Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Love my Men, but...


(Oh--this is the Thanksgiving picture referred to in the previous post...the better of two.)

Back to the topic. My husband and I have been discussing the possibility of me increasing my hours at work to full time.

I've been telling my husband that life is going to change around here, if I go to work full-time. (currently I work part-time) He and the boys are going to have to help with the housework, laundry, cooking, dishes, etc, etc. Of course he says, "sure". But I'm not so sure.

My men are pretty dependent on me. It's probably my fault. It's much easier to do things myself and get them done faster and neater.

I'm not sure if I will end up going full-time---but just in case, I'm going to begin re-training my men.

My oldest son, already does his own laundry. He wears everything he owns...twice. Then he tries to stuff everything in the machine. (I had to talk to him about that because it threw the drum off the track during the spin cycle.) Then he forgets to put it in the dryer. of two weeks ago the boys are doing the dishes. The oldest on M W F and the youngest on T TH S. (Sunday everyone helps...or we eat out.) So far I've noticed that the frying pan, or any large apparatus doesn't get done. Or it is "soaking". It "soaks" all night and greets me first thing in the morning. Last night, I helped one boy clean the kitchen. One hour later the other boy made nachos and salsa for "dessert" and left grated cheese on the counter, salsa in the sink, and his plate in the living room.

I'll keep you posted about the training.

Any helpful hints from you working moms (or dads) out there?

My mother always gives great advice.

"Keep your sense of humor."

Have a nice day!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Picture Perfect Thanksgiving??

Here is my mother's Thanksgiving table. She always makes it look so nice.

My sister-in-law brought her puppy Maggie. It was fun to have a puppy around, even though she did chew off a section of my mother's agapantha plant, along with tearing a hole in a bag of golf tees, and a few other things.

The turkey didn't get done when it was supposed to. We finally figured out that the thermometer had slipped, and it was barely in the turkey. So we stuck it in--firmly and VIOLA--the thermometer now registered the turkey as OVERDONE.

I was looking forward to getting a picture of the 4 of us, but my husband and oldest son got into a disagreement shortly before picture time...which made a very interesting picture. I'm going to have to try for another picture at Christmas!

However, we did have a nice time. I was able to visit with my Great Aunt Elsie who is pictured in the post below. She is 95, and she told me she has a friend who is 102. My great-aunt is actively involved in her church and gets together with her friends often.

My oldest son became bored after dinner so he went downstairs into his grandfather's workshop and started to weld.(!)

Speaking of my dad's workshop...the large paper-mache giraffe is coming along. He's working on the tongue. Next time I'm down, I'll give you a picture update.

I did the dishes with my dad. Due to our turkey fiasco, the turkey bag broke and the juice cooked onto the oven. My dad decided to try out the oven's self-cleaning capability. When he turned it on, all the lights in the house dimmed. When we checked it later, nothing looked clean. Dad kept tinkering with it most of the night.

In all the hub-bub we didn't realize that Maggie had disappeared. Maggie lives three hours from this neighborhood, so if she got out...she would certainly be lost. Thank goodness she was found...outside...taking a walk under the block away.
In conclusion, we had a great day.

And we really enjoyed the pumpkin, pecan and cran-apple pies!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Great Aunt Elsie makes the best gravy! She's 90-something. I'll see her on Thanksgiving, which will be at my parents home this year.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Southern California Autumn

Welcome to our street. I wanted to show you that we have seasons here. least on our street we have them.

I might mention it was 90 degrees today. But only for about an hour.

The view...standing in front of our California cottage. You'll notice it's trash day.

Click on the picture and you will feel like you are here.

...even the beach has seasons. Where is everyone?

I live about an hour from the beach...but I managed to get down here a couple of weeks ago...on my way home from the Dead Sea Scrolls experience.

It's kinda nice being alone at the beach.

to think...

to pray...

to breathe

I love to watch the waves.

And collect shells.

Hold still...aim the close will he come?


I must be going soon.

It's so hard to leave!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

God Can Do the Impossible

It has been a rough Sunday morning.

It's spiraling downwards.

Lord, if you can put the stars into place,
you can put my son in the right place.

If you can place the earth in just the right spot,
you can place my son in the right spot.

If you can truly heal our physical and spiritual being,
you can heal my son.

If you are truly a Shepherd, you will not rest until my son is back in the flock.

If you are truly a Savior, you will save him.

I choose to trust you...right

and tomorrow

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Over the Wall

My 85-year-old friend and neighbor, who recently passed away, is responsible for a traffic jam on our street today. Her two daughters held an estate sale. Jean has lived on our street for 55 years.

(Here is a picture of her back yard)

I was up early this morning, as our bedroom smoke detector started chirping at at 5:00 AM. With a flashlight and a stepping-stool I extracted the battery and went back to bed. So much for my one morning a week to sleep in!

Since I had told Jean's daughters I would help with the sale, I headed next door fairly early. I was given an apron with big pockets and told I was in charge of the glassware and kitchen misc. in the backyard.

Three long tables held a crockpot, stoneware, colored glass bowls, frying pans, stemware, muffin pans, serving spoons, flatware, plastic flowered plates, cake pans, roasting pans, and this and that. Neighbor Felix, who actually grew up across the street (he's now 55) decided to be in charge of security. He kept the early bird customers on the lip of the driveway until we were ready.

Equipped with a calculator, a tablet of paper, pen, and wads of cash in my pocket I nervously waited for the dam to break. Felix finally stepped aside and everyone charged up the front walk and into the house. Several went straight out the back door and came face to face with me. My first sale was to a male customer who wanted the ceramic mother duck and her 2 ducklings standing under a shrub. I checked to see if they were for sale--yes they were--$3.00 please. He also wanted the 2 foot ceramic deer standing by another shrub.

A male customer, about 30 years old, stepped past the typewriter, the laundry sacks, hard blue luggage, and lace doilies. "I feel like I'm in a time warp." he said.

This would be a perfect post for pictures, but I was a little busy....yet actually, I did think about taking pictures, but I wasn't sure how to explain why I was photographing the yard sale. Many of my neighbors would not be familiar with blogging. And if they did visit my blog, what would they think about being the main "characters" in my neighborhood-novelette?

Later, when things slowed down, I returned to my side of the wall and began to water my very dry garden. Suddenly some small fingers appeared on the top of the wall, then a head bobbing up and down.
"Hi! What are you doing?" said a little girl's voice.
I had met Jill, Jean's great-grand-daughter, for the first time earlier that day at the yard sale.
"I'm watering."
"Can I come over?"
"Okay," I said. I grabbed a nearby ladder, drug it over and leaned it against the 5 foot wall. I helped her over. She stared at my tree swing.
"Would you like to swing?"
Then...another set of hands appeared on the wall. Jean's great-grandson's head appeared.
"Can I come over?"
"Sure." I walked over to the ladder.
" I don't need any help."
"Okay." I said as I watched him climb half way down the ladder then leap onto the dirt.
They wanted to "help" me. So they pulled some weeds. (Mostly the tops). And every 5 minutes they made a trip over the wall and back.

Well....this is what life's all about. Great-grandma Jean has passed on. But she has left many good things behind. A wonderful family...neighbors...and for me...I've got 2 new friends—not to mention a metal colander, 2 muffin tins, serving spoons and a cheese slicer.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Grandma's Old Blue Book

When I was a child, my summer days were often spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s house—a little white house with sweet peas growing along the front path. Sometimes I visited for an afternoon, and other times for a whole week. When my parents had a meeting or a trip, I would be deposited on the front steps along with my roller skates.

In the morning Grandma and I would water the azalea garden, then sit on the lawn chairs, as still as statues, about six feet from the hummingbird feeder. If we held our breath long enough we were rewarded by a buzz of tiny wings and soon the feeder would be hovering with miniature “helicopters.”

But the best time of day came in the afternoon when Grandpa took his nap. Grandma said that we must be very quiet. So we cuddled up on the soft tan couch and read one of Grandma’s favorite books, Alice in Wonderland. She had a very old copy in blue. Although I could barely read, we would take turns—each of us reading a page. Grandma patiently listened to me sound out my letters and stayed right by my side as I made the long journey from the top to the bottom of the page.

I thought the book was a bit odd with its peculiar creatures and talking playing cards. But reading “Alice” with Grandma was fun. When she read, the characters blossomed to life, as if they were standing right next to us. After sifting through page after page of little black letters…how exciting to finally arrive at a colorful glossy picture!

When the day was over, I would retire to my father’s former bedroom which now had white lacy curtains and petunias on the walls. Grandma and I knelt beside the bed to say prayers. After I climbed into bed and pulled the crisp white sheets up to my chin, Grandma blew me a few kisses and disappeared just like the Cheshire cat. I would lie awake thinking about rabbit holes and what I might do if I fell into one. And if I couldn’t go to sleep I would slip out of bed and sneak down the hallway. If I carefully peeked around the corner, I could see Grandma and Grandpa sitting by the fireplace—Grandpa in his green easy chair working crossword puzzles, and grandma reading her Bible.

Alice in Wonderland now sits on my father’s bookshelf. Someday the blue book will rest in my home. And when I’m a grandmother, I might slip the blue book from the shelf and curl up with my grandchildren and take a journey down a rabbit hole.

Although Grandma’s favorite book will always hold a special place in my heart, I’m thinking about coming up with my own book to pass down to my grandchildren—a big green book. We will patiently plow through its pages and be swept away to a place called Middle Earth, where we will meet another set of peculiar creatures—dwarves, elves and hobbits.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm Entering a Carnival

I love to visit Janey Loree's blog Mustang 'n' Cowboys. I love the stories of how her sons train wild Mustangs. But oh dear...her two boys just moved to Texas and took their horses with them. Janey misses them dearly, but on the bright side, the boys have been taking pictures and Janey posts photos of their adventures.

Janey is hosting her first blog carnival! The "Authors go GONZO! Carnival" and its slated for November 5, 2007. Janey says, "Share about the book(s) you have written or are in the process of writing. Who is your favorite author and/or what book series holds that special place on your bookshelf or what book based movie, in your opinion, is not as good as the book!" Everyone is welcome to enter!

I will be entering a post entitled, "My Grandmother's Old Blue Book." It will be posted here in a few days!

Unusual occurrences happen in blog world, and Janey and I have experienced this! Shortly after I stumbled upon her blog Notes that Touch the Heart (by way of Pieces of Me) I found myself reading a post by Janey which described an area in Arizona connected with her roots. My husband had roots there too. And it turned out both of our families had land there...and then we found that some of her family members and my husband's family members had the same last name. It turns out that Janey is a cousin!—related to my husband by the marriage of her grandfather! That was a nice surprise!

Okay—back to the subject at hand. If you enjoy books, authors and writing, stop by and visit the carnival on November 5th. And if you're feeling's not to late to enter!