very poor and very dirty women.  It was heavenly.  I could feel the presence of the Lord in that place.

The nurse asked me if I would come back the next week.  It wasn't my plan before that day, but quickly my mouth said yes.  June was grinning.  I think even God was grinning that day.  I can only say this:  you are only too busy when God says you are too busy.

I hope my memories of that special day help you to see what happens when you tell the Lord you are at His command and to use you where He sees fit.  I only left that mission clinic when it was His time. . . and by that time, I had 6 little babies under 6 months old living in my little trailer and add-on.

Be blessed in the Lord today,  Penny

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sent to me by 2 of my sisters - We miss our mom

This is a treasure...

  For those lucky to still be blessed with your Mom,
  this is beautiful. For those who aren't, this is
  even more beautiful. For those who are moms, you'll love this.


  The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is
  this the long way?" she asked.   And the guide said:  "Yes, and the way is hard.

And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But
  the end  will be better than the beginning."

  But the young mother was happy, and she would not
  believe that  anything could be better than these years. So she
  played with her children, and gathered flowers for
  them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and
  the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried,
  "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

  Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was
  dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother
  drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said,  

"Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come."


  And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and
  the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary.
  But at all times she said to the children," A little  patience and we are there."
  So the children climbed, and when they reached the top
  they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you."

  And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up
  at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my
  children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage.

Today, I 've given them strength."


And the next day came strange clouds which darkened
  the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped
 and stumbled, and the mother said: "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.

" And the children looked and saw above the clouds
  an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the
  darkness. And that night the Mother said,

"This is the best day of all, for
  I have shown my children God."

  And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and
  the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent.
  But her children were tall and strong, and walked with
  courage.  And when the way was rough, they lifted her,
  for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill,
  and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And
  mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end

is better than the beginning, for my children can
  walk alone, and their children after them."

  And the children said, "You will always walk with us,
  Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."
  And they stood  and  watched her as she went on alone, and the gates
  closed after her.  And they said: "We cannot see her
 but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory.  She
  is a living presence......."

  Your Mother is always with you.... She's the whisper
  of the leaves as you walk down the street; she's the smellof bleach
  in your freshly laundered socks; she's the cool hand
  on your brow when you're not well. Your Mother lives
  inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every tear drop.
  She's the place you came from, your first home; and
  she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love
  and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can
  separate you.

  Not time, not space... not even death!


  Pass it on to the men too because they have mothers too....
Think Spring!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ask for a Sunny Morning


They do look sunny, don't they?  It's still 0-dark-30 here on the west coast,.  I've been up quite a while.  Dreams kept me from a restful sleep.  I came out to the living room to pray and catch up on journals.  It's quiet right now, but in about an hour there will be morning noises to hear.

The dove, Scooter is already cooing and Skeeter in her cage next to him warbles back.  Put them in the same cage and it would be a fight to the death.  People are like that sometimes, too.

The dog is sleeping upside down on the couch with his eyes open, all four feet sprawled in the air.  Dufus is sleeping in his warm fuzzy thing and his new "friend" is sleeping in his/hers.  We thought (think?) the new bird, a Jenday Conure, was a boy, but Dufus has complete;y taken over his/her grooming and they are grossing the girls out by tongue kissing.  EEEEWWWW!

We named the new one Rufus, to go with Dufus, but alas, I think Rufus may not fit.  Rufina might be the obvious, but as I typed the subject for today, I thought Sunny might be just the right name - would fit no matter what sex he/she might be.  I hope to run it by everyone before they read my journal.  Here he/she is:

This little one was born on May 31st last year.  Unlike the Sun Conure, he/she will not stay this small.  Guesstimates are 12 - 15 inches, where Dufus is about 6 - 8.  Her - I'm really thinking of him as her - color will be mostly orange breast with that beautiful yellow head.  I don't know how much green she will retain, but she's beautiful just the same.

We welcome her sunshine-y self to Dufus' world and to ours. 

Be blessed in the Lord today,


Thursday, April 20, 2006


Day by day, I drive down the freeway, past the ocean and on to work.  We've only been here about a year and a half, but I haven't stepped on the sand once. 

As I drive by in the morning, I think how wonderful God is to have given us such beauty to see.  It's right there.  I've been to the pier, but not on the beach.

Yesterday, we remedied that for a while.  Our friends from SLO came to visit bringing their two kids and a couple of kites.  They invited us to join them for a time on the beach.  It was late in the day, but we decided just to leave the food cooking and have a little serendipity.

We drove to the beach by the pier and parked.  Wild margaritas and beach weeds were blooming.  The sky was crystal blue and the ocean calm.  We walked past the greenery across the thick and crunchy dry mud left from last year's serious storms.  I like to look at the cracked mud and think how much of it there must have been to last this long and finally dry out and wither.  Beth's bare feet felt the points.  The five kids raced through it as if it wasn't there.  Rob and I slowly crunched our way along, eyeing the sand just ahead. 

There is more beach litter than I thought there would be.  sticks, bamboo, branches of some sort or other and myriad rocks of all shapes and sizes.  We found huge rocks in a ring and a young boy putting the last one in place as we were arriving.  His task finished, he disappeared down the beach. 

The kids, except for Lupe, ran to the water's edge and back again, begging us to let them get wet.  Four weary parents said "not today".  Undaunted, the chased each other, put together kites that wouldn't fly and built imaginary forts and castles with rocks and sticks.  I took pictures.  Rob and I sat on some rocks for a while.  Beth and Mark (younger than we are) ran with the kids.  Kayla discovered some pretty rocks she wanted to take home.  I found a sandstone "skull" with round spots for the eyes and nose and the remnants of a sea creature making a beak-like mouth.  The sandstone took a ride home with me.  I loved how the iron pyrite in it made it glisten in the sun and the reddish and gray colors swirled around each other.

Tired, Rob and I called the girls to go home.  We hugged Beth and Mark, the kids complaining that it was much too soon.  Isn't it always when a serendipity comes along?  Daily life just has to step in to end it.

For your perusal I have added pictures above, without comment.  Just enjoy. 

God's blessings be upon you today. 


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

From Here to San Diego


On Tuesday we took off for Sea world.  It was a beautiful day despite predictions of rain. We didn’t get a drop. As you can see by the pictures I have attached, we had a wonderful time. We got to see 3 shows. First we saw The Pet Show with dogs, cats, some birds and a couple of pigs. It was wonderful. The girls got their picture taken with a Clydesdale horse.

Then we shopped and went to see the Shamu Show. I had forgotten how magnificent killer whales could be. There were lots of great "soakings" as Shamu spit and splashed water into the audience. Some weren’t ready for that much water and ran to higher ground. Rob and I were safe about 20 rows up.

Lunch was an all-you-can-eat barbecue which we enjoyed thoroughly. Rob filled his plate to the brim and ate it all! The girls had all the food and desserts their bodies could stand and I had some chicken, sausage and good salads.

After the Shamu Show, we got separated from Lupe and Andrea. With our hearts in our throats, we sent Kayla back into the stadium twice to look for them. The last time, she came back with a worker who took us to Lost & Found, where we reported them missing. I was nearly in tears as the call went out to every employee of the park. I was panicked, but made a call to our friend Ruth and asked her to pray for us. Not three minutes after I made the call for prayer, Rob saw the girls wandering in the area near where we were. When I finally had my arms around them, I cried with relief.

Next stop for the girls was in a water play area where they could swim and slide and play. While they did that Rob and I took the old folk’s ride to the top of the park and rode the sky ride for a panorama of the local area. We thought it was great, but the kids on the ride (not ours) classed it as BORING. Leaving the rides, we found three drowned rats shivering and asking for the backpack so they could change clothes. Only thing . . . they didn’t pack spare clothes for Lupe. They went to get changed while we scoured the shops for sweats and a sweatshirt to put on our girl. Luckily, we found just what she needed.

To end the day, the girls went to the 4-D Haunted House while we rode up front to get the pictures taken as we entered the park. They turned out great, and as you can see above, we are presenting our first family picture for your perusal.

Ruthie had supper prepared for us when we got home. We were tired but fulfilled after a great day at Sea World.

Wednesday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast with Ruth and family and set our for San Diego Harbor. It has been a long time since I’ve been on the waterfront there. In the late 80's, I rode my bicycle there, training for the R.A.G.B.R.A.I. That is a bicycle ride across the state of Iowa which is sponsored by the Register Newspaper. But that’s another story . . . .

We found a parking place right away and offloaded right onto the waterfront. Our first stop was to watch a street magician. He was funny and did some wonderful tricks. Lupe watched in awe as things disappeared and reappeared. He told us he was from New Orleans, and that he wasn’t going back anytime soon. I can’t say I blame him.

We continued our trek down the waterfront and looked at the Navy ships there as well as the ferry that will take you over to Coronado Island. We turned around, thinking we would go into the maritime museum, but the smell of freshly cooked fish overwhelmed us and we put thoughts of eating our packed lunch right out the window. It was a good meal. Rob had oysters on the half shell, Lope fried chicken, Andrea shrimp and crab cocktail, Kayla had chowder and I had a shrimp basket. Before we left the restaurant, Kayla felt sick to her stomach. Walking along, Lupe began to say her tummy hurt. Swell. We didn’t go into the museum, rather took pictures of the 3-masted sailing ships and purchased a couple of trinkets from the gift shop.

We next stopped in Balboa Park to go to the Museum of Natural History. By this time, I was feeling a bit sick myself. We still can’t explain it, Rob ate the leftovers of our food and he didn’t have any ill effects. Maybe that’s because he has a cast-iron stomach. Or we girls are just too delicate for words.

The museum was wonderful the girls got to explore 3 levels of natural history and see a movie about the Vikings. They got bored toward the end of the movie, but Rob and I found it very interesting. We left after the movie because I was very sick to mystomach.

Back at Ruth’s we shared the adventures of the day, everyone but me scarfing down our lunch sandwiches. I went to bed and the girls watched DVD’s with Ed & Ruth. Kayla got two new aunts and an uncle, as did Lupe. Judy and Kayla formed a bond that will be there forever. It was wonderful time of visiting and seeing new things.

Guys, we had a wonderful time!  We felt like we had gone home when we arrived at Ruth n' Ed's house.  The Lord had his hand in all of it.  On the way home, we got to stop and visit with our daughter-in-law Dixie and grandkids Keri and Doug.  Keri will be 18 at the end of the month and both she and Doug are graduating from high school this year.  Isn't God good?

Blessings to you out there in J-Land and special prayers for Cliff and Donna and John and Krissy who have medical trials right now. 


Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday, Monday


This is early Monday afternoon and already I've had a full day.  For the girls, this is the first day back to school after vacation.  For Andrea, it was shots first and then school.

Unfortunately, when I got Andrea's passport in Mexico, they kept her immunization record.  When she had the citizenship physical, they gave her new immunizations and the first of 3 Hepatitis B shots.  I called for the second shot, telling them that I no longer had the receipt.  They told me no problem, we have it in the computer, just bring her in.  Last week, however, we received a note from school stating that she must update her immunizations and finish the last HepB shot. 

We returned to the original clinic this morning for the shots.  The computer lady remembered us, but said they could not give the 3rd shot without the receipt, that any further shots would also require an office visit fee.  Much to my dismay, their fees added up to over $300!!  I asked them to look up the receipt (we paid an additional $80 at her physical to complete the HepB series) and she said that it would take at least a week. They had a copy of her shots on file as well (somehow the card has gone missing) but they could not even pull that up for us.  I was so angry that I started to cry.  I hate when I do that.  We walked out.  Poor Andrea!  She had steeled herself for the needles and they didn't happen.  She thought my tears were her fault.  I reassured her that they weren't.

I think the biggest anger I felt was the greed at that particular clinic.  It is the clinic where most of the Mexicans in that town go.  These are people who are legal or illegal aliens working in the fields.  My blood was boiling.

What has happened to us?  Is the almighty dollar so much more important than health care or caring at all for that matter?  I don't know why I am so dismayedtoday.  I guess I just hadn't seen it to this degree.  The rates they gave me were the discounted costs.  I know that the cost of living has risen everywhere, but we were treated so harshly.  It wasn't necessary.

Next stop was the little county health facility where we were told that they no longer had a clinic there.  She was pleasant and quick to give me the address of the clinic in Ventura proper.  She even gave me the phone number in case I got lost.  I bet she gets paid about the same or less than the women at the other clinic.  She was just so sweet, apologizing that we would have to go to yet another place.

Andrea's arms were tense as we drove on back to Ventura.  Poor kiddo - out of the car twice for anticipated needle sticks. I expected the larger facility to be crowded, but it wasn't.  We waited just a couple of minutes and the receptionist called us up.  I explained our plight and she said they could do the immunizations there, but needed the shot record.  My face fell, but she explained that I could go to the school for a copy of what they had and bring it back, no problem.  I asked how much the shots would cost.   "$15" she said.  "Each?" I wanted to be prepared.  "No for all of them."  I felt like crying. 

I called the school and asked if they would have a copy of her record for me to take to the heath center and they said they would.  True to word, Peggy had it on her desk and ready when we came through the door.  Back to the health center.  I paid my $15 gladly and we sat down to wait for the nurse.  Andrea didn't have 4 shots as we thought, she had 7!!!  

The nurse was so nice.  She put 4 shots in one arm and 3 in the other so quickly that Andrea had no time to cry or complain.  She made us a new card and an official record for the school and told us she needed 1 shot in a month and 2 more in six months. 

I learned a lot today.  Stuff I guess I knew before but forgot - where you go is often more important than anything.  I've been to county offices before in my life and have never been treated with such respect.  I give this county and their health care staff an A+.

Still on the agenda is some work in the laundry room, more bedroom revamping and getting a chance to rest.  After I make dinner, of course.

Please pray for Rob.  His back and leg are hurting terribly.  I forced him to take it easy, but I would like for him to be out of pain.  While you are praying, lift up our friends here in J-Land who are ill or in need and lift up our Pam's grieving family.

Be blessed in Him today, 



Photo Scavenger Hunt #71

This week's Scavenger Hunt by  Krissy is asking for a tree or a bush.  While we were in San Diego last week (yes I am going to do a vacation entry), we saw this beautiful tree in front of the Museum of Natural History.  I really love trees!


Be blessed today, Penny

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Do Not Disturb


It's lovely here today.  The sun is shining, the air is crisp and we are getting ready to fellowship with our church family.  I really look forward to going every week.  We have really bonded with this church family since we started attending about a year ago after church-hopping for a few weeks.

Yesterday, 3 young people from the church came over to do some yard work for us.  They have been working odd jobs to pay for a leadership camp they will be attending this week.  Not only did they do a great job, they were a good example for our two girls.  They lovingly and gently corrected them when they began to discuss the "popular" stuff they were learning at school.  It was much better than we could have done (we have tried!).  I thank the Lord for them.

I was playing a little Pogo this morning, watching the conversations over in the chat box.  I rarely join in on that.  I've been pretty quiet this morning.  Reflective I guess, and not had much to say to anyone.  Coffee didn't perk me up.  I just buried myself in the game and read along.  One comment stuck.  "I'm in on of my 'do not disturb' moods this morning"  That's me today! I'm not angry or frustrated, just pensive and want to be left alone to my thoughts.  You can guess that I'll steal that expression and use it from time to time.  My long-ago friend Harvey says that if you use an expression 3 times, its yours.  I'm claiming it.

I do have some cool news to report:  we are leaving tomorrow morning for our trip to San Diego and Sea World.  Also on Tuesday I will celebrate 30 years of sobriety.  It should be a great week for us all.  Please pray for traveling mercies for us and for an upcoming challenge that my Rob has in his life. 

One more thing.  I have been drinking twice-daily "cocktails" of Ageless Xtra and am feeling sooo good most of the time.  It's put a little spring in my step.  Along with the loss of 25 unwanted pounds, I am truly making progress in my challenge to be present as much as possible for the girls as they grow up.  You can go visit Darlene and she will tell you all about the Ageless Xtra. (by the way, it's not a weight loss drink!  Rob and I are dieting together!) Rob is also drinking it.  WooHoo!

I am off to church now with Rob and Lupe.  She looks like a little doll this morning.  Be blessed this day,




Thursday, April 6, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Good Thursday evening, friends.  It's the end of a pretty long day for me.  Life around our house is much busier now that we have 3pre-teens.  I just found out that Laura from Adventures in Juggling has a Thursday Thirteen meme. I guess you can write just about anything you want for it.  I'm going to look backwards at my day and let you know.

1. Get up early to help 3 little girls get ready for school.

2. Check e-mail and drink coffee while girls get ready.

3. Girls, Rob and I take time for a song and prayer together.

4. Andrea and Lupe run to catch special ed bus while Kayla gets in car with Rob for ride to school.  I drink 2nd cup of coffee.

5. Play 15 minutes of Pogo (well, maybe a few minutes longer.)

6. Get ready and head for work.

7.  Call friend Ruth to confirm plans for our stay with her while visiting Sea World next week.

8. Get to work, run mail through stamp machine and go to post office.

9.  Open office and get ready for the day.

10. Look frantically for Lupe's lab slip so I can make an appointment. (Left it on the bed at home!)

11. Add a program to work computer, rent two units call software support and field calls from customers.

12. Receive call from Lupe's lawyer about her placement here, settle some things and ask for death certificate on Angie.

13. 6:05 pm - lock up office, jump in car for ride home, letting Rob know by cell that I'm on the way.  Arrive home, check homework have supper and slide into bed for a little R & R with the 'puter.

There's a lot of stuff inbetween, but I get so lost in the details that I forget to count.  Laura has always been one of my favorites and I just don't have the time I used to for visiting blogs and leaving comments, etc.  Go on by her blog and see how she juggles her life with work, husband, 5 kids and a lot of joy.

Be blessed tonight,


Sunday, April 2, 2006

From the Mouths of Babes


Before this Sunday becomes blurred into the rest of the week, I need to tell you about last Sunday's worship service. 


The kids were sharing an interpretation of the songs we were singing.  As we sang "You died upon the cross . . ." their arms were outstretched.  I caught this photo and a few more.  Andrea is in the pink and Kayla in brown.  What you can't see is Lupe in front of the church trying to copy them.  As they danced, she danced.  It was wonderful.

After the children were finished, we had a time of prayer, first with a partner then calling out a prayer if we had one for the Lord.  The music was playing softly in the background as member after member spoke their love and petitions.  Then suddenly, a small and hard to understand voice rang out: "Thank you for my mommy and daddy, bless my mom . . ." Peoples voices hushed, the music stopped and a little girl poured out her soul to the Lord.  I caught my breath and began to cry. I'm told many others did as well.  It was our Lupe.  Tears streamed down my face as she shared her thankfulness to Him.  It was like the sound of a perfect crystal bell, full of resonance and lacking any trepidation.

Sometimes we get so involved with the day to day stuff and we sort of ignore what Lupe is doing or thinking.  She doesn't say much during our twice daily family prayer.  Apparently she knows deep in her heart that the Lord hears her whether she speaks aloud or not.

I pray today that you will allow your voice to ring out as a sweet perfume unto the Lord, knowing that no matter what, He is always there.