Monday, December 04, 2006

Struggle is a Daily Thing

Isn't always interesting that when I start to pray about and deal with my worst bad habit, I get confirmation from God that this is exactly what He wants me to do? I consider my control issue to be my worst BAD HABIT. I call it a habit because when I go thru daily life, I use control as my way of coping. If I don't release it every day by addressing it first thing in the morning in prayer and trusting my Heavenly Father to look after me, I pull it back into my life. A few days go by without praying about it and I find that I am using it again.

It's a bad habit, just like chewing ones fingernails or whatever (you fill in the blanks). I have found that when I let one bad habit in, some others slide right back in as well. Next thing I know, my witness is poor again. And wouldn't you know, my unsaved husband is the first one to point it out to me.

When I walk with Jesus as my shepherd and follow His path, my burdens are light and the path is easy. I have serenity. When I walk in the flesh, I am frustrated, upset, anxious and angry. Why is the way of the flesh so hard to give up then? I think on my part, it's pride. I want to be able to say, "I did this.......I accomplished this"....I want to be praised and recognized for those things I do. I know that God is the author of all good things in my life because without Him, my life is ugly and unsatisfying.

I have had such joy since I have made a renewed committment to follow the Lord's leading in all areas of my life. I am thrilled that I can hear the Holy Spirit is letting me know when I even slightly stray from the path. I am now noticing each tiny slip that leads to a slide. I can correct the slip before it becomes serious. I love following Jesus! My life gets better every day. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Here it is again

And it’s all about – okay here’s that word once again – CONTROL. The classic Type A personality with people-pleasing thrown in.

I give to others as my way of exerting my control over people and situations, I resent their dependence on my giving and giving because now they expect it and the stress on me to perform is ever-increasing. But can I release that control? Maybe for a little bit of time, but it’s excrutiating to do so. Why can’t I just trust the Lord, be obedient to His Word and rest assured that He will look out for me? Why do I have to manipulate every situation so that I feel some measure of control? A posting I read today has made me think about these issues to the point that I must pray to my Heavenly Father to cause me to desire letting go of control. I need to give up this filthy habit. Every thing that I struggle with in my life rotates around the control issue. I can see that now. Time to pray!

I spent 2 hours looking a non-diet websites, blogs, Yahoo groups, etc. The support group I belong to has decided to follow a non-dieting approach to weight loss and healthy living. The idea is that for 25 years(or how ever long each of us has had an issue with food) dieting just hasn't worked. We are now set to begin eating smaller portions and only when we are hungry. We have to reprogram our way of thinking about food. No BAD foods. Eat when hungry and eat only enough to sate that hunger. That means eating an amount of food about the size of a deck of cards. How can I do this? Only with God's strength. I have no willpower(i.e. control) over food.

Jesus, today give me Your strength to endure to the end of the day. Let me rest and not struggle to retain control. Help me to pray or call someone when I get weak, let me lean on You or a friend for help. I can't do this alone--I never could.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday's Feast No. 120

Friday's Feast No. 120

Have you even flown in a helicopter?
Yes I have. In the early 1970’s Peter Revson, heir to the Revlon fortune had an off-road dune buggy that he raced in the desert by Palm Springs. We followed him from above in a helicopter in case he had any trouble.

What color is your warmest coat or jacket?
It is black, cozy with fake fur and a hood.

What is your favorite rainy day activity?
Sitting in front of the fireplace reading a good book—wait a minute! I don’t have a fireplace any longer. Oh well, curling up with a good book.

Main Course
Describe your hands.
I guess you would say that I have my grandmother’s hands. They are kind of big for a woman, as I can span one key past an octave on the piano. I have long nails painted a soft pinky-beige color. I only wear my wedding ring as all my other rings were stolen when our house was burglarized last year. They are tan, because since we moved to Arizona, I have a perpetual tan on my exposed skin.

If you could eat only one nut for the rest of your life, what nut would you pick?
I was going to say cashews but then I thought about it. I really like cashews and macadamia nuts, but get tired of both of them before I get done with the opened can. I think I’ll say peanuts instead. I like peanuts and peanut butter. I would really miss it if I had to give up peanut butter.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Niagara Falls taken by Chris Sauer

I am a busy person lately. Not that I found a job. I've just been busy with church, working for the pastor, doing the church books(past and present), working on Chris Sauer's business and personal accounts, etc. Today is a very full day and the rest of the days leading up to the day my friend, Chris Sato(woman) arrives and we drive to my aunt's house in San Diego for her annual Christmas party on the 9th.

I have a new bare wood dining room set to stain and varathane. One table with leaf and six chairs with 8 rungs on the back each. I'm still not sure about the color, but have to get it done, so I'll have to pick a color and live with it. We got bare wood because I couldn't find a set I liked that was reasonably priced. I love this set and it's made of parawood. That is a fast-growing relative of the rubber tree and is highly renewable. It's as hard as oak when it has been dried. It takes stain about the same way too. I was very impressed with it. If I ever get hardwood floors they will be bamboo. Now they are making countertops and cabinets from bamboo also. If you have ever had bamboo in your yard, you know what a renewable plant it is......takes over!

Gotta go, meeting with the pastor tonight for secretary duties.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Community and Fellowship

We read in Kings 19:1-21 today at church. Elijah wanted to disappear because Jezebel put a hit out on him. He thought that the Jews had given up on him and God. He gave in to fear and the offshoots of fear: hoplessness, despair and depression. He wanted to isolate himself and be alone with his self pity.

As a person who has struggled with depression all my life I totally understand this desire. But it is not God's will for my life, nor was it His will for Elijah. God got his attention with a huge wind and an earthquake. Then when he was listening, God spoke to him in a quiet voice. He told Elijah that He wanted him to go back without fear and that he was to anoint 3 people to help him. God told him that there were 7,000 who were still faithful. Doesn't fear and depression make us exaggerate how things really are?

God has designed us for fellowship and community. If we have fellowship, others can offer us sympathy, empathy and encouragement. They can compensate for "soul fatigue" and lift us out of fear, anxiety and lack of vitality. God's answer for Elijah's soul fatigue was to rest and eat, rest and eat, then get up and go on a mission that God laid out for him. He was cured by obeying and doing. We need to put feet and hands to our prayers. Galatians 6:10

Fellowship will motivate our walk with God. We must be still and listen to what the Lord wants for our lives. If we choose our own way, we often come back battered down. We KNOW when we are on God's path for our lives--it feels right.

True community is: 1. love for others John 13:35
2. interdependence Phillipians 1:27

We need one another.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Are We Clear On Our Mission?

Our life needs to be in the context of God. We need to be in the fellowship of other believers--for most of us that means church, bible study groups and phone calls. We strengthen, build up, encourage and love one another. We cannot worship the Lord alone, because we are human beings. Jesus was usually in the company of His fellow humans. Except when he went to pray. Often He prayed all night long.
How long is our prayer time? Look at it this way.........
How often do we eat to sustain our earthly shell? At least 2 or 3 times a day, right? How often do we feed our spirit? If all we do as a Christian is attend Sunday service, we are not eating enough of the spiritual food we need to grow strong as Christians--how can we have enough left over to pass around to the world?
It's our mission on this earth to tell non-believers that God loves them. Remember the first time someone told you that God loves you and you believed it? How wonderful was that? Can't you put aside fear and pride long enough to say that to a non-believer? So what if they say, "Go away and leave me alone". At least you have told them. I had to be told many, many times before I believed it. Thank God the person who kept telling me never gave up.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Changed My Mind--A Woman's Perogative, OK?

Resting on God’s Promises and Grace

I moved the computer out to the living room where I can interact with my husband while he does his favorite thing—watch. Now I’m not in a distant room and I can write on my blog while I am with him. So I am going to continue with my blog after all. How blessed am I to be able to do this? I know that moving it was an inspiration of the Holy Spirit because I really did want to continue blogging. I kept reading other's blogs, but really wanted to write. Divine inspiration stepped in and gave me a solution. God answers prayer.

Faith is a choice. There is no magical moment when we are endowed with faith. We conciously choose to believe in God and His promises. We choose to believe that what the Bible says is true. With that choice and commitment comes the blessings of grace.

I read, pray and meditate (I meditate by writing, not sitting and thinking) on God's word. All of Jesus teachings and the writings of the new testament urge us to be in fellowship with other believers. “Whenever 2 or 3 are gathered in My Name, Jesus says, there I will be also.” We don’t gather at church, the group of believers ARE the church. We’re not required to go to church so much as we are gather together to uplift, challenge and encourage each other in His Name. I praise the Lord for the group of believers that I have found in Valley Baptist Church.

I have found that the more I commit to the Lord, the more uplifted I am. I lose my fears because faith and fear cannot co-exist. If I believe that God is holding me in His hands, what can I fear—Nothing!

That does not mean that I leave my home unlocked when my husband is out of town. I am not foolish. I still look where I step because I live in the rural desert and we have rattlesnakes. I wear a seatbelt when I drive. It’s just that the consuming thoughts of “what could possibly happen” do not dominate my thought processes any longer. I stay out of my head by helping others. There are always places to volunteer. The Baptist philosophy is that of missions. Not just support of foreign missions, but helping in the direct community. Giving of oneself is a good treatment for my depression. Commitment to continue serving is an important part of my anti-depressant treatment. Eating healthy and getting enough exercise—that is, being a good steward of my earthly temple helps me stay positive. Reading, radio ,movies and t.v. watching are limited to things that uplift me these days.

If you think of your brain as a computer and you input garbage……….well, you know the old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” I wanted to clean up what came out of my mouth—well, I quit reading, watching and listening to things that had negative messages and trash talking in them. Those things quit rolling around in my thoughts so that I no longer think in a negative way—ready to make a cutting remark or snide comment. I wanted to become a person who was supportive and gracious, not just one of the guys. I wanted to be that soft place for my husband to fall, instead of someone trying to nag him into being a better man. If I am a better woman, he will be a better man.

With God’s grace, I am getting there!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I Am Moving On--Bye Bye

"He (God) touches the mountains and they smoke"

My blog has served me well. Through reading other Christian women's and men's blogs over the last year and writing many of my own, I have been lifted and moved forward by God.

My despair and depression about several things has been removed through your prayers and mine. I still don't have a paying job, but I have the Lord's work. I am not only the secretary to the pastor of my church, but now the assistant treasurer. I am working on the books. I have fellowship and friends. I am getting to know everyone in my church and have a circle of women friends.

After prayer and listening to the Lord, I am ready to move on. I think I will save the record of my progress on my computer as I wrote the various postings on this blog. I appreciate everyone who commented and uplifted me in word and prayers.

I am going to continue to read blogs and comment on them, but I won't be writing any longer.

Halleluia--Grace like rain. I am living proof that prayer changes lives!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Long Time, No Post

This is yesterday's picture of my nephew and his son, who is just over 6 months old.

I just had to post this picture of father and son.

I haven't posted in a long time because I have been very busy with home and church.

The entertainment center that was whitewashed oak was quite a project. We didn't realize how hard it is to strip whitewash out of all the grain in oak. We're talkin' toothbrushing every single grain, dipping and wiping, garbed in goggles, gloves and breather mask. This took a daily committment from dawn until it got to hot in the garage to work. (usually to about 12:30). The rest of the day was too unbelievably hot to even think about using the volitile stripper liquid.

Then came the sanding, staining, and varathane. Sanding in between the coats of varathane(water-based varnish). We finally finished it a week ago Thursday. We brought it in the house and Phil & I put it together. Then on Friday, my son and mother arrived. My son did all the DirecTV moving and hooking up. Friday night, we watched, Master and Commander on wide-screen tv with surround sound. (we've had the surround sound for many years, but this is the first time we've really been able to enjoy it with a movie)

I love my church and I am there several times a week. I go to ladies bible study and discipleship bible study. I work at the church too, once a week. I still haven't found a job, but my life is joyous once again. The Lord has lifted the depression.

Thank you Lord for my life!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Am Falling In Love With My Church and It's People

I have never felt this way about a church before. I have always had a relationship with Jesus, but have never had fellowship like this. The people welcomed me with open arms. They say hello to me by name, this is a new thing. I've been a member of 2 big churches in Orange County and been anonymous except in the smaller bible studies groups or evening classroom studies. I did attend a smaller church right after we moved to Arizona but was ignored by all except by the person who brought me.

I chose Valley Baptist church out of the local church directory in the newspaper. I was fearful to go to a new church for the first time, but the Lord helped me push my fears aside. I was welcomed and said hello to by several friendly people. It's a small church, just about 100 people on a packed-in Sunday--it's been less this summer, due to people being on vacations.

I have been going since July, but last Sunday I officially joined the church. I go to the Sunday bible study with church services afterward. I go to the Wednesday evening bible study and the Thursday ladies luncheon bible study. This is a good way to get to know people who have the same morals and values as myself. When I walked into this church for the first time, it felt like home. What a marvelous feeling!

The pastor works full-time at a secular job at an IT Manager. He also does church counseling at another church and still manages to deliver a meaningful sermon on Sunday and facilitate the Thursday bible study. I respect him and admire his love of God and how much he cares for the congregation. His wife, Linda is a wonderful woman, humble and caring. She opens her home for the ladies Thursday bible study and provides iced tea and snacks for us. We usually stay for several hours and she is a courteous and caring hostess.

As I get to know more people, I am getting more joyful. Since my friend, Julie, died last December, without realizing it, I had pulled back from people. I felt isolated out here in the middle of nowhere. Going to this church, I have met lots of people who live in Tonopah. They are an independent bunch. They like living in the wide open spaces, but are friendly when you get to know them.

Oh and yesterday, thanks to my husband, we finally met some of the neighbors. Two sisters who both work, so we don't have much of an opportunity to socialize, but I intend to invite them to dinner soon. They are close friends with some other neighbors, so we will maybe meet them too.

Things are going great, since I have begun to engage in life. Praise the Lord for bringing me along at my own pace, setting aside my fears and giving me fellowship. Today is a day of JOY!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday is not a day off!

Working, working, working........

We had to do the rest of the snake fence (1/4" mesh, 4 ft high) on the other side of the patio. Since we were doing that, we decided to move the lattice fence about 10 feet closer, giving the dogs a smaller area to go potty, but giving the lizards and birds full access to the stunned bugs that fall from the bug zapper. It is now outside of the fenced area.

We had just finished getting the mesh installed over the 13 feet of fence, when big clouds snuck up on us and wrung themselves out. We had a deluge for about 20 minutes. I was on the outside of the fence, so I had to run all the way around the patio on the outside and then back in. I was as wet as you would get by jumping fully clothed into a swimming pool!

When it finished soaking the dry desert....Oh I'm not complaining about the rain, we needed it. We went back out and put the lattice back up on the fence. That's what you do here, wait it out and keep on working!

It's dinner time already, so have to go and feed the dogs. Then cook the spagetti noodles and heat up the sauce that I made the other day. Make a salad and we will be eating too.

I've got sore muscles cause we moved a bunch of castle blocks that we had lining the edges of the patio. Look up castle blocks at Home Depot if you don't know what they are. Those things are heavy!

Praising the Lord for a beautiful day, beautiful rain and the sense of accomplishment at a job well done.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Factoids Just for Fun!

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"
Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U. S. Treasury.
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. In any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested ?
A. Obsession
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulle d on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
~~~~~~~~~~~ AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!
Try and read this even though it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty Uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The Phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the Ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihn g is that the first and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Amzanig huh?
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on televi sion has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I Live Here

This isn't the best picture of the house, because I haven't taken any. This was taken to document the concrete that we had put in. But what I have to say isn't about a house or garage or concrete.

See, here's how it is. I live here. Up until today, in my mind, I didn't live here, I was only staying here until we moved back to where I had lived my whole life before we came to southwest Arizona. Even though Phil and I have lived here for 1 year and 3 months, I realized just today that I didn't consider this my home. It was a house that we were living in.

I hadn't really made any friends locally. Oh, a couple of acquaintances, but no one to do things with, to call up and just have a friendly chat. I didn't want anyone like that, because I didn't really live here. Maybe we would move back to Orange County or maybe we would move near my Mom in Yucca Valley, but this place in Arizona--it was only temporary. Up until July, I hadn't really found a church. I watched church on television. I figured that was enough.

About that same time, my friend and I began praying earnestly to know God's will for our lives and to read, pray and obey His word. I picked a local church out of the church listings in my local paper and went there. From the first time, it felt like a home church to me. The people were friendly and welcoming. After attending several Sunday services, and then 2 weeks ago, starting at the Women's bible study, last week going to the Wed night bible study, I decided to make a commitment and join the church. At the altar call, I went up and told the pastor that I would like to be a member of this church. He prayed with me and then introduced me to the congregation. They all clapped and came up after service to welcome me into the family.

After service, when I came home, I finally realized that what has been missing in my life here is commitment. That's why I've been so temporary-feeling. That's why I've been unhappy. I was pretending that this life I've been living for the past year & three months was only temporary and we'd be leaving soon.

I didn't even know when I was praying to know God's will for my life that this was what I was praying for. I live here. I have a church family here. My husband is here and I am by his side. This is my home.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen--I know I'm late!

Carol at She Lives got me thinking about why we don’t eat out very often any longer. It might make me sound like a food snob, but the food in the greater west valley area of Phoenix just isn’t as good as the food in Orange County California where we came from. I can’t come up with 13 good places to eat here. I can’t even come up with 5……so I thought I’d list the 13 places that we thought were awful!

1.Friends of ours had been raving about this Chinese buffet(unnamed for good reason) in Mesa for 6 months before they took us there. The food was lousy and the restaurant was dirty—I could hardly find anything to eat that didn’t make me want to gag. Don’t people notice when restaurants are grubby?

2.Mexican restaurant where our friend’s daughter had worked for 10 years. The food was passable, but very greasy—not that I don’t like greasy Mexican food, but with my cholesterol problem, the guilt was overwhelming.

3.A new Chinese buffet in Avondale called Bamboo Palace. The food was excellent at first, but has gone downhill. Some of the food is not hot now, and we all know how dangerous food can be if it isn’t kept hot enough! Danger of food poisoning. They’ve also cheaped out on many of their dishes, so they are not good any longer.

4.Another new Chinese buffet in Buckeye right by the grocery store we go to. Don’t remember the name. We waited in anticipation for it to open, because it was a lot closer to home. My husband and I love Chinese food. It finally opened, we waited a couple more weeks for the crowds to thin out and guess what? It was awful! You know how good real Chinese food tastes? Well this tasted like the poor leftovers that had been kept in the fridge for days and reheated.

5.Chili’s is one of my least favorite places, but the one we went to in Goodyear was really awful.

6.Cracker Barrel in Goodyear. Home cooking? No way, I don’t cook this crap. It was greasy, tasteless and over-breaded and salted.

7.In N Out Burger in Avondale—the only good In N Out is in Corona California—I haven’t found one anywhere that can beat it!

8.Subway, at least the one we tried after seeing a commercial for their Tuscan Chicken sandwich advertised on TV, was hideous. On a foot long, I got 4 tiny pieces of chicken breast and the “roasted vegetables” were 3 or 4 slimy overcooked pieces of bell pepper. The bread was like—I don’t know how to describe it—puffed up and dried out. A complete waste of money. I moved everything to one spot on the sandwich and threw the rest away.

9.Don’t ever go to the Olive Garden and think you are going to get good Italian food, or to the Red Lobster to get good seafood. One visit to each of those resulted in a vow never to step foot in them again. Both of those places serve food that tastes like TV dinners at best. I like Macaroni Grill (aka Carrabba’s Italian Grill) for Italian and several places near the ocean for seafood. I will say that I did get a good piece of wild caught Coho Salmon from the Fry’s fish counter last week. I poached it and it was good hot as well as chilled the next day.

10. I never, never eat at Denny’s. Even though the food is not very expensive, it isn’t worth ten cents. Really, I’m not a food snob, I’m just careful with my food dollars and I know what I like. I’ll try someplace once, but if the food isn’t good, I’ll never go again.

11. I will rarely eat at Applebee’s. I learned the hard way that I must remember it is a coffee shop, not a fine dining establishment. Regardless of how good those specials look that they advertise on TV, don’t believe it. Stick to burgers, sandwiches and salads if it’s the only place in town to eat.

12. Fast food joints with drive-thrus are on my hit-list. McDonalds always gives me heartburn, but it’s a safe place to stop and go to the bathroom when you are traveling. Wendy’s—love their chili—hate everything else. At Arby’s never eat the roast beef (pieces/parts molded into something they thin slice—ick)! But their market sandwiches are quite good, with lettuce, tomato and fresh bread. If I’m gonna spend money, I’d rather wait and go to Baja Fresh, their food truly is Fresh and delicious and low-fat too!

13. No one should eat at truck stops. Truckers have the worst taste in food. Most of them smoke, so their taste buds are deadened. So they like the over-salted, over cooked, greasy spoon food. I travel from AZ to CA to visit my mother and am never tempted to stop. I bring my own snacks for the 4.5 hour drive.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

An Answer to Prayer

(Picture courtesy of the monsoon season in southwest Arizona)

Good things have been happening. I went to our church's ladies bible study last Thursday. A great welcome was held out to me. After one time there, I feel a part of the group. I have been longing for this fellowship. Why I hesitated to go, was only my own fear. Now I see those fears were absolutely unfounded. The ladies are as warm as our weather, kind and fun. It was held at the Pastor's house with his wife as the leader.

During the course of the study, as we diverged into what she calls, one of the"rabbit trails"(getting off the subject), I heard that the Pastor needed a secretary to help him get organized and set up a few new ideas in motion, etc, etc. I went home a prayed about it. I got my answer during Sunday morning bible study before church service. It came to me clearly that I should offer my services. So before service, I pulled her aside and offered to do it. She said to come speak to the Pastor after services. I did. He has a lot of interesting things that he wants to do. Since I am an accountant, I will also be helping with setting up the church's accounting program. I will be helping with flyers and the bulletin.

I am excited to finally be doing something to use my skills. They offered to pay me $10/hr for 5 hours a week. Instead, I am going to donate the time. This is a teeny church. The people who go here are not rich. And of all things that could happen, about a month ago, they were broken into and anything of value was stolen. Our Pastor works full-time as a computer information technology person for a company in the Phoenix area. How could I take money from them? I love this church. The Pastor and his wife love Jesus and they are trying to spread God's word and work. I believe that this is the place for me to be at this time in my life and I believe that God led me to this place as a church family.

God has answered my prayers in His way. I needed fellowship and the Lord provided the best kind. Worship, bible study and work--all in fellowship with Christians. What more could I ask?
Well, let me tell you the other part. After I left the Pastor, I said hello and introduced myself to one of two ladies standing in the sanctuary as I was leaving. She already knew that I was going to be the Pastor's secretary. She and I conversed a while and she offered me work with the elections board. They don't pay much, but it will be interesting work. I'll get to work during all the elections, local, state and U.S. How about that?

I am thrilled to recognize an answer to prayer. It's been 1 year and 3 months since I have had a job. I send out resumes every few days. I subscribe to several city's job postings and check the newspapers for jobs constantly. It's just that until the last few months, I was still holding on to the old attitude toward work. If I had started work in any old office, I probably would have been up to my old habits before long. I am a recovering workaholic, you see. I like being at work more than anything, because I do work better than I do anything else. (relationships & keeping house, for example). When my prayer partner got the job she had been wanting a few weeks ago, I found it hard not be be envious and think, "Yeah, but what about me, God? Haven't I been praying longer than her?" Instead, I prayed and laid my disappointment at Jesus feet. He lifted me up and I could be happy for my friend's success.

God knows what I need and after many months of prayer with my prayer partner, I have gotten my attitude adjusted. Lessons I have learned: Obedience to the Lord's leading, listening instead of talking, studying to know God better, gratitude for Jesus our Savior, praising instead of complaining, and giving of myself to forget about myself.

Praise the Lord for answered prayer. And this is just the beginning................

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friday’s Feast One Hundred & Eight

From Susan at

If you could have a free subscription to any magazine, which one would you like to have?
Martha Stewart Living. I like her decorating ideas, recipes and the pictures in the magazine are gorgeous.

Describe your living room (furnishings, colors, etc.).

It’s what they call a great room. Kitchen, dining room and living room all flow together. We are in transition right now. Changing from antiques to more modern stuff. We have a matching horsehair sofa and chair in a deep green with accent pillows made of antique drapery fabric. A settee that is wood with a damask pale salmon & off white fabric seat and back panels, a 6-foot antique dark walnut display cabinet with curved glass that holds inherited crystal and English bone china teacups. Our coffee table is made out of my grandmother’s oak kitchen table with the legs cut down. It has a large silver tray on it with a tea service that is Royal Doulton Old Country Roses pattern. There’s an antique silver-veined mirror above the couch and a hand-painted large fan on the display cabinet. We are going to be selling the couch and chair and putting the settee in another room soon. We will be using the family room furniture(also dark green—but made of ultrasuede). We have 2 oak cabinets 7 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide that we will be using on either side of our entertainment center(once we refinish it to the same color). We have had the antique furniture for 25 years and it’s time for a change.

What does the shape of a circle make you think of?
The sun, the moon and my wedding ring.

Main Course
Name 3 things in your life that you consider to be absolute necessities.
My Bible, electricity(having had to deal with several blackouts this monsoon season), and friends.

What was the last really funny movie you watched?
You’ve Got Mail

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Who We Pray For

This is a picture of our friend and his 11-year old daughter. I don't have a current picture of his 13-year old son. He's the one that lost his wife last December 2nd. It's nice to see them smiling.

On Sunday, during bible study, our leader asked us to write down who we pray for every day. Until I did that, I didn't realize that I hadn't been praying for this family any more. And they definitely need prayer.

He was brought up to believe in nothing. He is very self-reliant and outwardly doesn't seem to be affected by the loss of his wife. Well, in some instances, like disciplining the children. He tends to get angry and show it when the kids frustrate him. Julie used to handle everything for the kids. Now he tries to be everything to them. I know they miss her, because they don't smile very often. There isn't anything Phil and I can do to cheer them up, it seems. If anyone could do it, Phil could. He's the world's best cheerer-upper. The son, Austin, likes talking to Phil a lot and they talk about all kinds of things. But neither of us can get thru to the daughter, Haley.

She only seems to cheer up slightly when we are shopping. She constantly wants us to buy her things. Not little things, big, expensive things. We can't afford it, so we don't go shopping with her very often. She focuses on "things" as a means of escape. But as we all know, getting something new only raises your spirits temporarily. Their dad will not let me take them to church with me, as he says, when they get old enough to take themselves to church, they can go if they want to. He doesn't believe in psychiatry either, so they have never gone to counselling after the death of their wife/mother.

So my only recourse to intercede for them is prayer.

Lord, today I pray for this family. Take care of them, help them to find their way to you. Look after the spiritual, mental and emotional well-being of the kids especially. I pledge today, Lord, to keep them in my prayers daily.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday 8/19 Feast

Hosted by: Susan at this website
(Can't get blogger to post the picture for some reason)

What color is your car?
It's a metallic dark slate gray

If you could wake up tomorrow with a full training in another occupation and a job in that field, what would it be?
A chef of a 4-star restaurant

How many times in your life have you had the flu(or something similar)?
I always caught the flu every year. Once I was able to get flu shots from the time they came out with them and then in 2005, there wasn't enough vaccine to go around, so I caught it and was sick about 2 weeks. Couldn't get a shot once again in 2006 and managed to avoid it for many months, then came down with it last March.

What is something that has happened to you this week that you didn't expect?
We were having several tons of dirt trucked in to our backyard, as it is a low area. On the second load of dirt, the hauler got stuck in our soil--moondust, remember. He wasn't driving fast enough and the belly dump let the dirt out too fast and he got high-centered on the dirt. This was at 4:00pm--the hottest part of our day in Arizona. The truck driver, my husband and I spent an hour and ten minutes digging it out in about 106 degree weather. Never expected to be doing that!

How old were you when you had your first kiss?
The standard age for the era that I grew up--16 years old.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday Photo Hunt--Theme: Funny

We had just cleared the table from Christmas dinner, when Harry, the Shih Tzu hopped up on the chair and sat down, prepared to be served.

Met a New Blogger Today

I love blogging because of the infinite variety of people who post; each one giving me exposure to new things to ponder and wonder. This picture came from Rob's blog at I went to his blog because he made a comment on my Friday Feast posting.

The pictures on his blog are beautiful excerpts from nature, most in his own backyard. I spent about an hour there, reading and viewing. The most fun I had was reading about his and Nancy's birds.

I have always been fascinated by birds as pets(family members) and have known and loved friend's birds. 40 years ago, I worked with Ed Fullmer--he and his wife and kids kept Macaws. Their 4 macaws had the run of the house and were magnificent. My manacurist has a yellow-head named Coco who will talk your ear off and maybe bite it too! My husband and I used to visit a pet store just so I could be with the birds. I fell in love with a big male sulfur-crested cockatoo. We couldn't afford him, as he was $15,000, but as long as we lived in California, I would go visit him at least once a week. We don't have any birds, because we have 3 small house dogs and while I am sure that we could have a bird, I don't think we should have a bird. I know that birds need a lot of attention and interaction. With 3 dogs, I have a hard enough time just giving them enough attention.

Anyway, back to Rob's blog--he is a talented writer and I really enjoyed reading his posts. If you have a chance, stop by his blog for a great read on many subjects.

Friday, August 11, 2006

5 Ingredient Friday

Our Host:

armesan or 4 Cheese Crusted Chicken Breasts

4 Chicken breasts, flattened (or not--your preference)
1 Cup grated parmesan or the Italian 4 cheese blend(you can buy pre-grated)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper(or to taste)
Best Foods Mayonnaise to coat one side of the chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees or barbeque to high. Mix nutmeg and pepper in with cheese so it's evenly distributed. Dry chicken breasts pieces. Spray baking pan or barbeque pan with cooking spray. Smear mayonnaise on top side of chicken breast. Sprinkle each breast with 1/4 of cheese. Press the cheese into the mayo slightly. Cook 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. Cheese should be golden and crispy. Best served with buttered spaghetti that has fresh chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil tossed in.

A couple of notes. If you grate the parmesan, use the small side of the grater, not the usual side that makes a powder. If you can't find the Italian 4 cheese blend in your store, you can make it yourself by grating together equal parts: parmesan, asiago, provolone(aged hard) and romano cheeses.

I've served this many times to small groups or large parties. Everyone loves it (if they like chicken) and it looks very gourmet.

Friday's Feast 106

Tell about a toy you remember from your childhood. One Christmas when my sister and I were small, we each received a plush teddy bear that had a music box in it which played Brahm's Lullaby. I have loved music boxes ever since.
If you could make one thing in the world absolutely free for everyone, what would it be? I'll bet a lot of us say this one......a bible in the person's own language.
Approximately how many times a day do you think about your significant other? I think of him several times an hour. Although we are currently both home all the time--he is retired and I am between jobs, he likes to spend a lot of time in "his" garage working on projects and I am in the house, working on my various cleaning, cooking, sewing, blogging projects. I can sometimes hear him banging, welding or sawing and I think of him and wonder what he's working on.
Main Course
What is something you believe in 100%? That I am washed clean of sin and saved by the blood of Jesus. That because of His death and resurrection, I am a child of God. That I will be caught up in the air to meet Him when He returns for His people. That He is the Shepherd and I am a lamb in His flock. That the Holy Spirit gives me guidance and the strength to carry it through. That prayer really does change things. That I have a personal relationship with God and by reading His word, the Bible, I can know Him and live a joyful, forgiven life.
Name one thing you have done this week that you would consider a "good deed"
I'm helping our friend, Chris, get his business started, as I have a long history of business/accounting experience. His 38-year-old wife died suddenly last December and both my husband and I do everything we can to be a support to him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Tooth Saga

Here's the story of my day today. Well, first let me start with what happened on Sunday. Well, let me give a little background. After each meal, I floss. For years, when I was younger, every time I went to the dentist for a cleaning, the hygenist would urge me to floss. I would floss for the first few days and then quit. I hated twirling my fingers around that "string" and shoving both hands in my mouth.

Finally, they came out with those individual flossing things, the dentist called them sword flossers, cause there was a toothpick end and a floss end and it looked like a buccaneer's sword. I loved them. They worked great.......I got addicted to them. I carry 10 or 20 in my purse. There's a package in both bathrooms and beside my chair where I watch tv or read. I use them every time I eat.....anything. I really am addicted to them--but it's a good addiction!

Back to Sunday. So after dinner, I was flossing. It seemed like I had some sand in my mouth and I thought, "Now where did that come from?" Then I felt my lower last molar--part of the filling had broken off. Oh great! I haven't found a dentist in our new community(well.......not so new, we've been here a year, already). I went to my former dentist for 40 years--I'm not exaggerating, I first went to him when I was 19 and now I the math. I just didn't know how to pick a dentist, so I kept putting it off. When my filling kept crumbling more and more I called mom and asked her for her dentist's name and number, cause I knew she just loved him. I was going to drive 200 miles to go to a dentist that I knew I would like. I got an appointment for next Tuesday, the 15th.

The filling kept crumbling and food kept getting stuck there and I kept flossing and finally today, the whole front of the filling came out. The interior of my tooth was exposed and I knew I just couldn't wait any longer to see a dentist. So I called West Coast Dental Clinic. They said they could take me as soon as I could get there and they would squeeze me in. They did and now I have a brand new filling. That's the good news.

The bad news is, I have 2 more fillings that have to be replaced. I am a teeth grinder & clencher when I sleep. I have worn a night guard on my teeth since I was 19, but I also clench my teeth during the day. I also eat ice compulsively. I love foods that are very hard and very crunchy--you know, like Cornnuts, hard french bread, Jordan almonds, etc. But most of all I love ice. I love a big glass of ice water and once the water is gone, there's my favorite thing, the ice. I buy ice by the 20 pound sack causeI don't like icemaker ice. Yecch. I want the clear, hard stuff.

I was informed by this dentist today that I have fractures in most of my teeth and I must immediately and forever stop chewing on ice and all other hard and crunchy foods. That was quite a paradigm shift for me. My teeth have always been strong. I guess when you get older, even your teeth age. This will be a new eating challenge, for sure. Lord willing and hopefully with His strength, I can change my eating habits.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What We've Been Up To

In spite of the heat, we have been working on our yard. We got a deal on our concrete because we dug it out ourselves. That driveway is 40 feet wide and 25 feet long. The walkway is 38 feet by 4 feet.

Then, we went to our friends and picked up boulders to line the driveway. We just finished putting those down today. Tomorrow we will go get as many more as the truck will hold because we are using them also to form a dry creek bed which will be 100 feet long and about 5 feet wide. So sorry I don't visit or write on blogs lately, but my arms feel like they are gonna fall off once we stop work for the day.

I have been experiencing a closer walk with the Lord due to the prayers that Marlene and I pray often as we link up over our cellphones a few times a week. Now I have been experiencing daily direction from the Holy Spirit in that still small voice of God. I am having some measure of success in controlling my tongue, both in volume and demeanor, praise God.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

At Mom's House and other thoughts

I've been at my mother's house since Thursday, which was her 84th birthday. The Tuesday before, she went to the doctor and he told her she's going strong. Of course, she didn't mention that she's been down in the dumps. She just told him she's been so tired lately and he didn't pursue what could have been the cause.

Mom has lost a lot of people in her life in the last 8 years, starting with my father, from an accident with gasoline. Next was my father's 2 brothers, Uncle Leo and Uncle Dick. Earlier this year, her older brother--who she was quite close to, Uncle Dale passed away suddenly. Well, not unexpectedly, as he had had 2 heart operations and the last one was past the date of life expectancy. But it was sudden, since he was at the hospital cafeteria after Aunt Norine had finished her checkup and he just dropped his head back and was gone. Uncle Fred died earlier this month, and that brought back all of the sorrow and grieving which was never finished from the other deaths. The reason I'm writing this is because the litany of all the people in her life who have passed away is what we talk about when we are alone.

Grief can affect us each differently. I grieve out loud, in front of anyone who happens to be there and with lots of tears. Others won't even cry in front of anyone. How they can hold it in, is beyond me. I feel like it just explodes out of me. My emotions are on the surface, others have theirs under control. In fact, I am learning not to control my emotions, but rather to lay my feelings at the feet of Jesus. Because, sometimes, I can be overly emotional and say and do things that I ought not to say and do. That is why the Lord has brought to my attention my manner of speaking, both in word and tone.

It seems to me that the more I pray for guidance and enlightenment so that I may walk more closesly with God, He reveals more of my shortcomings to me. Each day, there is more to work on, more to surrender, and I am more aware of how disobedient I have been, how selfish, how rude, how unkind. You have to be aware of your character flaws before you can work on them, so I praise the Lord for all He has revealed to me. Bring it on, Lord, mold me, shape me, prune me and make me the person I can be through your lovingkindness!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another Answer

I have posted that I get depressed and despairing. That I am a negative personality and struggle to stay positive. Joel Osteen's Daily word today in my email was my reply from my Heavenly Father to the posts I've written about this, in the text of the message it said,

"The enemy's goal is to steal your hope. He wants to get you down and discouraged so you will give up and settle for less than God's best. Don't be deceived! No matter how many disappointments you've encountered, God can turn things around for you in a split second of time! One touch of His favor can suddenly restore relationships! One touch of His goodness can solve that problem you're facing today! Just one touch from Almighty God can instantly change your life!"

Just last night at 8:30, when I got home from helping our friend work on a business plan and get set up on computer, I made some comments. After I finished talking, my husband said to me, "Can't you ever come home and say something happy? You always have something to bitch and complain about! It's pretty hard to listen to." I know I would not like it if he did that all the time. It's so hard to stop doing it. I want to, but the words have flown out of my mouth before I know it. I am going to have to spend some time when I drive home praying and praising God so that when I come in the door, I have a grateful, satisfied, gracious attitude.

We had a huge storm that hit us last night just as I arrived home. There was lightning, thunder, high winds and finally rain. I don't have to water the plants this morning--Yay! The storm was a little scary because I had to walk fromt the garage to the house in all that lightning. Just the night before, the news had done a segment about lightning strikes and so I was very aware what could happen being out in the open during a storm. In our county, the garage must be 25 feet away from the house--some wierd Maricopa county building code for garages that are put up after the home is already on the property. By the time I got into the house, I was sand-blasted, my eyes, mouth, nose and hair full of dirt. As we closed the door on the north side of the house, the wind hit with such a ferocity that the door sounded like it was being hit with buckshot. I was sure that all the plants would be gone or beat so badly they would die. Everything is still there, amazingly. A little worse for wear, but still there. Praise God for that. It all looks fresh and clean and best of all, no dust.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Book Fish!

When Carol at "She Lives" mentioned Pike Place Market, it brought to mind all the times I've gone there while visiting my friend who lives in Olympia. My next thought was of the fish market inside where they toss the fish through the air. Then I remembered reading the book called, "FISH". The goal of the FISH Philosophy is to learn how to boost morale and improve operational results in a business organization. As the authors put it "Enclosed are the keys to creating an innovative and accountable work/home environment where a playful, attentive, and engaging attitude leads to more energy, enthusiasm, productivity, and creativity." It can work at home too. BTW, I'm not saying it replaces reading the Bible or other inspirational reading.......

It's just that I am not a naturally positive and happy person. In my natural state, I tend toward the negative and gloomy side. I work very hard to stay positive. Sometimes I need reminders and some simple steps to "keep my sunny side up"!!!

The four key points of the philosophy are:

Play - have fun and create energy at home or at the office.

Make their day - how can you engage fellow employees, customers, family members and make each other's day?

Be Present - How can you make sure you are fully available and aware during conversations with people? It is about create a greater sense of intimacy between individuals.

Choose Your Attitude - Each day you choose how you are going to act or which "side of the bed" you wake up on. The choice is yours and, the way you act, affects others. How about the attitude of Gratitude to God for all we have?

The book is able to illustrate one point extremely effectively. It shows how attitudes can impact a setting and how many of us don't understand how our attitude impacts our work setting and quality of life. It's also hard to put into practice. I'm usually good for a week or two, then a series of "Job"-like (pronounced JOBE, like that guy who has a book in the Bible) events happen and my attitude gets stinky. Sometimes, I just need to be reminded that Attitude is everything. When I have a good one, no one can bring me down. When I have a bad attitude, everyone knows it--and runs!

Maybe some real cute post-its will help me remember that I choose my attitude every day. Just cause I stub my toe, I can choose to laugh instead of get crabby.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm Home and It's Sooo Hot!

These have the right idea! It is so hot. It hit 116 degrees today. and there are clouds--so it's humitd too! Ick!

I am finally home. They are having major monsoons in Tucson where my aunt and cousing live. But nothing like that here. No rain for the Sonoran Desert! They poured our patio today. Next weekend we will get the carport in front of the garage and the walkway from the garage to the house. We will be getting a quote for the patio cover and I will get a dog run from Lowes. Maybe I will get one of those freestanding pools that are about 3 ft. deep, as the tigers look very cool. We have A/C but keep it at 87 degrees, as it saves us $100/mo. to do that.

I spray myself with spray bottles because my hubby does LIKE the heat. Not 116 degrees, but he certainly doesn't mind the temp of the house. I am trying my best to tolerate it.

My cousin in Tucson has a pool and he uses 2 fountains that come out of the filtered water of the pool to cool his pool. The other option is to put a sprinkler on a floatie and enjoy the cool water. Soon, very soon I will have that pool. Or I will be knocking on Christie's door with my bathing suit on and my floatie and towel. Ha Ha!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Walking With God and Everyday Life

"Jesus came so that we might have and enjoy life, and have it to the full until it overflows." (John 10:10)

I just had to put this in my blog, because it means so much to me. See.......I am a complainer, especially about little repetive tasks and when things don't go as I EXPECT them to, which they rarely do. I read this today and it hit me right between the eyes. It showed me that I don't have to be "in my prayer closet" to worship God. I can do it every minute of every day--that's what I am made for. When I am not walking with the Lord, I suffer from negative feelings. So how do I solve it? By remembering that I am a child of God at ALL times! Thanks to Joel Osteen's daily word in my email--I was reminded of this.

Today's Word from Joel Osteen

A 17th century monk, Brother Lawrence, found the answer to enjoying the nitty-gritty of everyday life. He was a humble cook in a French monastery, but he authored a book entitled Practicing the Presence of God. In it, Brother Lawrence explained how he was able to turn even the most commonplace and menial tasks, like preparing meals and washing dishes, into acts of praise and communion with God. The key, he wrote, was not to change what you do, but to change your attitude toward what you do. When you begin doing these tasks, realize that you are doing them for God. Use it as an opportunity to worship Him through acts of service. When you do, you will discover pleasure even in taking out the trash.So don't let the enemy deceive you into thinking that you must get away from your daily routine in order to truly relax and enjoy life. Don't wait for your next vacation–enjoy today and every day as a gift from God. Enjoy getting up and eating breakfast. Enjoy going to work. Enjoy mowing the lawn. Enjoy going to the grocery store. Enjoy washing the dishes. You have to do these things anyway–why not choose to enjoy them? When you do, you will go through life with a smile on your face, a spring in your step and you'll enjoy the abundant, overflowing life of victory that God has in store for you.

A Prayer for Today
God, what an amazing and blessed day this will be when I choose to tackle every task with joy and thanksgiving. As I go through my to-do list, I will do so knowing that every day is a gift and I am happy to accept it from my Father in Heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm out of town, but still reading blogs

I am keeping my aunt company, who just lost her husband of 59 years. I will be here until Thursday morning, when I will drive the 3 hours to home. It's hard for me to understand, but there will be no service, no memorial and even no balloons released(my suggestion). It feels so odd not to have a special time to say good bye to my uncle. My cousin and I ran some errands and he and I were talking about saying goodbye to a loved one. He understands that this is what his dad said he wanted.

But a memorial or a service is for the people left behind, not the one who died, isn't it? It's for us who are left behind to deal with the passing in some way. Usually a service in church--which was not an option for my uncle, as he was not a believer in God, or a memorial where friends and family gather to remember and say goodbye.

Maybe just my cousin and I will do something, cause I know that he would like to do something. I'm going to talk to him about it today.

See you all on blog!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thank God for Blogging Christian Sisters(& Brothers)!

I admit it, I've been in a depressed funk for about a week. My uncle Fred died(he had been ailing and it wasn't unexpected). But what it did, was bring up memories of my Dad's death in 1998 and my favorite Uncle Dick's death in 2003. A couple of mornings ago, for no reason, I started crying and couldn't stop. Not wailing, just tears running down my face. Another time, I was alone with the dogs in the living room and the sounds that came out of my mouth, scared the dogs and me. It wasn't a wail, but such a sad, mournful sound. I couldn't stop it. It finally stopped. I've learned not to suppress mourning and sadness when it comes, but sometimes, I can wait for a more opportune moment to let go.

If I didn't read these posts each and every day, I could easily slip into a funk that could last for weeks. And, yes, I read my bible and also a spiritually uplifting book as well as 3 daily devotional and a book of prayers. But sometimes, when I am down, I can read, read, read and pray and it gets me nowhere, you know?

I say thanks for blogging sisters(and two brothers), because I read your posts daily and they uplift me. I don't always write comments, but each day, I read:
Gracious Home
Reverberate My Echo
Sting My Heart
Ben Kraker(youth pastor in Oregon)
Charles Lord (a pastor in Phoenix)

And several others that I check out from various posting's comments. These blogs save my sanity. When I can't concentrate enough to read and meditate on the bible, when it seems my prayers are dry and don't make it up to heaven(not really true, but when I get depressed it sure seems like it), when I feel hopeless and helpless......I can go to your blogs and read your thoughts that day. All of your posts encourage me whether it's humor or just a daily update. It gets me out of my own muddy puddle and looking around and up.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Working, working, working

We worked on the patio with pavers of various shapes and sized that we bought used, bark and rocks(called river stones because they are rounded). The big concrete things that are placed around the edge of the bark right now are called "castle blocks" and we are going to do a feature of some sort in the front yard with them. They kind of interlock to make different shapes and sizes of planters.

No sooner had we finished with the patio than a new project was begun. Sanding and refinishing the modular entertainment center. That's the thing laying on it's side.

My husband and I have been getting up early and working until it reaches 100 degrees, then we either come in the house and hibernate, go to town for whatever errands have to be run or we go visiting. Yesterday, we delivered a transmission to Hughes in the industrial area of Phoenix, went to Lowes and bought more bark and stones for the patios, bug spray, scorpion spray(we've seen a few) and stuff to do the refinishing.

I got up real early this morning and sprayed all around the house foundation and window sills. We've been having monsoon-like humidity(no rain) and it seems that increases the bug population. Currently, we have the plague of the beetles. Tiny black ones about the size of lady bugs but real slow and they don't seem to fly. They are very annoying because I can't seem to find a chemical to kill them. If they stayed outside, I wouldn't bother them, but they have ventured into the house. Now they are fair game in my book! They seem to be able to enter the house at will. Phil and I haven't been able to find out where they are coming in though. It's frustrating. I may have to call an exterminator. We have the 3 dogs, so I have to be careful what bug spray I can use.

One thing about projects, at the end of the day, you feel you have accomplished something and you are a good kind of tired when you do manual labor.

Friday, June 30, 2006

We've Been Working Hard

I'll try to catch up with posting and reading posts tomorrow......

My husband and I have been working for the last couple of days on our former carport , now patio. I'll bet we sweated off several pounds as well as built up some unused muscles in our backs and arms from moving pavers, stones and then moving them again when we decided to rearrange!

I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow morning and post them. It doesn't look like we spent all that time and effort, but we know we did!

And the thing is, all this will move out when we flip the front door/patio door later on. Our house is on the lot backward(we bought it this way). The front door is at the back of the house and the patio door is at the front. It will cost way less for us to switch the doors than to have the house re-set on the property. That's why the patio we just spent so much time on is only temporary!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A request for prayer

Tina and Dale
My friend, Tina, lost her cousin to a highway accident this week. Please remember her in your prayers. I understand her great loss, as I am also close to one of my male cousins. Dale was an incredible photographic artist who travelled everywhere to art shows to sell his art. No one did any work like his--it was unique and awe-inspiring. Even his frames were hand-made by him and were also one-of-a-kind works of art in themselves. He was a very personable fellow and she loved him very much. This is going to be very hard for her and she needs your prayers.
Thank you so much, anyone who reads this and prays for her!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Treasure Tuesday--my car

Treasure Tuesday is hosted by Faith over at

We were blessed to be able to afford our Magnum last year when we sold our house in Orange County and moved to AZ. It's the first new car either one of us has had in our lives. And since it is on the same chassis as the Chrysler 300, it drives like a luxury car. We looked at every SUV out there and decided that this would be our SUV. Since it's a wagon, we can put the back seats down and haul stuff. And we get an average of 27 miles a gallon.

We looked at little cars(Toyotas, Hondas etc) with better gas mileage but with 3 dogs and luggage on a trip to Mom's we decided that it would never fit. I try to visit my Mom about once a month. The 250 mile drive is so much better in this car. We looked at the Toyota, Honda and Nissan SUVs which didn't get good gas mileage and cost a lot more than the Magnum.

It's such a blessing to have a car that runs beautifully, is comfortable, has air conditioning that really works and I feel safe in. I thank the Lord everytime I drive it. I generally use part of my driving time to pray, which keeps me sane on the long drives I have to get to civilization.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday Photo Hunt Subject-Love

My neice with her doggie that she got from the pound.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday's Feast #99

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you like your job? Job? What's that? I have been searching for one for a long time, with no success.

When was the last time you think you were lied to? I have a relative in my life who exaggerates and bends the truth all the time. I usually believe only about half of what that person tells me.

Share some lyrics from own of your favorite songs. How he loves us with great love he who sits enthroned above for our lives he spilled his blood sent his spirit like a flood Children of the Living God sing to the living God.....Fernando Ortega, "This Bright Hour" CD

Main Course
What do you do/take when you are in pain? It varies. Tylenol if it's not too bad, Aleve if it's joint or muscle pain and both if it's really bad. I cannot stand to take Vicodin or any of the codeine products--I hate how they make me feel.

Fill in the blanks: My Husband is very considerate. Right now, he is vacuuming. He already did the dishes!

Everyday Things--Coffee!

Coffee is my favorite everyday thing!

My indulgence is 100% Kona. No other coffee tastes like it. and it has to be Hilo Hattie's Kona. Several years ago, a friend (salesman whose territory includes Hawaii) brought me some back for my birthday. Forget those chocolate covered macadamia nuts--give me Kona coffee. I drink it hot and black. It bites back!

As coffee goes, Kona is very expensive, but by the cup, it's still a good deal--cheaper than a can of Pepsi. I used to live near a mall that had a Hilo Hattie store, but since we moved, I just order online.

Just like Carol at "She Lives" I limit myself to 2 cups a day, or one cup if I plan to have iced tea or iced coffee in the afternoon.

Everyday Things is brought to you by: Everyday Mommy at
Thank you!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday Thirteen Why I Love My Spouse

I need to do this one. Phil and I have been sick for almost 2 weeks and I am tired of being in the house with him for that long.

1. He is considerate. In big ways and little ways

2. He loves dogs. Actually, he loves cats too. We used to have 2 kitties before they got very old.

3. He's easy going. I get MY way a lot!

4. He never makes fun of me when I go somewhere and get lost. My nickname is "WrongWay"

5. He lets me tell him how to drive. Sometimes, when he's had enough of it, he'll call me "Hyacinth" after that lady on the British comedy "Keeping Up Appearances" who henpecks her husband.

6. He watches the TV shows that I like. If I am watching home improvement shows, he goes in the den and plays games on the computer.

7. He doesn't mind if I do my own thing. I go visiting friends and family and he holds down the fort.

8. He doesn't mind if I have the light on to read when we go to bed, or if I can't sleep, turn the light back on. (That's a big one for me, because I have sleeping problems and reading settles me down)

9. He shares in the household chores. Everything except what I call poop patrol. He gets gaggy around the dog poop. I don't mind picking it up, so I do it.

10. He takes the trash out. I hate that job and will only do it if he's out of town. Probably a fair trade for poop patrol, don't you think?

11. He climbs the ladders. I am afraid of going past the second step on a ladder. I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling!

12. Even though he is a non-believer, he never gripes or sabotages my attending church and church functions, nor interrupt me when I pray with friends on the phone.

13. He loves me and puts up with me, and that says it all.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

To participate go to:

Matthew 13:47-50 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea........."

Works for me! Trifocals

These are my glasses and do they ever make my life easier! I have an astigmatism, but could always see pretty much okay without my glasses. Then I got, or rather my eyes got old and I couldn't read without glasses. So I first got some with bifocals. Those worked great! I could see really clearly, you know like seeing the individual leaves on trees and they made reading my tiny bible print super clear. It was fabulous!

Then, I noticed that when using the computer at work for the spreadsheets became more and more difficult to see clearly. I had a 19" flat panel and it didn't matter where on my desk it was, I was straining to see it, except if I brought it close to my face and tilted my head up so I could look at it thru the bifocals. That gave me neck problems after a while.

Then it was time to see the optometrist again for a check up. I told him my troubles with the computer screen and he said he had the solution, trifocals. He asked me if I wanted the blended lenses, but recommended the cut lenses for the first time user of trifocals. I got them, put them on and couldn't wait to get back to work to try them out. What a great invention--trifocals--they were made for computer work.

I have a friend who refuses to buy glasses. He cannot read any small print and uses whoever is near to read for him. He just bought a huge computer monitor and has the print as big as it will go. If he must read something and no one is around, he has a pair of his mother's reading glasses that he puts on, or if the print is very small, he uses a magnafying glass he keeps on the desk. One of my aunts never wore her glasses except when she was alone. Is it vanity or do they just hate something sitting on their nose? I never could figure that one out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Treasure Tuesday

Here's 2 of my treasures. My nephew Dave and his son, Michael. This was taken on Mother's Day.

Dave is a wonderful guy. He is a giving and caring man. If you are his friend and you need him for anything at all--he is there. I am close with my neice and nephew because I was always very close to my sister. Growing up we always spent a lot of time with aunts and uncles and cousins. My son and I always spent a lot of time with my sister and and her son and daughter, almost like siblings. So I we were always close. He turned 30 last November and he has his own life. He lives in the next town over from his grandmother. I try to talk to him about once a week and see him when I visit my Mom.

He is a fine Christian man and he is a youth pastor at his church. I am so lucky to have him as part of my family and in my life!

Monday, June 19, 2006

I'm Full of Excuses..........

As I said! I have an excuse. A fellow(female) sufferer put this on her post about a year ago. I thought it was hilarious but true. I took a low-dose estrogen pill for a few years after my symptoms first appeared. Then my doctor and I decided about a year ago that I would go off the pill. When my mom was in her 70's she developed breast cancer--with no history of it in the family. I discussed with my doctor that she had taken HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for a really long time. I had heard the warnings about the link between breast cancer and HRT. Mom made thru and is heading for her 84th birthday next month. She detected it when it was still the size of a sesame seed, due to her active immune system. She went to the doctor to investigate a swollen lymph node under her arm, which led him to the cancer in the breast. She was going thru the surgery, chemo and radiation during the time that my dad was burned in a boat accident and subsequently passed away. My mother is a strong woman--I know that. Just try to argue with her to change her mind about something!

Anyway, I quit the estrogen pills a year ago. Last month, when I saw my doctor, we discussed the fact that I am still experiencing the symptoms in somewhat a lesser degree than when I first quit taking the pills, but still have them. He informed me that I may NEVER get over all the symptoms. I guess that why Mom took them for so long and one of my 80 yr old friends still takes them. And also, my body still remembers, "that time of the month", except that now it falls around the time of the full moon. I get PMS-ish, I crave chocolate (usually I am not that fond of chocolate--really!) and sometimes just a little crazy.

Yes, I tried Estroven, I even tried doubling it. I also tried the herbal supplements, even going so far as buying the ones that have special pills for daytime and special pills for night time. Pfffft! They don't work for my body. What works best for me is exercise every day, a relative low carb/nutritious diet and lots of water. Only small amounts of caffeine and no caffeinated soda. I have to keep my red meat consumption on the low side too. If I am using ground meat in a dish it is not hamburger, but turkey. I've found ways to make turkey burgers more palatable too. Lunchmeat is a no-no for me, as well as hot dogs, smoked sausage and brats--!!sigh!!

We eat lots of veggies (raw, steamed or stir-fried), Praise the Lord, I've always loved veggies. We also eat several meatless meals with either meat substitutes or beans as the protien. Why can't I lose weight, if I eat so healthy? Cause as the doc says, I still eat too much. Ding-dang it! What a drag it is getting old. Your metabolism slows down unless you do heavy duty aerobic exercises, you know, like going to a gym and "feeling the burn"???

There's no magic pill........yet. It's the old adage: Eat less, exercise more = lose weight
No excuses, just hard work!
Lord, today I pray to leave excuses behind. Give me Your strength to eat less and push myself a little harder when exercising. I know that if I have the faith of a mustard seed that You can do this for me, I can move mountains(of fat).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Here's the picture of Chickie

For everyone that commented that they couldn't see Chickie's picture, here she is.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I missed the Friday Feast, so here it is......

Keeping cool is an art form!
What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?
Hincky…..I use it to illustrate if something isn’t quite right. Then there’s this word that I picked up from a close friend……..Combustionated…..meaning someone is standing too close or a situation is making you feel closed in.

What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year?
Racecars in the office where the computer is and a free one on the kitchen fridge.

Name 3 people you speak with by telephone a regular basis.
1. Mom 2. Sister 3. Marlene
Main Course
If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know - who would it be and what would you purchase for them?
For my sister. I know her taste. I have bought her many things that she really likes and tends not to buy for herself. She looks great in color. I would probably buy her a turquoise or teal silky mandarin collared tunic blouse and a black flared or straight skirt in a soft and flowy fabric.
What is the last beverage you drank?
Iced tea that I brewed this morning from tea leaves. A combination of Jasmine and Darjeeling. Put over purchased ice—no sugar.

Everyday Things

Are my poochies things? Well, they aren't people, so are they things. And since they are, they are my Favorite Everyday things!

First, is Chiquita, the Pekingese, we call her Chickie--we've had her the longest. We keep her hair cut short, so she may look funny for a Peke, but it's hot here and she likes to be outside. She is 10 years old and we got her from our vet when she was 5 yrs. She was blind when we got her(we had previously had a blind dog, so we knew what we were in for). She was a "dumped" dog. The people who brought her in wanted her put down because she had gone blind. She had been badly neglected and our vet kept her for 6 weeks after we said we would take her so that she could be nursed back to health. Now she has gone almost totally deaf. She wears a diaper in the house, because often she cannot find her way to the door to ask out. She is my lovey girl and like to sit on my lap and get petted. She asks for pets by putting her front paws together and moving them up and down. She like to sit outside and do some barking at least once a day.

Second, is Harry the Shih Tzu. 10 years old. We got him used when he was 8 years old from a guy who got remarried and her dogs did not get along with Harry. It was us or the dog pound. He is feisty and playful and talks a lot. He is a woo-woo dog(that the sound he makes when he plays--"Ah woo woo). He sleeps beside my husband at night and sits beside him on the couch. He is our alpha dog.

Lastly, is Teddy, the ???? Poodle/we don't know???. He closes his eyes when he sees the camera is going to flash. He has golden eyes. He was found at the side of a busy street near an unoccupied area and the canal, by one of the workers when our friend was building his house. They guy brought him to us, asking if we knew of anyone who had lost a dog. My husband took him and I snatched the puppy immediately. I knew he was going home with us. He was dehydrated and starving. When we took him to our vet, she said he was about 8 weeks old. So he is now 6 months old. He is a joy. He is full of energy and revs up the older dogs. He is sweet and full of fun. We've had many dogs in our lives, but never had a puppy. It's a new experience. Thankfully, I have several friends to give me advice and potty training was pretty easy with cage training.

I praise the Lord every day for my little companions. They listen to me when my husband is tired of hearing me complain. They hang out with me when I'm on the computer. They comfort me when I'm sad and rejoice with me when I'm happy. They're always glad to see me when I come in the house, even if I've just been outside watering the plants. They sit with me, give me puppy kisses. They entertain me with their antics. They are always happy. All the dogs in my life have taught me many things. How to love unconditionally. How to live in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. How to deal with death and loss. I know a lot about dogs and I understand that they are not just "little people". I know that their loyalty comes from the pack instinct. They want to please me because my spouse and I are the pack leaders. But they are my favorite everyday poochie-doodles!