Monday, December 29, 2014

New Beginnings

I love this week before the New Year. Well, I love this year. I don't think I was too wild about the beginning of last year. This year I can say with a happy heart. " Nothing in meaningless. Nothing, for the Christian, is a dead end. All endings are beginnings." ( From All That Was Ever Ours, p. 64)

Rain this year helps so much. Seeing green again does fill me with hope. Just this morning, I had to take these pictures.

Last year, and the year before, there was no green like this. It makes me so happy to see this today.

I started reading yesterday. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I had to share this little gem, on California. ( I wish I knew this last year.)

" I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put terror on the valley. The water came in thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain. And then the dry years would come, and sometimes there would be only seven or eight inches of rain. The land dried up and the grasses headed out miserably a few inches high and great bare scabby places appeared in the valley. People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way."

I am also listening to" My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir" by LibriVox. My favorite reader, Adrian Praetzellis.
We have a cold storm on its way and the deserts might get snow. It feels so nice to have cold winter.
The oranges and grapefruit and lemons need this. We won't be as freezing as some places. Our blood oranges are getting that lovely color of red on them
blood oranges
I do wish when they were naming this orange they might have called it something pretty. It has the nicest oranges and looks so pretty when it is almost purple inside. Such good flavor too.

pink grapefruit
The pink grapefruit hasn't started changing yet. It will now with the cold. Our other oranges and lemons are starting to turn. I never worry about the Valencia oranges. Our Meyer lemons are little this year but so filled with juice. After last summer, I am so thankful for this crop. To see that they made it fills me with such relief. I was so afraid, that the drought might have caused us to have to turn off the water to the trees. I think it is a good thing to be aware of the gift of rain. I am sure I needed such a wake up call. Living in town, I never worried to much about weather. Living out here, though, I am so aware of the storms and rain and drought.
So I think this new year is already off to a good start.

Have a lovely Monday, as this is the last one of 2014


" Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."
---Angelique Arnauld---

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moving On To 2015

Can you see it in the distance? 2015 is peeking in the windows of 2014. I have this urge to take down my old calendars and put up the new ones. I have lists lurking in my mind. Which room will I start with first. Thoughts that I love to think about and plan for, and organize my schedule. Here on my blog it says I am a 10 minute hooker. I am thinking of incorporating that into my Charles Dickens reading. See if I can get them all read this year. On the 23rd I ventured with Ron down to The Bookhounds. Our very close used book store. I thought I was being smart by not taking my purse. Taking only six dollars. I mean how much damage can I do with six dollars in my pocket?

It was a good thing that Ron went with me because he had to get me out of hock. I spent more than six dollars. They had lots of Dickens. They also had East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I had to read so much John Steinbeck in high school I said I would never read another. My brother and my nephew consider it their favorite book. It was there. I will put it on my list of books to read. I think Jane Austin is a good one for this year too. I love lining up my books to read this next year. I will also be reading Pearl S. Buck.

This year I asked my son if he would get me this lovely cleaner that he gave me back when I was cleaning my tile in the house for the wedding.  It is made by a local company and that is what they, Ben and Meg got me for Christmas. 2 1/2 gallons. Ben said that it is the real stuff and you dilute it sixty to one. Ron did the math last night for the bottle I will be using to spay it on tile and grout. One teaspoon. Yep, one tiny teaspoon per spray bottle. I think that 2/12 gallons will last my entire life. I have been playing around with all kinds of cleaners but none work as well as this. 

I wanted to share Ben's latest invention. It is called a Rocket Stove. 

It is little.  See if I can explain it the way he did. 

You open that little door and you put twigs and newspaper in there and light the fire. That 
heat is then pulled up the center and makes a sound like a rocket. Megan said it boils water for her
tea in nine minutes and has enough heat to cook hash browns in an iron skillet. After the water boils.

You set your teapot or your skillet on this right here. It has a really strong draw because of the chimney.

Megan had posted pictures of it so I thought it was big, but it is just this really little compact stove. One of the things that I like about it is you don't have to use butane or anything like that just twigs. I just thought you might like seeing his latest invention. He never ceases to amaze me at the things he can make. 

I have enjoyed reading about your lovely Christmases. We had a lovely day, I never took out my camera except when Ben brought this in the house. Today, though, it just looks normal. Christmas is put away. The house is clean and back to normal. We have lovely winter weather right now. I hope to get some hooking in this weekend. I have missed my hook. 

Have a lovely weekend, thank you so much for stopping by. 

 " I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God love us." 
The Old Curiosity Shop---Charles Dickens, published 1841

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas To You

Just stopping by to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas Day! Thank you for making my life so
wonderful and for welcoming me into your lives. I hope your day is filled with blessing.

From my heart to you,
Much joy and love and peace on this day,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas

Since I have been so sporadic in my posting, I thought I would drop by of a minute, between stages of 3 to 5 of panic. My list of things to accomplish today until Friday is pretty awe inspiring. Yet, here I am sitting in front of the computer drinking my coffee reading blogs and watching the sun come up. Does it matter if any of those things get done? Nope. All that matters will be done and by Friday, no one will care.

This December I have tried to keep my eyes on what is important. I have tried to spend more time on being quiet and listening instead of rushing. Some day's have been successful others have not. I had a lesson this week in my lack of faith. Ron had to work out of town last week. He has been working lots of overtime. When he walks in the door at night, gray with exhaustion, I start going into overdrive. I become more like a bear guarding her cubs. I start doing what ever I can to make things nicer and easier for him.

 Going out of town, there is nothing I can do to help him. Wednesday, as he left, neither he nor I saw that he left his laptop on the table. I noticed it and called him but he decided that he wouldn't need it, I was ready to jump in the car and meet him at the foot of the Grapevine. He didn't want to be late so he declined.

Traffic was a nightmare getting to the place he needed to be and took him an hour longer than he thought.
He worked all day and then we talked that evening after he got in the hotel. He was going to go get dinner and told me to call him after I got things done a round here.

At 7:00 I called. His phone went straight to voice mail.
I thought, Oh, he maybe turned off his phone for some peace and quiet while he ate.
7:15 I call again, voice mail.
7:30 I sent a text, I waited.
7:45 I send another text, then I noticed that the messages are not being delivered. I sent another one to see what happened. Like something would change. Still nothing.

8:00 I am going through the roof, visions of things that I won't talk about were going through my mind, but all of a sudden I realized I can't find him, I can't reach him and I wish I told you I sat down and prayed. Nope, I went in to see if by chance he had messaged me on Face Book, You know like if he was taken the abductors would let him use the computer. I was not coherent I am telling you.

8:10 I read a blog I have never read in my life. The title of her post was Fear Not.

As I read her post, I knew it was for me. I knew that God was sending me a message. ( The best kind of text message.)  To Fear Not.
Then in the middle of the post, as I was trying to calm down and having no luck, written in this post was, " Fear Not, Fear Not, Fear Not." Three times. I got off the computer went in my room and got on my knees. I prayed, not very good prayers either, short, and to the point, Protect Ron, keep him safe.

I went outside in the cold because I couldn't breathe, when the phone rang. Ron said how sorry as he was that his phone had went so dead and he was trying to get the phone to charge and wouldn't work until he had a 16% charge on it. I was laughing and crying and trying to calm down.

He finally made it back on Friday night. A 2 hour trip took 4 hours. He was supposed to start vacation today but there was the work that didn't get finished last week because he was gone so he has to do that this week.
So today as I look at my to do lists. For me, well they just aren't that important. Things will get done. No one will starve. The house will get cleaned and the laundry will get finished. All that matters will be done.

I hope you have a lovely Christmas.


"It's ironic that one of the best remedies for impending burnout is to give yourself away.
To pick one time and place each week where you strech out your hands for the pure joy
of doing it."
Liz Curtis Higgs, Only Angels Can Wing it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blessings and Being Thankful

One of the things I am aware of  this year, is how things that seemed out of control last year at this time, were never out of God's plan. I was reminded of this yesterday as I read this.

" If God is almighty, there can be no evil so great as to beyond His power to transform. That transforming power brings light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, gain out of loss, life out of death."

" Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all."
Jeremiah 31:12

In July I went to my regular eye doctor to get eye glasses. What he told me was that because the surgeon
had made a mistake when he did the first surgery, I would never be able to get glasses. Unless I was prepared to go through another eye surgery, I was going to have to live with the way things were.
I was sad and it took me awhile to accept  that God has led me this far in my life, and if this was His will for me, then I would just pull myself together and get over it. I could after all see so much better than before the surgery. I went on my way, trying to be thankful every day and look for the blessings and not think about what I didn't have, but accepted those things that I do have.

This week, I went back to the eye doctor. Only though a series of circumstances that I see as a divine gift.
I saw a new doctor. He ran some new tests that I had never had before. I knew I have been experiencing some changes, the headaches have returned, and my mind of course always races to the what ifs.
At the end of the tests, the doctor looked at me and he said, " I have only read about this in books, I have never seen it before. It happens but not very often." He acted kind of rattled, and I was preparing myself for something bad. He gave me a big long medical name that I wish I had written down.

What he said was that, my eyes have corrected the mistake and now my eyes are almost the same. Instead of one being perfect 20/20 and the other being so far sighted. The far sighted one is now almost the same as the 20/20 one. He showed me how healthy my eyes are and how the lenses have now become my own. There is no signs of any problems and my eyes are very healthy. While he didn't say I had a miracle. He acted like it. He kept shaking his head and looking back and forth to the computer and the readings.

The doctor looked back at last year and showed me how bad my eyes were. He even said that
the kind of cataracts were so different from normal and how aggressive they were even last year.
He said, " It is amazing to see how different your eyes are now compared to a year ago."

I left once again just as stunned as I did last year when I found out how bad they were. Only this year when I came in the house, I sat down and thought about how God had given me a miracle for Christmas. One that I never dreamed of and how just saying I am thankful just doesn't seem enough. I am in awe.

The words from that Christmas song "Mary Did You Know" mean so much to me right now.

"The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb"

I have thought about it for a couple of days. I finally decided I needed to share it. I guess the reason, is that it I find myself saying why me Lord? Instead of saying Thank you to Him, because I know me and He knows me inside out and there are more people who deserve His incredible gifts and yet He gives and gives to me. His goodness and mercy overwhelm me.

It has been an incredible year. I am so glad that God keeps writing new chapters in my life. I have always liked happy endings best. I thought you might too. Have a lovely day.


" A pearl, I'm told is a wound healed. No wound, no pearl."
---In His Everlasting Arms, Gail MacDonald

Monday, December 15, 2014

More Storms

More rain and storms in the forecast. I think that makes for a great start to the last week before Christmas, don't you? It was a red sky this morning and I couldn't really get a good shot of how really red it was today.

I did manage to get a tiny little rug finished. Now will I get it bound before Christmas? I don't know.
It was one that I drew out. It makes me laugh so that is always good. I never knew that drawing shows so much of the inner self. My drawings I think reflect how I feel inside. A bit off balance, things not quite lining up and how funny things make me laugh. It is all in this rug. I guess that is why I like whimsical things. It appeals to my nature.

Just a little silly rug that makes me happy. It isn't very big so it might end up a pillow. Not really sure. It was just an experiment for me.

I hope you have a lovely new week, any time we have storms makes my week that much better.


" She was not afraid of mice---
she loved winter, snow and ice.
To the tiger in the zoo
Madeline just said, "Pooh-pooh."
---Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans, 1939

Friday, December 12, 2014

Storms and Such

Hello here from very wet California. We didn't loose any trees or anything, we have tumbleweeds and our swimming pool looks like a swamp. It was an amazing storm. The weather page I read, the weatherman said, " All of the people he talks too say, " Keep 'em coming." So I thought that was nice because I feel just the same way. I know I said at the beginning all of the drivel about slowing down and enjoying December.

I have raced willy-nilly though the days, as soon as my feet hit the ground until they fall back in at bedtime.
I have rarely sat and contemplated deep thoughts nor have I spent time in reflection about Mary and her baby son. I have stood in lines and observed life around me. When I was a kid there was the nicest department store in the world, it was called Brocks. I miss Brocks. Sure the clerks were snobby. But at Christmas time there was no nicer store in the world. If you felt a little peckish after shopping you could climb the stairs and they had a wonderful little lunch counter with lovely ladies all dressed up having tea or coffee. I thought of that as I stood in line behind 25 people as the clerks thought about whether it was time to open some more registers.

I hope that next week I can be a hermit, but already I have Monday and Tuesday gone. My calendar looks like it has been dipped in paint.

One thing I thought about this week, as I stood in a line at the post office. There used to be a man that worked at the post office. His name was Harry. He had a long beard that went down to his belt and long hair half way down his back. Going to the post office when Harry was working was a treat. I always stood and prayed that It would be Harry I would get to wait on me. When you walked up to Harry's side of the counter, you entered into the realm of a kingdom. He made you feel like the most important person in the world. No matter what was going on in your life, some how Harry knew just how to make you smile or laugh. When he retired, our local news did a story on him. It seems that I wasn't the only one who thought Harry was special.
The other day as I made it up to the counter and the man who waited on me did nothing but complain and whine and moan about working and the people. I kept thinking of Harry. Nothing I said to the man behind the counter made him smile or be happy, finally I just sighed and gave up.

 I hope you have a wonderful weekend. We have a couple more storms coming. I feels so thankful for the rain. The ground is happy I think to finally have moisture. Tomorrow, tumbleweeds will have to be piled up to be burned. We still have that handy-dandy burn permit. Boy do tumbleweeds burn. I will try and remember to take a video of it.
Have a wonderful weekend,

"We are going to be introduced to Mr. Dickens," he said.
" I thought he was dead!" exclaimed Mrs. Peterkin, trembling.
"Authors live forever!" said Agamemnon in her ear.
---The Peterkin Papers, Lucretia P. Hale, 1880

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Foggy, Wintery Day

Today we have a foggy day. The last few years, it was so dry that we wouldn't have fog. It was too dry. Along with the tiny changes that are going on, the rain we have received so far with more to come, fog brings its own beauty. I never saw it that way until this year. Having it be so dry, these shots of drops are to me such blessing. It smells outside of a deep freeze. The drops falling into the leaves. The moisture clinging to the trees and grass, are to me as precious as diamonds. Here are a few I took this morning.

Drops on the Bradford Pear trees
The drops of fog on the last of the Morning Glories 

The final leaves of fall
Roses covered in diamonds

The gifts of flowers
Having the promise of rain again is something I am so thankful for and so needed. Every thing is turning green and it is so pretty to see. I love that here in California, having brown most of the year, and how just the tiniest bit of rain changes all of that brown to green. I find that the smallest blade of grass is in of itself a  tiny miracle. 


  To him it was not the gift
that mattered, but the giver.
---"The Turnip," Tales Told Again, Walter de la Mare, 1927

Friday, December 5, 2014

Just Thinking

Here we are at the weekend again. This week just flew by didn't it? I feel like I kept trying to lasso each day to slow it down, but by today I just gave in, December is in a hurry to zoom by. This weekend is our move in anniversary to this house. We started building in 2001. Our other house was on the market and here in our town the twin towers brought down the housing market. We moved in on the morning of December 7th and I really prayed we wouldn't be having our own personal Pearl Harbor. Thirteenth years later, I can tell you nothing I was afraid of happened.

God has continued to be faithful and that verse He gave me so long ago when I was standing watching the sun set and crying because I really was scared out of my mind.

" How long wilt thou mourn?...fill thy horn with oil, and go, I will send thee... I have provided"... ---1 Samuel 16:1

We had not had any lookers at the old house, and then on the last day there, Ron had taken the kids over to bring our chicken coop home. It was the last thing. He had the kids in his truck when a couple got out of their car and wanted to see the house. They went through it and told Ron they wanted to buy it. By December 20th they had made an offer and we had accepted. I had asked God earlier if He would sell the house by Christmas. He did.

I have been thinking all week, about faith and about Trusting God and  how He has led our life. How He has never once failed to keep His word. How sometimes the things I prayed for He just said flat out no. Others He has said, " Will you trust me."  I realized that life is like an ocean, the tide comes in and the tide goes out. There are good times and there are hard times. There are tests and there are rewards. But never can I say, has God forsaken us. He has given far more than I ever dreamed, more than I ever deserved. He has taken the bread crumbs I have offered and turned them into a feast.

I think because it is December it is a good time to start re-accessing life.  To see if God is leading us to a new place, to see where we want to be in five years. To gain a perspective on life at this age. I know one of the things I want for Christmas this year, is a new daughter to love. I love this stage of life because I get to have lovely people that God has brought into our lives without labor. I spent years on my knees praying for our children's mates as soon as the babies were in my arms. Now seeing the gifts the God has brought and has added, for me, it is the best gift I have ever received. I love having new people to love. It really is a wonderful life. 

I am so thankful this morning. I am so glad to be here right now. I still remember when Ron walked in the door and we were newly married with one kid and a ton of bills and the joy on his face when he said, " Kim Look!! The verse God gave me for our life. " give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 God continues to do just that. I am so thankful we never gave up.

This was not the post I was going to write today. Sometimes posts just write themselves. This is one of them.
Have a lovely Friday,

" Tears may be the beginning, but they should not be the end of things.
---"The Goldfish," The Little Bookroom," 
Eleanor Farjeon, 1956

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Raining All Around

Yesterday, I saw that last blooms on my roses. As I looked at all of the trees, I know that winter is on its way. I woke up to the wonderful sounds and smells of rain. This is supposed to be a huge storm, maybe even going until Thursday. Right now, it is just gentle showers. The Doppler is really lit up as it comes towards us.

It is funny how the pace changes once December is upon us. I would almost say a frantic pace begins.
I know that I am  just as guilty of adding to the frantic rush. I know every year, I tell myself I will slow down.
I will spend more time being quiet, reflecting on the words of Mary, and her lovely words of praise.

" And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

In December, I long to be as the other Mary, the one who sat at the feet of Jesus.

"But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me."
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,"

The Martha in my spirit always wins. My to-do list becomes longer than the days are long. I fall into bed exhausted and empty and so many times during the day I miss the moments that make life worth living.
I miss the moment of making the tired person behind the counter smile or laugh.
I miss the sunset that I should have watched.
I miss hearing the rain because I am in a hurry to get that one more errand accomplished.
I miss the time of quietly sitting at the feet of Jesus because I am too busy to sit with His love letters open on my lap.

So this December, I will begin today, ( I already missed the first day of December because of that to do list.)
To think of others more highly than myself.
To see to those whose needs are greater than my own.
To make my home one of peace and joy and not a battle ground.
To walk in mud puddles and splash.
To loose the list a few days a week.
Just some things I would like to do instead of being frantic.

Have you seen that picture of the two kinds of people at Christmas? One is Buddy the Elf, jumping and laughing because of it being Christmas. The other is a picture of Theoden from Lord of the Rings as he looks over the miles and miles of Orks and says, " So now it begins." I am the one who chimes in with Theoden and this year I hope to be more like Buddy.
Happy December!


" The whole world had changed. Only the fairy tales remained the same."
---Number the Stars, Lois Lowry, 1989