Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here is our family Christmas picture. That's my dad on the right, with my mom in the middle. My first born is the tallest. (I really need to think of some names for these kids besides first born and second born.)
Here is second born. He doesn't know what's in the bag yet...but it's slippers!

Now that I have a family Christmas picture, I'm thinking of sending out some cards. Yes, I know I'm late!

Tonight both boys are out, so Mozart and I rented a movie - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We are going to barbecue sausages. This will happen after Mozart stops composing. He said "Let's eat late." Well what about my stomach? I'm hungry now!

I stepped outside and was greeted by the waxing cresent moon with Venus dangling below like a jewel. I was ankle deep in yellow Ginko leaves. Our fall came late this year. The beauty of the night made me think of God our creator. I prayed for our family and for the New Year.

I think I'll go back out and pray for all of friends and family.

Then maybe Mozart will be ready to eat!

Happy New Year to all of you!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You want to live WHERE?

I had to tell Mozart that this was a little too far out. Yes...I do want to get away from the crowds, but I might want some trees.

Okay...a nice balcony view of trees. How much is fire insurance?

This is nice. But a little too expensive.

On the road...

Let's drive to Phoenix and look in the town of Anthem.

I liked this home! But the weather is 118 degrees for 4 months.
The picture is off-center and focusing on the garage because we have four drivers in the family--and potentially need a spot for C. to work on his car.

This was sort of a "retirement" community feel. I wonder if they would like the sound of my youngest son's drums, and the look of tools strewn on the driveway when my oldest son needs to work on his car. Then there are dirt bikes...

A few more pictures back towards COOLER Prescott. You can see the road cut in the mountain that leads up toward Prescott. Click on the picture and you'll feel like you're there.

I just had to show you these cute Victorian homes in Prescott. You can get one for a good price...but they take a lot of upkeep.

We found a community of rustic homes. (Just above our price range.)

Picture taken in the early morning, on our way to Phoenix.

And coming God's fingers stretching over the desert.

The home search will continue. We planned to drive through Northern California and up to Oregon this week, but due to the snowy roads and passes and my cold, we'll wait.

We'll have a quiet New Year celebration at home.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Arizona!

In Prescott we stayed in a hotel built in 1872.

Oh how one forgets how beautiful Arizona can be...

More pictures coming later!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Arizona in December

Have you ever seen a Saguaro cactus dressed up in Christmas lights? Only in Arizona. I know its hard to think of Arizona as "Christmasy" but those Arizonians can really decorate! We stayed in Prescott the first 2 nights. The town was founded in 1871 and many of the original buildings and Victorian homes still line the streets. The courthouse is the centerpiece of town and people come from all around to view the Christmas lights around the courthouse and down the quaint streets.

Further out of town are the more modern homes. This is where Mozart and I ended up the next day. Prescott is spread out in every direction and it took most of the day to explore different areas. I will try to post some pictures, but I can't find the CD right now.

And I'm typing 80 wpm because I'm quite busy. I am working 3 part time jobs and we don't even have our tree up yet. The trip set me behind as far as Christmas preparations, but we are doing a simple Christmas this things will work out.

Regarding Christmas. I haven't had time to do ANYTHING...but most amazingly Christmas keeps coming to me. What I mean of my jobs was to take the older woman I care for to her grandson's Christmas program at our local public high school. It was wonderful to hear so many Christian carols. One teen girl sang "O Holy Night" and the final number was the Hallelujia Chorus. As the teens were singing the chorus, people began to stand up in the audience (of 600). Pretty soon the whole audience was standing, and the students sang "and He shall reign for ever and ever!" I don't know if they knew the gravity of what they were singing, but God was there!

Christmas came to me as I had the opportunity to share the Christmas story with the 6th grade students in my Special Education class.

A storm brought Christmas to me. Our local mountains have snow...and they rarely do. They look so beautiful.

Christmas came to me in Scottsdale Arizona, as Mozart and I visited the church of an old friend and enjoyed the special Christmas music. Mozart had done an arrangement for their orchestra and it was fun to hear it played.

So I may not have any Christmas decorations up and we are a bit low on gifts, but the fresh cool breath of Christmas is in the air. I am learning that I can let things slide. And everything will be okay.

God brought Christmas to me. That's the best gift!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 7

Oh My! I'm too busy to post.
Mozart has decided that we are going out of town.

More later!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


A glimpse of our day...

Aunt Elsie is 96. She enjoyed being the first one through the food line.

And a rare event. I was actually able to take a picture of both sons together. My eldest is the blond on the left. The youngest is on the right.

My husband and son are hiding from the camera while cousin Larry loads his plate. My mother scampers by with a pot.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm going to try to stay in the spirit if Thanksgiving. I fall into the bad habit of dwelling on the dark side. But God has brought us many blessings. Remember that old hymn? Count your many blessings--and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Living Adjustments-Matilda and Me

I can't believe what just happened! Thirty seconds ago it started to RAIN! We haven't had rain in so long. It has been warm and dry in Southern California.

Today I told my younger son that our family has been in Southern California for almost 100 years. He actually was interested and asked me a few more questions. (He's 17.) My great-grandparents lived in Scotland. When Great-grandfather, Alex, heard about the beauty of California, he thought he might come over and invest in some orange groves. He ended up moving the whole family...his wife and four young daughters--my grandmother being one of them. Many years later she met and married my grandfather. They met in the mountains!

So back to Southern California. I'm in a daze...about "moving". We are not making our house payment due to a slow down in my husband's job. It's been a 3 year slow down. And it's not good to continue to dip into our savings account to make house payments. So we are thinking of selling and using what (shrinking) equity we have to buy a home in a less expensive area.

Below is my favorite place to walk--the Arboretum. My grandmother (from Scotland) and my grandfather (from New Jersey) met in these mountains and were married soon after.

We may move to Northern California or Oregon--or we might go to Arizona. My husband loves the Arizona landscape. What do I want? Somewhere that is not too cold and not too hot. I don't want a lot of snow. A tiny bit...okay. I don't want to live in Phoenix where it is 115. And we need a community college for the boys, and elementary schools for me so I can continue working in Special Ed.

What will Mozart do? Continue composing--and selling his music--but he will need another side business. And it's scary moving away from Los Angeles where the entertainment industry is--where our income comes from.

Part of me is very excited about this. It's quite crowded in Southern California, and I'd love to move to a place where I can enjoy nature more. (But we have to make a living) - so one must be careful and keep these matters in prayer.

Back to family history--I also told my son we had fought in the Revolutionary War and my g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather had fed Washington's troops because he owned a large mill in New Jersey...and the soldiers were passing through. He rallied everyone in the area to help out. More about this...

My grandfather (on my father's side) was born in New Jersey. Our family had been in New Jersey since the 1600's...and helped found the colony of Elizabethtown. Grandpa left New Jersey in the early 1900's when he was 16 years old and came out to California. He traveled with his mother and his little brother.

Why did grandpa leave New Jersey? It seems my great-grandfather had taken up with another woman. So my independent New Jersey great-grandmother Matilda rounded up her sons--my grandfather and his little brother--and headed for California. She supported herself working as a seamstress. Many of her clients were affluent and great-grandma Matilda would stay in their homes for a week or two while she made upholstery and drapes.

Grandpa's little brother, Merrill, would accompany his mother to these large homes. He often found himself wandering outside in the beautiful gardens. When Merrill grew up he became a landscape architect. Grandpa (at 16) took up smoking cigarettes and got a job at Sears. (He told us he once saw Charlie Chaplin come in.) He later became an oil man working for General Petroleum in Taft.

I will be seeing Merrill's wife on Thanksgiving. She is in her 90's and is still very involved in her church, as well as keeping her home. We will spending the afternoon and evening at my parents home on the coast. I'm bringing mashed potatoes. (Yes, I got off easy.) But I'll probably be doing the dishes!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Count your blessings! You'll be surprised how many there are!

For the Lord is good; His mercies are everlasting and his truth endures for all generations.
Psalm 100

Monday, November 10, 2008

Asking For Strength

One day, I asked God to give me strength.
I was laying face down on the bed—-spent.
I couldn't take another step forward in this journey.
I was emotionally drained...and I was a prisoner to my circumstances.

I reached for my Bible.
God showed me this verse.

"This is what the Soveregn Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

'In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.'"

I felt immediate relief. I didn't have to strive, or to accomplish anything. I needed to be quiet, and to trust. I also needed to pray and keep my heart right (repent) and rest in the God of my salvation.

I peeled myself off the bed, and began to undertake my tasks, once again. I said the words, "quiet" and "trust" over and over again. What comfort I received!

Sometimes I mistakenly think that my efforts and striving are essential to fix my situation. I forget that God is running the show...not me. He doesn't always need my help...he needs my trust...a quiet trusting heart.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What Have I Been Doing?

Watching the grass grow

And washing about 25 living room curtain sheers. I could only dry them 3 at a time or the line would sink to the ground.

It only took them 10 minutes to dry because it was 90 degrees and breezy last week.

The weather is finally cooling down now. We even had a light rain yesterday. Perfect for growing grass. This is the area where I planted the grass. The tufts you see, (pictured below) are mature marathon long fescue grass. I pulled out the weeds...and retained the older grass. The new grass will fill in.

I have also been busy, because my husband decided to sell the house, and called a realtor. Yikes.

And this weekend we drove to some rural areas to look at homes. I'll tell you more about that later. I have to say, however, this is something we have talked about for a long time. I just didn't think it would happen so soon. We may end up NOT selling. Especially since our house is sinking in price.

A lot to think about.

Election tomorrow.

My son is still drifting.

But there is hope.
Prayers are heard. God is faithful. And my younger son is doing well, and Mozart just finished 3 days of working on a Portugese film...and the grass is filling in.

P.S. My Special Ed. job has been busy and rewarding. And I enjoy my afternoon job of being a caregiver/companion.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Will Supply All Our Needs

If you are a parent with a child who has special needs, our church is the place to go. We have a great Special Needs ministry. Parents are supported by trained caregivers who supervise your child while you attend church and Sunday School. We also have a playground that is "Special Needs Friendly." Last Saturday I participated in a fundraising walk for our Special Needs ministry.

Then...on Sunday, we planted grass by the back door. I'm very excited about this. I'm tired of looking at the dirt. I'll post another picture when the grass starts filling in.

Don't you just love Mozart's decorative red air compressor on the porch. His friend was cleaning out his garage and Mozart came home with it. "This is great. We can pump up our motorcycle tires, blow air off the porch and use it with air tools."As soon as the grass is up, I'm transferring the wonderful machine to the shed.

And my son is still elsewhere. He has been out for two weeks. It's very hard on my mother's heart. Especially when he shows up looking tired and worn and hungry. You see, it was our decision to turn him out...due to a wrong choice he made. I'm anxious to have him relieve my stress...but it's not time yet. (We do let him eat when he shows up hungry.)

When he does come brings a different stress. It seems there is no comfortable solution. And he needs to find a job before he comes home...because when he's seems he relaxes too much and is not motivated to find a job.

The job with the family friend that I met on back-to-school night hasn't happened. The work that our family friend was expecting, hasn't come in yet. I'm not sure if it will.

A friend in my Moms In Touch group has housed him for a few nights. I'm so thankful for that.

So one must trust God. And take things one day at a time.

My life has been full. My job at the school has been busy, and I also have an afternoon job as a caregiver.

Then of course there's the work at home...and trying to re-organize our money due to our country (and the world's) economic situation.

We truly are living in interesting times. I keep up with all the business news. I think I have found a new interest: Economics

I'm glad that underneath all of this...God is in control!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

God's Gift at a Yard Sale

Saturday, on the way to the grocery store, I passed a home with lot's of boxes, books and bikes sitting in the front yard. Clothes were stacked on tables. A yard sale! I decided to pull over and take a look. Maybe I would find some old towels. With three men in my home, my housekeeping rags and towels are always disappearing. Sometimes they reappear, with oil and grease on them!

And I love looking at books. As I flipped through the books, one caught my eye. "31 Days of Praise". I almost left it there, but I kept coming back to it. It occurred to me that although I pray often, I don't PRAISE often.

I bought the book...and I found some towels too! ($1.00 for everything.)

This book has been such a blessing to me.

Here are some portions of today's praise-Day 11.

Thank you that in your gracious plan to bless and use me, you've allowed me to go through hard times, through trials that many people go through in this fallen world. How glad I am that you're so good at reaching down and making something beautiful out of even the worst situations.

How encouraged I am when I think how you did this for his brothers hated and abused and betrayed him, and how you worked these things out for blessing, both for Joseph and his family and for countless other people.

I'm so grateful that all my past circumstances were permitted by you to make me see my need for you and prepare my heart for your draw me to yourself, and to work out your good purposes for my life.

I rejoice that you are the blessed Controller of all things.

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:18

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers with Warren Myers
For more about the book click above.

Update: My son is supposed to start a new job next week with the man I met on Back-to-School night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Weekend Alone

While Mozart was in Big Bear for the weekend, riding his motorcycle through the mountains, I decided to go see the movie "Fireproof". But little did I know that I was going to end up in the mountains...face to face with a bear!

Do to a mix up, I arrived at the theater 3 hours early. I didn't want to drive all the way back home due to gas, so I went for a short ride into the foothills. I was standing in a meadow, not far from a few people who were picnicing. Suddenly the picnic people scattered--grabbing their stuff-- and a bear walked up and inspected the table. Then he looked over at us hopefully. Of course we were now standing at a safe distance. A female ranger radioed for help. I debated about heading for my car...but decided to watch for a few more minutes. The bear headed for a locked trash can and inspected it. Then he checked out another table. When the bear started walking toward us, I took a few steps backwards, then very slowly walked to my car, got in, locked the door and headed down the mountain. I passed a jeep barreling up the road with three rangers in it.

What a way to kick off my weekend. By the way...the movie, "Fireproof", was good...about a young couple struggling in their marriage and how they worked through it—with help from a father—and with help from God. The movie was full of humor and emotion. The husband was a firefighter, and his life at the fire station added humor and drama to the movie. I think this is a great movie for young men to see who are contemplating marriage.

On Sunday, my youngest son and I drove to see my parents, and the four of us rode bicycles along the beach. It felt so good to get out.

My oldest son decided to meet with the man that I mentioned in my previous post. This was an answer to prayer! But he doesn't start for 2 weeks. Things are a bit dicey at home again. Some challenges here. Sometimes I'm so afraid for my son...and where his life is heading.

II Timothy 1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.

This verse always gives me confidence. And it reminds me that God believes in me. I hope it encourages you, too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Three Unexpected Events

One never knows what will happen from one day to the next.

The first unexpected event involves God surprising me at Back-to-School night.
I have been praying and wishing that my son had the type of boss that knew more about his struggles...and would give him a chance. Maybe a family friend could employ him, and be a mentor to him, as my son is beyond listening to our advice. But there is no one in our life like this.

Well...God works in the strangest places. I went to Back-to-School night for my younger son. As I walked into Science class, a husband and a wife waved at me. I looked closely and realized they were friends who I hadn't seen in years. They asked about my boys, and when I told them that my oldest son was studying welding at the junior college, the man showed immediate interest. "I always need welders," he said. I shared a tiny bit about Corey's situation, and it didn't seem to phase him. He really wanted to help. "Tell him to call me." He gave me his card. From what I remember about these friends, they are in the business of building movie sets. But that is not important...what that they have a faith in God.

So I brought the card home.

He didn't jump at it.

He glanced at the card for a second and said, "I want to apply at another place first."

I don't feel a need to argue with my son. I'll remind him from time to time and God will guide my son to this man, if it is His will. But I'm so encouraged!

The second unexpected event is that my husband has postponed my son's eviction from our home which was supposed to be on Sunday. My husband received an invitation from a friend to spend the weekend dirt biking. Mozart really needs to get out, as he's been buried under his composing for too long. He needs a break. The son doesn't know about the postponement yet. I'm delaying so he'll keep looking for a job. Yet Mozart postponed things because I certainly did not want to evict my son without my husband here.

The third unexpected event happened only a few hours ago. My husband rolled his motorcycle out of the shed and proceeded to get it ready to go riding. My oldest son and a friend were here. They watched Mozart ride the bike up and down the street. I started to feel a little happy to see Mozart and the young men together. This is the one interest that husband and son share...and it has been so long since the bikes have been out.

My son's friend, "Ax" asked if he could take a spin on the bike. My husband asked him if he had ridden before. "Yes." So Ax slid on a helmet and took off out of our driveway. He let the clutch out too fast and the bike wheelied. (Front tire up in the air.) It wheelied straight across the street and up our neighbor's driveway and crashed into their wood stairs leading up to a deck. The stairs and hand rail crumpled, the bike fell, and Ax fell against the stairs. Fortunately Ax is fine except for a ripped shirt, scrapes and bruised ribs. But the frame is bent on my husband's motorcycle. It cannot be fixed. "I guess I'm not going riding this weekend," said Mozart.

Here is Mozart doing a wheelie on his favorite bike.

Even though this is bad news, somehow I feel that God is in control, and somehow good will come out of this. So son and his friend have gone over to the neighbor and volunteered to help repair the damage. I also saw my son's compassion for his bruised friend. He waited on him hand and foot, bringing him ice, water, and he even made him dinner. He tried to console Ax feels pretty bad for wrecking the motorcycle. I also saw some compassion in my son for his father's situation. As he came into his father's office and volunteered to make him a new bike frame. (Using his welding skills.) This will not be possible, but Mozart said he appreciated my son's offer.

It turns out that Mozart will still go riding. He won't be on his favorite bike, but his riding buddy has an extra one. He is quite sad about his bike, as he has sunk a bit of money into it over the years to make it ride well. (He does have a spare bike...but it's doesn't ride like his favorite.)

Nonetheless, things are at a different angle in the household this evening. Father and son are speaking...the young men will be helping our neighbors, and I am looking forward to a peaceful weekend. (You know what I mean...when the husband is away, a wife can relax!)

Have a good weekend.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sliding Down Again

Oh dear...the interview went well, but the son is not hired.
The father placed another deadline on him. He must have a job by this coming Sunday.

Time to trust, once again. I'm re-reading parts of Allison Bottke's book "Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children." It's helping me to stay strong.

I finished "The Shack". I really enjoyed it. Now Mozart is reading it.

I'll be back soon with a longer post.

Have a nice day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This and That

I'm reading a good book. It started out a little slow. Then it sped up. Next, it seemed to get silly. Finally after reading one third of the book, it became more thought provoking. Now I'm deeply engrossed.

I asked God to read the book with me. I felt this was appropriate, as He is mentioned in the book. I wonder if God enjoys reading fiction about himself? I'm sure He is amused by it.

The book is "The Shack".

I'm enjoying it immensely. And I think it will help me as I walk through this unknown road with my son.

Speaking of my son, I have been living in dread of Sunday. That's his deadline for getting a job "or else". I didn't want to follow through on the "or else"--but I knew I must.

So after many reminders to him--throughout the week--of what might happen to he made a call. Then he came to us and said he had a job interview on Monday.

So we are giving him an extension on the "or else".

I am so relieved that I don't have to turn him out on Sunday.

Thank you so much Lord.

Change of topic.

It has been hot here in Southern California. I'm wearing shorts right now, and it's 9:00 p.m. Yet it's getting a little cooler in the morning and at night (but not much). I'm looking forward to fall...and also to rain. We are in a severe drought here.

Goodbye for now. My younger son has been patiently waiting to use the computer. (He and his brother's computer is down)

(Yes...I have the scripture verse on the computer. (I'm referring to a previous post) My oldest son has had his friends in here, using the computer. Now they all see the verse. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5,6)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prayer and Trust

It has been a hard week with the recent hurricanes battering the coast. And here in Southern California we're dealing with a train crash. Pray for those who have been affected by these hard times.

I've been thinking about our troops and trying to remember them in prayer. I ran into an old friend at the market. I hadn't seen her in years. Her son is in his 5th year of the marines and is heading toward Afghanistan this week. She said that her son said that many of the soldiers feel that we have forgotten about them. It's true. We take them for granted. At least I know I do. So I will try to pray for them every day. They are truly giving their time and their lives to make sure America—and you and I—remain free and safe.

In my own life, once again, I need to trust God for something big. My 21 year old son lost his job at the end of July, and almost 2 months later...he still is unemployed. Therefore it has happened that he must have another job by next weekend, or he will no longer be allowed to stay in our home. I am worried he will not have a job, and I am worried about what will happen to him.

It's so important that when we are going through hard times that we pause to remember how God has been faithful in the past. Even if we can only think of small things. So I will turn my mind to those things. Not long ago, God got my son a job in the nick of time, before he was ousted to the street. The Story. We don't know how things will work out in the future...but God is in the future. ..and He's got the bases covered.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Date with Mozart

Mozart and I go for a walk almost every night after dinner. It gives us the chance to talk. We can easily go through a whole day without saying anything except little snippits like...
"Have you had lunch?"
"I'm going to pick up D. from school."
"Do you know where the check book is?"

But tonight we didn't go on our usual walk. We went on an UNusual walk. It all started when we remembered that we neglected to pick up the car from the mechanic. He fixed our flat tire a couple of days ago and the car was still parked on the street next to his shop.

So around 8:00 p.m. Mozart suddenly said, "Oh..we need to get the car. Maybe we can walk up there."

"Walk all the way up there--into downtown?"

"Yeah. We'll walk up...then we'll drive the car home."

"Okay..." I was surprised at this adventurous idea coming out of Mozart.

"I'll by you an ice cream when we get there," he added.

Now he REALLY had my attention!

So we walked up our street with tall trees on both sides and the stars forming a canopy. (all 5 stars--and Jupiter) We crossed the boulevard and entered another quiet neighborhood. Finally the street became lighter with the glow of "downtown." We spotted our car, then headed to the drug store for ice cream.

Since this was an UNusual walk, I decided to order an UNusual ice cream flavor.
"One scoop coconut/pineapple in a sugar cone please."

Mozart didn't get anything. He still needed to eat dinner. (he had composed through dinner)
I don't know why I did it, but I grabbed a plastic spoon on the way out.
"Try some." I said.
This was a big mistake.
Mozart wanted another bite...then another.
And in the car on the way home..."How 'bout another taste?"

Now he wants me to find the flavor at the market.

Well I must say, inspite of the ice cream situation, I had a wonderful time! Sometimes the best things in life are free...or I should say they are only $1.29 for a scoop.


My sons have been using my computer because their computer is out of order. At first I thought of this as an imposition. But I'm coming through that now, and I think I will make the best of it. Today the idea came to tape a scripture to computer--underneath the screen. I'll change it from day to day. Maybe some verses from Proverbs?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Water: Stormy....and Still

My oldest son's birthday has come and gone and I'm sitting in the aftermath. I prayed for 2 weeks that there would be peace on his birthday, and he would some how know we loved him. But God chose not to block the strife. The strife that Satan created. (I know there are many opinions on "why bad things happen"---excuse any wrong theology here.)

It was a horrible weekend. Arguments, misunderstandings, and I watched my child suffer. There was nothing I could do but watch and listen to heartbreaking things.

Towards the end of the storm, I dropped my son off near public transportation as he wanted to go see a friend for the afternoon/evening in a fairly distant city. That night he didn't come home...nor did he come home for the next few nights. He rarely stays out overnight...but I sensed he was staying at this friends house--a family we don't know...but a family nevertheless. So I didn't worry. I just prayed for strength and wisdom to know how to proceed when he returned. He came back last night.

It seems that once I learn to trust God at a certain level, then he takes me to the next level. As soon as I'm able to trust him at that level....then he takes me to a deeper level.....And we keep going.....deeper and heavier...

The other day I said to God. "Lord! I am NOT ABRAHAM! I do not have his faith. I CANNOT sacrifice Isaac." But I fear that is where the Lord taking me. Up the hill. He wants me to sacrifice Isaac. --to give him completely over to the Lord whether he lives or dies.

I will trust him to provide a ram. (But I must trust the Lord even if he does not provide a ram.)

Okay...enough heavy stuff.

I have a blessing to share!

After I finished my summer school job, I still needed a job. The thought of working the entire summer didn't thrill me.

My friend contacted me and asked if I could work for the month of August as a caretaker/companion for her mother-in-law. (I'll call her Mrs. L.) The job is real blessing. Mrs. L. lives by herself but cannot drive and needs a little assistance and company. Mrs. L. has an organ sitting in her living room. She played for her church for 30 years. One day I talked her into playing a few pieces. We opened an old hymn book and she played while we both sang. What a unique job I have! We do spend time running to the market, doctor and pharmacy.

And a few days ago I brought her to my favorite place...the L.A. County Arboretum. The Arboretum is about 127 acres and Mrs. L. cannot walk far. I called ahead to see when the tram was running but found out it was down for repair. Oh dear! I prayed! Well the Lord answered this prayer! We ended up riding around in a golf cart with our own personal tour guide! We had a lot of fun. It was a cool morning...and the wind blew across our faces. Zoooooom! And our driver stopped whenever we wanted, so we could enjoy the sights!

I was reminded today, by Susan's post, that God leads us beside quiet pastures and still waters. He provides rest when we need it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Story of a Beach

I spent Saturday with Mom. We decided to drive to Laguna beach and walk along the bluffs.Beginning in 1903 artists began moving to Laguna. They came from all over the world. They loved the vivid colors and seaside flora. Many painted in Impressionistic style...displaying various forms of it.

It does look like a painting.
Painters still come to capture the beauty. Do you see mom strolling toward us? (white visor) She chatted and admired their work.

Oh, to peacefully paint away a summer morning!

A popular sport is to take your giant 10 foot surf board out beyond the breakers. Bring two long paddles. Stand on your board and paddle around. When you get tired, catch a wave in. These guys come in--sort of outrigger style--riding along the roll of the wave.
Next we stopped by the historic Crystal Cove Beach, and grabbed a shake at the "Shake Shack" which has been around for decades. Here is our Chocolate Mint Shake...for $4.00. We split it.

Crystal Cove was part of Rancho San Joaquin. After an interesting history...including Japanese farmers leasing the land in 1927 (only to be sent to an internment camp during WWII)---the Irvine company continued to lease the land. It was leased to filmmakers and vacationers. The beach served as a tropical movie background for Treasure Island (1918, 1934) and many other movies.

A Restored Beach Cottage ($169. per night). A very nice stair climb.

In the 1920's and 1930's the cove was a popular place to pitch a tent or rent a cottage. Eventually the State of California bought the land, and they are now in the process of restoring the old cottages (via donations) the way it originally looked in its hey day.

The beach is a bit crowded. What do you expect on a summer Saturday?

Cottage in process of restoration.

A glimpse of the dirt road leading to the beach. (No cars allowed in this area.)

Back at Laguna Beach, the shoreline is rocky, blue and beautiful.

Here we are getting our feet wet at Laguna.

We also went to see Mamma Mia!

Thanks for a great day Mamma Mia!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In Memory of Heidi

Heidi is my doggy-niece. Her family, who loved her, said farewell to her recently. She is at final rest...after a very good life. A loyal companion, a brave dog-woman, and a wonderful friend.

Here is Heidi with her mother, and her beloved younger brother "Hans" at Convict Lake. She enjoyed visiting the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She loved to hike, and was always sweet and considerate——never pulling hard on her leash.

She leaves behind a little sister, Maggie (nicknamed "Otter of the River") and little brother Samuel. Heidi was a patient older her little brother and sister often get into mischief.

Always ready for adventure, here is Heidi in her doggie-goggles.

We love you Heidi!