Friday, December 12, 2014

Let there be Light

 A pink December sunset floated above our truck as we headed downtown to see the 60th annual lighting ceremony of the courthouse.

Light warmed the shop windows on Whiskey Row.  But across the street the courthouse was dark, and hundreds of people stood on the grass, along the sidewalk and in the street whispering and waiting.

Then a loud voice said, "Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus.... "
"And Joseph went up from Galilee...."
the voice continued to read through the scriptures, stopping every so often for a choir of all ages to sing a carol "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem..."

When the voice said  "And there appeared a multitude of angels singing 'Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth goodwill to men.'" 
SUDDENLY the lights went on!

Then everyone broke into a rousing chorus of Jingle Bells. Larry and Julie, and other friends joined us for the evening.

Afterwards Julie borrowed our camera and we followed her to the foot of the courthouse steps where she took this picture. Many families climbed the steps and took their annual Christmas portraits.

The evening ended...but the story continues...
"And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."

God has made himself known to us, through sending his Son Jesus, to tell us about his love for us. And Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, will have eternal life."

What good news this is to all who put there faith in him!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Biking the Neighborhood

The phone rang at 6:42 in the morning. A call from South Carolina--from someone thinking it was 9:42.   After the call, I thought I might as well get up and do something constructive.  I had never seen the neighborhood in the early morning light, so I ventured out on my bike.
The streets were quiet.
It was fun sailing through the crisp air.
That's Granite Mountain. It's 7600 feet, but you would never know it. Our neighborhood is at about 5400 feet.

A little fall color.
Ooops a little blurry. These hills rise up north west of us. I like their shape.

Over to the top right is can't quite see it. It's about 50 minutes away.

 Back home again. Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mom's Induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame

Mom asked my brother and I to introduce her at the awards luncheon.

She has been ranked nationally and internationally in Senior Women's Tennis.
Her father bought her a racket when she was a little girl, and taught her to play. She is now 83.
Relaxing afterwards.
Mozart was our photographer. He finally got in a picture.
Putting my feet in the Pacific before returning to Arizona.
Mozart and my brother enjoying Corona Del Mar.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

About the Neighbors...

About 60 "hot rods" are making a trip from Texas to California, and decided to stop off in Prescott to visit a very good friend, Jack, who lives next door to us.  Jack and Sandy had the travelers over for a Mexican dinner, and invited us too.  (They had no choice---as we would be buried in cars.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Don't Upset the Neighbors

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned I would introduce you to our new neighbors. So here they are...

I'll start by saying that when Mozart and I returned from an errand in town, We found our son sneaking around a Manzanita bush with his camera.

“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Taking a picture of a snake.”
I thought he was kidding.
“It’s in the bushes—do you want to see it?
He wasn’t kidding.

“I held him.”
 “You what?”
“It’s a gopher snake. I picked him up. Then when I put him down he went for the bush.”

Sure enough, he had crawled into a bush—then upwards. He threaded himself through some branches and looked quite relaxed now that he was suspended 4 feet off the ground.

Last night we had a family of Javelinas grazing behind our house. “They are just fine unless they feel cornered,” a neighbor told us. "You don't want to upset them."

We have also met our Italian neighbors, Michellina and Orego, who live next door. Michellina shoos Javelinas away with her broom. "Sometimes they just stara at me like I'm crazy." And once she had a mountain lion lounging in her oak tree. She explained there are more animals in our area now, because of last year's forest fire several miles away.

The neighbor on the other side of us builds race cars. Six are in his garage. Mozart and I were glad about his occupation—as we had worried they might be bothered by our motorcycle noise.  
Trying to kick start my bike--about to give up.
 “Oh don’t even worry about it,” said his wife, rolling her eyes.

And last weekend I met the neighbors across the street. Susie and her husband have just finished building a small art studio. They had an open house including a pillow buying party. Michellina and I decided to go together.

On the afternoon of the party I walked through the trees to Michellina's house carrying a basket of homemade chocolate chip cookies for Susie.  I felt like little Red Riding Hood stepping through the woods hoping the big bad
Javelina didn't show up. 

The art studio had a beautiful window with a bird feeder outside, and we paused to watch assorted sparrows and blue birds enjoy a snack.

Their main house sits on a hill and I have often stared at it from our house across the street--a little jealous that they have a great view of the sunsets. When I mentioned this too them they said it was so hot up there with the afternoon sun, that they were jealous of our house sitting down in the trees.
Our house in the trees
It’s not easy getting to know the neighbors when you live 2 acres apart. But once you meet them, you realize how nice it is to know them!  


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Little Busy Over Here

Okay. There is too much on my "To Do" list.  What to do?  I will make a list of everything and will structure my time. I know from experience, that if I do this, it will free up my time.


Monday is a day to shop
buy the food and spend a lot

On Tuesday get an early start
write song descriptions for Mozart

Clean the toilets, showers, sinks
sweep the patio and have a drink

On Wednesdays time to wash the tile
do paperwork, and feed the files

Sons will help me vacuum house
I'll sit quiet as a mouse

Pay the bills, and make some calls
and dream of flying tennis balls

Thursdays are for music titles
keyword searches and sorting styles

On Friday water flower pots
Do the laundry—fold a lot

Saturday make a shopping list
Plan 6 meals, and don't forget


Put the list in the car
For Monday's trip to stores afar

Sunday, Oh Sunday, I get to rest
Sit in church and gather zest

Later take a great big nap
Till the dog jumps in my lap

If I do all that's here,
stay organized, and keep God near

I'll not be running this way and that
I might even get a little fat.

Ha!  Not the best ending, but what can you expect when I'm in a hurry. I'm on my way out to have some fun!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Running Errands in Prescott

I'm taking the car on my morning errands, but first a quick spin around the neighborhood to practice my shifting...and stopping. It has been a couple of years since I've ridden, and I'm not ready to venture out on the rocky dirt roads yet.

The neighborhood is a lot of fun. People wave at me when I ride by.
Okay. I'm in the car now, and have to pick up some forms at the new doctor's office.
What kind of parking lot is this?  Hope they don't have earthquakes here.
Off to find the post office. There's "Thumb Butte" in the background, and I can see the courthouse in front of it.   I see a lot of dogs, taking their owners for a walk along the path that leads around it. The courthouse is about 100 years old.
Oh. There is the back of the post office. This is the old section of town and I feel like I'm inside one of the Jan Karon books, "At Home in Mitford."
Thankfully there is no line. Just a friendly man at the window. Afterwards I think I'll walk around and look at some of the old homes in the area, built in the mid to late 1800's. There are several long streets of Victorian Homes.
These are on Nob Hill. Someone told me it has been called "Snob Hill".

Now off to some stores. This cluster of stores are my closest shopping. It only takes 15 to 20 minutes on a two-lane highway, and the speed limit is 50 (most of the way). There is a JoAnn, Big Lot's, Tuesday Morning, the Dollar Store, and last but not least WALMART.
There are many other stores, not much further, including Albertson's, Safeway, CostCo, Sam's Club, Best Buy, Home Depot, and a big indoor mall including Dillards, JC Penney and more.  They have just about everything. Okay, I'm finally done shopping.
I can't find my car. This happens a lot. I need to pay more attention.

I must close up now. It's 11:30 p.m. The house is quiet except for the wind whistling outside. Hope you are all doing well. I'll be back in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for meeting the new neighbors.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our New Life in Arizona

Greetings from Arizona!

When one thinks of Arizona, one thinks of HEAT. But we are at about 5500 feet and the weather ranges from a high of 90 in the summer to 40 or 50 in the winter. Today it was 68. This is a picture of Lynx lake. It's about 10 minutes from downtown, and 25 minutes from our home.

For those new to my blog, my husband and I have recently moved our business to Prescott, Arizona. It was a big step, with a lot of risk. At times during our preparation we were unsure if we were doing the right thing. But I must say that God has undergirded the whole process and we are safely here, settled in, and loving everything about it. We are amazed at his grace toward us, to allow us to live in a beautiful setting (to us) and in spaces where we can see long distances, and also enjoy wild animals.

A Javalina on our property

Larry, one of Bill's closest friends decided to move here, and he and his new wife are now settling in 20 minutes from us. His friend lost his first wife due to illness a few years ago, and has recently remarried. So I am getting to know a new friend—Julie.

I have to add that yesterday Bill went off road dirt biking with Larry and another friend, Dennis. They rode into Jerome, an old mining town, for lunch. One the way back they took a trail that turned into a "rock garden" and Bill fell into a prickly pear cactus. Needless to say, they were late getting back, as Larry and Dennis had to help Bill pull needles out of his arm, cheek and boots.

My job, as soon as I get a little more settled, is to help Bill market his music. I worked for him last summer, when I was on break from my teaching job, and it went very well. I write descriptions of the music, and also come up with keywords for searches. One challenge is that I have to know what instruments are used on the tracks.
I often ask Bill "What's THAT?"
"A Shakuhachi."

We live 15 to 20 minutes from town, and on the way I see open spaces with ranches, cows, horses—with a mountain behind them. Then the open land becomes covered with pine trees. Then after that, I start seeing town. Near our house is a large segment of government land where no one can build. It's a prairie with long yellow grass and widely spaced scrubby oaks, junipers and pinion pines. This land gradually rises upwards into a mountain. Bill and I can go for walks on trails there, and we often see antelope grazing.

We do have to watch for snakes (they're hibernating now). There are not a lot of them but it's good to be aware. We have a family of javalinas come by our house about once a week, and jack rabbits spring out of the bushes in our yard. But this is not happening all at once.

Most of the time our two acres are peaceful, only with the sporadic call of a raven. And part of our yard is fenced. (A very good fence).

The stars are AMAZING. It's so DARK out here. I can find the same constellations I saw in my backyard in California, but they are surrounded by other stars of all magnitudes. Everything is blinking and shimmering like Christmas lights.  You just want to talk to God and tell him how much you love his creativity.
I also am amazed at all the different things clouds can do. Every day there is a different painting in the sky.

Please know life is not perfect...but as you can see, I'm overflowing with gratitude.

Stay awake for more about Arizona. I'll be back at the blog in one week, or maybe three--I get a little distracted here.