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.