Monday, December 24, 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

We will be going over the river and through the woods,and over the mountain and down through the desert valley to Grandma's house...

I pray you have a safe and lovely Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

No, No Santa!

I have decided to make a new feature on my blog; Thrift Store Finds.
I thrift, a lot. I don't make a career out of it, and I don't fill my house with stuff just because it is cool, or funny, or whatever. I have even stopped collecting things I do like. Who needs stuff? No one. But when we do need something I often check thrift stores first. This is especially true for costumes for productions. Today our local Goodwill re-opened after a facelift. It was very nice and clean and they are stocked up with some wonderful things.
And we saw this...

Santa, I don't care what you keep in your pants...I am not reaching in!



Monday, December 17, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Little Like This...

Yep. That's how my day was.


But then I had a brief IM with a couple of my good friends, and my hubby, and
 tonight I get to sing praises with people that love God and then I will feel more like this:


So, it's all good.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Focus Changer

Read this today over at A Holy Experience. 
She is a poetic writer, full of aha moments in her world. She is also a real mom with real kids, her life is not perfect and I appreciate that she admits it.

I don't want to give the wrong picture of our family either. We are not your typical consumer machine. When I hear stories of black Friday madness, and the average Americans spend I am shocked. We love family time together, we love so much more at this time of year. And frankly, I think we are super happy to GIVE the gifts, we love it when someone is excited to receive something we made or found for them. It's just who we are. After reading this post I thought, too bad my kids are too old to change all this, too bad we aren't just starting out as a family.
But it's just silly to think we can't change.
We live in such ease. We have clean water, we have food available to us. We have so much stuff we need garages, and attics and storage untis to contain it. Sure we have debt and bills, and hardships, but it isn't disease from our water.

I am not sure what we will do,  I think we would still give a gift, just scale everything even further back, but I know where my focus is shifting.

What about yours?


Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Tale of Two Squashes

This year I tried to grow something new, acorn squash. I love it very much. The gophers loved them too. The poor little plants tried hard to gorw but that pest would eat their roots and stunt their growth. I tried all I could to help them.
In the end we had a few, very small, squashes to pick.

I bought a couple in the store as well, they looked like giants in comparison. I cooked them for dinner one night, and lo and behold, guess who won?

Not the giant store bought, oh no. The ones we grew were smoothin texture, loaded in buttery flavor and over all just delightful. Even their color was better, signifying to me that perhaps they held more nutrients as well. The store bought were pale, stringy, and lacked flavor.


Next year I am growing even more of these wonderful squashes, and I will protect them from the gophers.

Friday, November 30, 2012

802

This is my 801st post. It took me awhile, I am not speedy McSpeedster in the blog writing world. I know some of you probably hit 800 long ago in your 2nd year of writing, and that's okay. I am okay with slow and steady wins the race. Which, if that's true I'd like to know what I won and when I should be expecting it to arrive. My goodness, how exciting, a major award. I wonder if it's Italian.

So onto more important things. This is the final day of November, which means the final day of NABLOPOMO. WHEW! I made it. Sometimes barely making it in before it was too late.  It was a full and busy month, visitors, holidays, school productions (tonight and tomorrow) major decisions and change a brewin'.
I am so thankful to have a small handful of people to share it with. Thank you for reading my ramblings as I find my voice again.

I expected, and was hopeful that by today's post I could announce the next home. But, sadly, it didn't happen. We didn't find a house to buy...yet. God's timing is perfect, and perhaps our home just isn't ready for us.

Bring on December, I'm ready!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Here and Now

I was working at the church office when a phone call came in from a couple in our town looking for renters. The price was a hundred more than we were paying currently, but it was nearly twice the amount of space, and knowing Alyssa was moving back home soon, well, twice as much space seemed like a good idea. We arranged to come out and look at the house. I walked in and immediately knew, this was home. Great flooring, a living room that closed off for noise control, granite counter tops, oh yeah.

We walked around, they pointed out all the fruit trees. By now I had learned how to can so I saw the potential in the yard. It had a basketball hoop, and most importantly, 2 offices in the garage, for a studio.

We were at the appointment for over an hour because we had so much in common with the landlords. Both love basketball, they are on their churches worship team too, etc. 

Problem was, the rent was higher. So we told them we would pray about it. We did. I got an unsettled feeling about the energy bills and called her back to inquire what she though they might be. It was higher that we could go, I politely explained this and said goodbye. About an hour later she called back and offered us the house for a reduced rent. It was meant to be. We've been here three years now.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life Getting More Pleasant

Happy 800th post to me! Moving on.....

We moved about an hour away, into the foothills towards Lake Tahoe, into another family's home. At first it was just Aaron, and then, when my dad was recovering Spencer and I joined him. It was arranged to be with this other family for 6 weeks. The church had Aaron play on Sundays and paid him a bit so we would have something as we searched for what to do next. In the mean time I started making phone calls knowing that we would miss our first mortgage payment soon on the Arizona house. We were battered and bruised from betrayal and stinky circumstances. I sat in that first service in this new place and was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit in the room. I cried, and could not really stop. And let me just take a moment here to explain something....I was not a crier. Period. A few weeks later was my birthday. A few ladies took me out. It felt odd, but was nice of them to try to reach out to this broken, angry, person all torn up and turning inward. I like having a plan, I like knowing the path we are headed on. No such information existed. But each Sunday I sat in services and cried. Something started breaking off, slowly, but surely. One day a few women took me to the International House Of Prayer, to worship and hear a speaker. While we were worshiping I heard God. It was clear as a bell..."Sing to me". I did, and I haven't stopped since. Amazing things have happened while worshiping through song. Nearing the last weeks we were to be there it was clear...I sat, crying AGAIN saying "Why would we leave this place, I have never felt God like this before". Never had we been so embraced, so loved on, and so prayed for for our healing process. We asked permission from our hosts to stay in their home a little longer to save up and get a place of our own. Aaron by this time was touring with Juan Gabriel. He was working hard to learn an entire concerts' worth  of background vocals, all in Spanish. He started traveling and earning more money.

After a few more weeks (6?) we moved into this little gem. It's darling, yellow, cute...and SMALL. Two bedrooms, one bath, 900 square feet. We squeezed in, utilizing the under the house storage area and one car garage. Aaron set up his studio in the garage as well, unless it was super cold out, then he was in the entry hallway of the home. Cozy is a perfect description.

While we lived here eventually Alyssa moved back in, and then Jenelle too, and then Alyssa moved back out. Five people in this home was hard, but it worked. One day we had 15 musicians and on lookers for a jam session in the living room. We had visitors, and overnight guests, we just shuffled people around and made everyone as comfortable as possible. We were near the fairgrounds and center of town. The apartment building next door unfortunately had many people come and go, with bad relationships, yelling and drug use. It was sad and we often were fearful for people's lives over there. I spent time praying for them at the window that over looked the building(with the blinds closed, I wasn't a creeper).

We stayed here for two years, and then we got a great deal on a much larger rental, just as Alyssa was moving back home again.

Best features: Yard for Spencer, architectural features, nice landlord, location.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where?

We moved to a smallish town south of Sacramento. We plugged into our new church and met some amazing people. We rented this house, there was a possibility of buying it eventually if our house in Arizona would sell. Four bedrooms, large open floor plane, and amazing flooring. They invested in some fabulous tile from Italy. It really was beautiful, but it also was super hard and anything dropped shattered into millions of sharp slivers. Funny thing about this photo from google maps....those are our cars, even though this was 6 years ago...also, it warped the roof line. Odd.


We lived here about a year, sometimes paying both rent and our full mortgage since our renters were not stellar about paying rent. Eventually things didn't work out here either. We still love many people from this place, so that's all I will say.

The ending to living here was very traumatic.
Although we paid for a full month, the landlord told us in order to break the lease we'd have to get out in 10 days. We threw out, sold, or donated about 1/2 of our belongings and put the rest in storage. We didn't have a plan, and because of the double house payments we didn't have the means to just find somewhere else.

I am being transparent here. This was a very painful time. I felt abandoned by God, rejected by people and churches, and now we were about to be homeless. Both my daughters, now graduated from high school, chose to go to San Diego. That was painful. My dad suddenly needed open heart surgery, so Aaron finished packing and moving stuff to storage and I headed to see my dad.
Now God has a way of working things out for the good. But at the time it didn't feel like that.
Aaron had a phone conversation with a worship leader about an hour away. She said there was a family in their church willing to let us stay in their guest room while we figured things out. So we made that plan.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Still Dry Hea(v)ting

It's no secret to anyone that I did not enjoy my time in Arizona. I tried to make the best of it while I was there, but I never felt settled, and I missed greenery and trees, and water...and going outside during summertime without my eyeballs melting. But more importantly than all of that was the fact that some really bad circumstances took place there, and we were slammed around a bit. I will not give specifics. Just know this. prejudice still exists as does  church politics, and in a long string of events it showed it's ugly head.

We bought this house. By far the ugliest on the outside, but the inside floor plan worked so well for us. It really did. It had a living room and a family room, that could be closed off, a wonderful feature for our family at that time. It had a pool and 3 bathrooms, both extra treats for us. We did some upgrading to it, slowly, as we did to all of the homes we owned. We closed escrow, moved in, and expected our first full time paycheck all in the same week. Only, the check was part time, and they said they couldn't have him full time yet, maybe in a few months. We scraped by with the promise of better. And just when we thought it was going to get better, it didn't. Aaron led worship for other churches for a time while he looked for a new job. Eventually he was hired in California, up near Sacramento this time.We put the house on the market and he left to go work while we stayed behind. Only, the housing market crashed in Arizona right that very minute.

We were separated for much too long in both our opinions. I know people do it all the time, especially military families. My hats off to them. We decided to keep the house on the market, have someone live in it for a time and join my hubby.

We eventually had room mate "renters" in that home. This did not end well. Blackened carpets, broken plate glass windows and sliding glass doors... and an attitude of optional rent paying. We had friends trying very hard to help us with the situation, but to little avail.

Tomorrow I will show you the house in a town with a name that also sounded like a disease to us...which should have been an indicator to us...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

But It's a Dry Heat

The day we moved to Arizona it was 120 degrees, and I am not exaggerating.
We moved into a parsonage house. You can kinda of see it to the right. This is on a 10 acre parcel, with a church building slightly smaller than the house, a small parking lot and a basketball court. Boyscouts used this area for their meetings, the church met on Sundays, and in exchange for living here Aaron led their service once a month, and we were at the big sister church the rest of the month. He was no longer the head person, now he was a music director underneath a Music pastor and friend. This home had been altered inside. One giant room greeted you as you walked in with the kitchen nearby. It had been used for other churches for a time. It still had 3 distinct bedroom and 2 bathrooms, and another added on room off the master bedroom that we used for Spencer's room and a small area for a little sofa and tv. You could ride bikes in the big area. We divided it up with bookcases and placed the furniture to make an office area, a living room, and a dinning room. It still had lots of room to run around. Unfortunately it was also infested with mice. I had migraines 3-4 times a week while we lived here. If these 2 factors had been different we wouldn't have moved out of this house. But they did exist, and so we did.

Across the street from this home was this.


They were building the new stadium that eventually had a SuperBowl in it.It was fascinating to watch, and they built mostly at night due to the heat.

We stayed here until the big house finally sold. It was a stressful time.

But God brought us someone to buy our other house. During this time we watched housing prices climb and thought we better buy a house now before it's higher. We checked with Aaron's current job to make sure he was going to actually be brought on as full time staff, they said yes, and bought a house...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Big House

Because of the good timing of selling our first home, we were able to have a large down payment for this one.


We moved across town into this brand new house. It was on one acre and had a granny flat as well. We laid that grass you see in the photo and planted the greenery. This home had many wonderful attributes, and some weirdness due to the person who had it built. But it worked for us. The downstairs was 1500 square feet, 3 bedroom 2 bath. The upstairs was, well, slightly defined spaces. Originally designed to be an attic with dormers it developed into an entire upstairs area. It had walls that portioned off, but no doors. The plumbing existed for a bathroom because the builder himself insisted it be put in, but the bathroom was never built per the owner/seller. It was our intent to build that bathroom. The girls each took a space as a bedroom. We had a pool table and library area and a guest room, plus a giant family room. It was wonderful, weird, but wonderful.

Things didn't go as planned here however. We were going to convert the garage on the granny flat into more living space, but because of the recent giants fires no one was available for a simple remodel, they were busy rebuilding entire homes. This meant that the upstairs bathroom was never built and our extended family shared the small granny flat. I asked them to move into the big house, but they refused.

After a year of living here Aaron also felt called, away.  He started working in Arizona not too much later and I stayed and tried to sell the house. Eventually we joined him in AZ while the house stood, elegantly dressed, waiting hopefully for it's next owners to find it.

Although this home would be much to large for just the three of us now, we do still love it. I know the family that eventually bought it had foster kids and plans, and I am sure it is a wonderful place for all of them to live.

Friday, November 23, 2012

TDC: First Purchase



We plunged into home ownership. I know it doesn't look like much, just an oversized garage. But behind that garage was a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house. When we left this home the ugly brown office carpeting in the kitchen, dining room and entry had been replaced with pergo-like flooring, the cabinets refaced and beautiful and we had added on one more bedroom and a small other area.  The previous owner had a magnificent garden plot in the backyard, complete with gopher fencing underground and netting to keep the birds out. It was also planted when we moved in, and we enjoyed broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and gave away the bell peppers.(So very allergic). I really enjoyed living in this home. We lived here for over two years. We only sought to move when Aaron felt like we should have a home big enough for his mom, sister and our young niece to live with us too. We placed this home on the market and started looking. It sold quickly. And we moved, again.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

TDC: Weekend VIlla?

 Happy Thanksgiving.
We are celebrating the goodness and blessings God has given us. Today is no different than the rest of the year for me in that department. No matter what is going on in life, God is good, and worthy to be praised. I do love Thanksgiving, because it is time to reflect, and share with others, and take pause. Yes, we will eat from the bounty that has been provided for us, and we will share what we have with others. This year around my table I have my husband, my three children, my daughters' boyfriends, and one of their friends. The house smells wonderful, and bellies will be full, and laughter will ensue.
I will not have my parents around the table this year. Because of my dad's chemo therapy they will be unable to make it this year. This makes me sad, as we can not make it to their house either, but we will see them at Christmas, and it will be wonderful.

Now back to the tour:



With Aaron's new position we had a new life change for all of us. We had all lived in suburbs, all our lives, and now it was time for something completely different. Well, not completely, but almost. We moved 45 minutes away, up into the hills above the San Diego area. It is semi rural, but very rural for us. The town had plenty of super markets, restaurants and what not, and we were just "up the hill" from much, much more. About 20 minutes maybe. It was a good transition.
This house was built in 1909 or something like that. It had been the lodge and possibly office to small vacation cabins, now homes or torn down. The wrap around porch was enclosed and was now the kitchen and dining area, and the house had a lot of character. It also had only half of a new roof. The laundry room leaked like a sieve and there was an unusable bathroom back there as well. The one working bathroom had 3 doors, one to the master bedroom, one to the kitchen and then one, which led to the living room, but only after walking through a giant walk in closet area that we used for storage and coats. It was weird. The girls, for the first time in their lives, had separate bedrooms, which was really beneficial for everyone.
This is where I was when the Twin Towers fell.
We bought our first house not too long after that, packed up, and moved.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TDC: Holding Up My Own Walls


We made the move into this home.
A week later I was to go on my very first fully paid vacation.
I was laid off that Friday.
Fun times.
Thankfully they gave me a nice severance package, and the temp agency was able to find me jobs.
I worked 3 jobs for awhile to make sure everything was paid.
But the walls weren't shared, and that was good.

And then, that Fall, I started talking to Aaron, long conversations, that went well into the night.
We were married in the Spring. He moved into this home with us.

A year and half later we also added our son to this home. It was tight, but we made it work. God started calling Aaron back into ministry full time, He led us to a position and we packed this home up.

Best features of home: Location, pool, floorplan, All the goodness that happened here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TDC My Own Space

I moved back down to San Diego and into the neighborhood where I had spent most of my childhood. It was soothing to me, my same church, familiar stores and faces. My girls attended the same elementary school that I did. I lived in this very large apartment complex. I got a good job, I work for a long time as a temp first, and then they hired me on and things were going well.
The apartment was on the small side, and I hated sharing walls and the ceiling, so we decided to move up the street into an area of detached town homes.
(Michelle, you should recognize tomorrow's for sure)


Best features: Laundry in apartment itself, pool, no 70's colors.

Monday, November 19, 2012

TDC: Ha Ha Herman


This is the house I moved into due to the unknown pressure I was feeling  in my parents home. We moved in, the girls turned four and then, about a week later I woke up around 4:30am to my bed rocking back and forth, it was an earthquake. A big one. But  it wasn't centered where I lived, it was very close to my parents' house about 3 hours north of me. The pressure I felt was from the earth, and I believe divine intervention led me to leave in time. My parents themselves were not hurt. They lost many items in their home and there was damage that had to be repaired. The aftershocks came for weeks and weeks. It really rattled my mom. I remember as a child, in the very first home, being downstairs during the big Pasadena quake. I am thankful my girls and I weren't up near Northridge for this one.
During the year I lived in this home I attended massage therapy school while working in an industrial bakery, hand crafting giant cinnamon rolls for your enjoyment. We returned to my parents home, where I again went back to school, finishing at The Master's College nearby and the girls attended Kindergarten and 1st grade. I'd see Aaron from time to time as his band played in a nearby establishment.
I also believe it was divine guidance to go back and live with them. My dad was traveling a lot for his job and while gone one time my mom became very ill. She remained ill for a long time. I was there to help. Her illness is currently in remission, but it was really scary at the time.

My mom got better, I finished college, and it was time, once again, to move and live on my own.

Best features: built in bookcases, floorplan

Sunday, November 18, 2012

TDC: Collecting Myself

Having my marriage end was painful, and left me with two 2 year olds and not a lot of choices.
I moved in with my parents.

Except, a month or so later they moved, and we went with them.


The house is at the top of this driveway on the right.All you can see in the triangle point above the one story home on the street.  It looked kinda like the one on the left...you get the idea.
This house was very large and it was a good place for safety and healing. The girls turned 3, started preschool, I found a job and I restarted school, but midway through the next fall semester suddenly felt immense pressure...not from my classes, and not from within my home. I just felt like I HAD TO GO RIGHT NOW.
I did something so not like me, I quit those classes and arranged for my friend Aaron from APU days to help me move to San Diego, but that's tomorrow's house...and it wasn't long before we figured out why...

Best features: New house, large, room for everyone, fabulous kitchen

Saturday, November 17, 2012

TDC: Big Move

San Diego is an expensive place to live.
Due to circumstances we decided to move to the Sacramento area, and my then husband was going to take over the "family  business".
For a month we lived in small house across the street from a great park, the only problem was that the house was owned by friends of the family, and the former occupant was their mother who was just moved into long term care...so the house was filled with her items. Breakable collectables, lace doilies and all. This was a really hard place to be with 2 active toddlers. Even though the rent was almost non-existent  we found our own place.

We moved into this halfplex. It was roomy and really worked for us.  I still like this unit. The other half would be really great for my family now if we lived in that area. 




We weren't here long before the end of that marriage, and another move.
Best features: Large rooms, connected garage, open feel, own backyard for girls to play in.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TDC :Buns in the Oven

My next stop on the Tour De Casas involves some life choices that I am not proud of, nor want to talk about at length here. I have done a lot of forgiving, including forgiving myself.  I got married, and pregnant, with twins no less, and moved into this condo with my husband, his mom, and eventually both his adult brothers.
It was a beautifully decorated 3 bedroom, and although not a large space, it was designed well. I was put on bed rest and lived in the bedroom, not fun.  Since the brothers weren't going anywhere and the birth of 2 more little lives was on the horizon  we eventually moved into this apartment....



Which actually didn't look this good when we lived there. We had the 2nd floor apartment on the right end. So that window was the master bedroom and the rest of our rooms and windows over looked where the truck is sitting and into those windows of the apartment annex. Funny story...while still on bedrest I was in the living room, laying down on our foam futon sofa, which was opened, so I was very low to the ground. It was probably December, and a rainy day. I sat up a little to look at the sky right as a completely naked man opened the drapes in the apartment across the alley and looked at the sky as well. He didn't see me because of how low I was sitting, but I gasped and laughed as one might when suddenly seeing a naked man...in an apartment that usually only had 2 young women room mates. I will never forget it.


The twins were born, and we lived here until they were around 18 months old. The day we were loading up the moving trucks was the first time they ever wrote on the walls....fantastic.

Best features: Condo- Smart space design.
Best Features apartment: Around the corner from my sister and her family, end unit was a good choice.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bonus Post Thankful Thursday

Since today is Thursday, and I want to remember to be thankful....always thankful. We may not have all that we want, we may not be in the best place financially, but we are so blessed!

So thankful for...
1. God's abundance.
2. Amazing women that He has placed in my life.
3. Second  chances, and third, and fourth...and a millionth
4. My daughter is coming home from college for a week of fun.
5. The power of the Holy SPirit and prayer.
Don't know what that's about?...ask me.

In a season of mass consumerism I am thankful for what we have, content with what we have been given, blessed with true friendships and generous souls around us. I look forward to the time we get to fellowship together, enjoy laughter and yes, good food and celebrate God's goodness to us, followed by the birth of His only son next month.


I am also thankful for My Crowded Kitchen, run by my good friend Tiffany! She is hosting a thankful party...so write a blog about what you are thankful for and link up! Meet some new friends, and check out her site, it's full of funny family stories and LOTS of amazing food.

The leaf painting was masterfully painted by my precious long time friend Alyse O.

College Shuffle

This post covers 3 years of moving back and forth between school, camp work, and home at my parents.
When I started college I lived on campus in the freshman dorms.
There are many good things about this, there were also bad things. I think the good outweighs the bad.
I can not get a photo of the dorms. I don't even know if they still exist. So here is a random building from APU that I remember from when I was there.

I lived on campus, and then I went to work here for the summer:



It was near Lake Arrowhead, in the pine trees, and I loved it.



Back to APU for another year.


Then to my parent's house for a year at a Cal State Fullerton. I studied graphic design, now considered old school style.
Best features: cool covered back porch, fabulous back yard. Fruit trees.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Taste of Freedom

My dad took that teaching position at APU, but I wasn't done with high school yet, so they moved near the college and I moved up the street into this house with family friends. It was a good learning experience, and I hope I didn't stress anyone out.I had a car, a boyfriend, a job and schoolwork plus school productions as well as youth group events, I was busy. Within the home I had my own room and a bathroom, a set of responsibilities and suddenly foods my mom never bought for us.  I finished school, broke up with my boyfriend but stayed until it was time to start college, because I had a job and I needed my wisdom teeth out. It was a fun summer (ouch).






Best feature: Jan, jacuzzi

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TDC San Diego



We moved to San Diego shortly before I turned eight. This house and neighborhood was a sharp contrast to the only other home I had ever known. It was only a few years old, decorated in trendy 1973 textiles and colors, and it had a pool. It was a very different experience. Due to many circumstances we went from a family of 6 to just 4 at first in this home, another major change. We also switched from tradition school schedule to a year round one. Crazy world. Sometime later we added on to make the living room and dining room a little bigger and a decorator was hired. My mom chose a very 1980's palette, sea foam green and peach. It was very lovely. I lived in this house until I was was in 12th grade. My dad took on a teaching position at Azusa Pacific, so a move was about to happen.


Now at least  one of the two of you is now thinking. "Wait,...this is only day 2 of the Tour de Casas but she is already almost out of high school?" It's true. I have moved a ridiculous amount of times in my adult life, and I wasn't in or married to the military.

Best features: Pool, conversation pit.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tour de Casas

Yes, my title is in two different languages.

For the remainder of the NABLOPOMO writing I have decided to show all the homes I have lived in...about one a day. Yes, I have that many to show, in fact some days will have more than one. Scary thought. I took most of these photos from Google Maps. I love that nifty map system. The photos will not be of great quality, I apologize, however, it will keep them a little more private for those now living there.




I was born, and I lived here for almost 8 years of my life. It was great! In my mind this house was GINORMOUS. Now that I look at in in photos I am sure it isn't nearly as big as I think. It was a great house for the six of us. It even had a completed basement with a model train layout, pool table, tv area, dark room, sewing area, bathroom and bedroom and a workbench. Pretty cool. I was always terrified of coming up the stairs, most likely because when I reached the middle my siblings would turn off the lights and close the door. Yeah, good times indeed. I had a pet duck in this home, well outside. I once was crawling out of the car and bumped the parking brake and rolled down the driveway and hit that fence. Thankfully I was okay, the wall was repaired from what I can tell. When we lived here the front area was ivy. We used to go to the highest part of that cinder block wall and jump off with sheet "parachutes" and land in the "soft" ivy. It's a wonder we survived childhood...but we did! This house is well over 100 years old now. Still a favorite.

Best features: Wood floors and red ceiling in dining room, room to roam, full basement.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bubbling

We were given the honor of joining an art tour in Auburn yesterday. We met several artists, saw some amazing work and enjoyed time remembering how much we appreciate beauty. The above piece is a fountain made of metal and a geo-sphere by a delightful woman named Deanna Marsh. You can't tell from the photo but it has bronze tones and is about five feet across. She does amazing glass and tapestry work as well. Her husband is a musician, and her kids are creative like ours. We had a wonderful time not only viewing her work but getting to know her, her methods and process and she had wonderful ideas on how to help me get back to art, as well as information for our son.

I just wanted to tell you, there are wonderful people in the world, take a chance and get to know someone new. Our time was well invested. Our lives were enriched, and I hope hers will be too. I hope this isn't our last time to talk with her, but even if it was, it was time well spent.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rocked.

We watch The Star of Bethlehem last night. It is a documentary style presentation of research regarding the star that appeared and led the Magi to Jesus.

It rocked our world.

It's pretty cool and I fully suggest watching it.


This is his website with more info.

And apparently they are making another film.


We are not random, this world didn't just randomly come into being. There is a grand master plan, and more importantly and grand master creator. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The weather has changed dramatically this week. The winds blew in an amazingly cols storm. It's snowing up the hill from us a tad. I am very thankful our landlords blew in extra insulation this year. We can feel the difference already, especially in the morning, and it isn't nearly as cold as it will be in another month or so.

Which has me thinking ahead to when we buy a house. I will certainly be checking out the insulation and acting accordingly. This new layer is saving us some serious money by cutting down the time it takes to heat or cool the house, and in the retention of said heating or cooling.

Other things I am looking for: natural light, trees for shade during summer, a place to garden, space to enlarge the home in the future if it is very small, and of course our basic bedroom/bathroom needs and such. None of this matters as of yet because we can't even get close to making an offer. Seems someone is already one step ahead of us swooping up the deals.

I know our house is out there.
Someday.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday 5

As a storm rushes in blowing colorful leaves everywhere, as our future is being reshaped, as we try to make our way through past mistakes and stand on promises from our loving heavenly Father...
I AM THANKFUL...

1. For a God that does care, and gave us His words to live by so that all may be right with us.
2. For a mighty man of God as my husband, who knows me loves me deeply.
3. For  amazing opportunities to serve others.
4. So thankful for a way to share with others.
5. Thankful to be surrounded by people that have an attitude of gratitude. Negativity is hard to deal with, and crushes the spirit. Praise and honor lift it up.

Speak life into someone.
I am preaching to myself as much as to anyone else.
I get cynical of the world. I get suspicious and I feel like we will never succeed...but then my husband speaks life into the situation. What a difference. Consider your words before you speak, especially when they are telling you their dreams...who knows what is possible?


Make your own thankful list...and post it HERE at My Crowded Kitchen.

We could all use a boost of thankfulness!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

When I Don't Know What To Say...

I am trying to not be consummed by choices my husband and I need to make very soon. We are trusting for God's perfect plan to be revealed to us, and know which path to take. There is a lot of work in front of us either way. Sometimes I just don't know what to do next at all, and I don't want to speak of much of it to others, it is not like we are picking carpet colors or what car to buy next. With each thing that is happening around us I find myself simply lifting my hands. Sometimes it is in surrender, sometimes in frustration.

Tommy Walker has a great song regarding those times when you don't know what to say, or what to do...it says "I'll lift my hands, I'll speak your praise".

In essence, instead of trying to figure it all out alone, I will turn to you God and let you help me.

It's hard to ask for help, I think it's harder to accept it.

Or is that just me?




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TONIGHT, TONIGHT.....

Tonight, the political barrage stops. And yes, we will be left with the choices of the people, both good and bad. It is what we have done, and will hopefully, prayerfully continue to do, in freedom.

I am thankful my mailbox will no longer be filled with postcards and flyers telling me terrible this guy is and how great that guy is. Those words actually mean very little to me...I want to see them in action. I was very thankful to not have TV signal this go around, when visiting a friend I saw plenty. And the phone calls! My home phone has never rung so often.

And the propositions...my goodness. If they really did what they said with out the hidden agendas and money going places it shouldn't then maybe we could fix a few things around here.

I really hope you took time to vote.

And I am really glad this is now over.

No matter what.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Trading Milk for a Tan??

While running and errand today I glanced up and saw an ad in a store front window claiming that their tanning beds give you more Vitamin D than milk.

I would rather drink the milk.

And I can not believe that this would be the selling point that would get people in the door to fake and bake.

Weird world.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Food Friendship Fun

This weekend had some particularly rough edges, but they were smoothed out by good friends, good music, 2 really dead on good sermons, wonderful food, and amazing friends. Through several diffrent events and circumstances we were fed friendship along with that good food. We were counseled, prayed for, lifted up, and in general had a really good time. We are so blessed to be surrounded by people with a deep capacity to love and share. Generous hearts with wisdom and a good sense of humor.

We have some major changes coming depending on what happens in the next 11 days.

We aren't trying to limit God's miracle time...but we have to have some sort of defined plan. If He changes it, we will be flexible. If He speaks to us, we will listen. If this is as right as it feels, He will simple allow it to proceed as planned and that will be that.


Don't forget, or avoid to vote.
It does matter.
Yes, your one vote matters.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Off I Go

So yeah...we changed our clocks back, so technically this is still November 3rd for me.

And today was both hard and oh so good.
I have hard stuff to sort out and deal with, but God has shown me His love through friends and gentle reminders of what the right response might be.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Finally Friday

I don't know about you, but sometimes I am really relieved at the end of a week, and I am not always sure why. My work isn't M-F, so I am not done. Saturday and Sunday hold busyness as well. And we are adding basketball back into the mix, so it's not like it's a "free day" or anything. Maybe it's just the act of getting through sometimes, knowing that I survived another week! 

Not really sure.

In other news I am canning apple pie filling. When I mentioned this to the checker at the store the other day he stopped, practically drooled and said, "That's gotta be the best idea ever, sounds delicious". He made me laugh, but he is right, opening up a jar of ready home made apply goodness is a wonderful idea indeed.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday, and NABLOPOMO

It's that time of year, again, to join in and write a blog post every day. Well, technically it's post a blog post every day...but whatever. Here's to getting back into the swing of writing! And here's to THANKFULNESS, which is of course what I try to convey around here on a regular basis.

An attitude of gratitude is a wonderful thing.

So I am starting off this month (OH MY, IT'S ALREADY NOVEMBER, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?) with a short list of the things I am thankful for in my life:

1. My family. All of them. Through the good the bad the ugly and the crazy, here we are.
2. My friends. I have some really amazing friends. They support me when I lose it, they cheer for me when I have success, it's really wonderful.
3. Success this year in weight loss. My husband made goal(lost over 60!), I still have a far way to go, but I still lost what I did (over 50 pounds!) and I will dust my self off and finish.
4. My church family. Strong believers, full of joy and wisdom. I like being part of the truth our pastor teaches, and the acts our church lives out for the poor and needy. We walk the walk. We aren't perfect, no one is, no place is...but I am thankful to say people acknowledge their imperfections and actually work on changing.
5. I am thankful that the election season is almost over. Tired of the mailings, the ads, the dirtiness of it all.

So here's to a great November!
"A thankful heart is a happy heart
I'm glad for what I have, that's an easy way to start"
Thank you Veggie Tales.

One of my amazing friends, Tiffany from My Crowded Kitchen is hosting a thankful party every Thursday this month. Make and list and join in, or just visit to see what others have said...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On The Drive There.

Our house hunt is frustrating.
I didn't expect to just find one the first week or anything. I especially didn't expect to be in escrow or anything crazy like that yet. But, the realization that we may NEVER find a house at this price is sinking in.

Let me explain. No, it's too much.
Let me sum up.

It's a low price range, so there are only three kinds of houses at this range....one's that need help, "TLC", fixer uppers...which our loan prohibits,  ones that are too far away for our current life, and good deals.

Good deals are swooped up in a heartbeat,often with cash in hand, leaving no chance for us.
For example, I found one on line in the MLS to look at. It had everything we needed from what we could tell from the description and photos. It was a little bit far away but we were willing to look at it, because it had everything we needed, we called our agent, we set a time to go see it that very day....and it was sold as we drove out to it. We received a text from our real estate agent saying "never mind". A verbal agreement was made while the owner was flying to go see a Packards game...and she was going to sign the papers in the airport. Ouch.

Our best bet is to find someone that wants to sell their property BEFORE they place it on sale. But again, it has to be in good shape and "cheap".
Siiiiigh.

Here's where faith comes in, and I am struggling with it.
On the one hand, if God want's us to stay here, then this will happen, and it will be in His timing, and it will be worth the wait and it will be a blessing.

On the same hand but the other side we did indeed pray that if we aren't going to stay here long, if it isn't His plan for us to stay, that we do not find a house, because we don't want to be trapped with a house if we have to move away...just like before. It was painful. It was terrible.We survived, but we are wiser now.
But that side of that hand is frustrating.

I'd rather just know His will and plan in that direction instead of it being a guessing game.
Isn't that true of every situation?
We would rather just know...but that leaves no room for trust and faith.

I will stand on the promise that "He knows the plans for me, plans to prosper me, plans to give me a future and a hope." Jeremiah 39:11

Here's to hope.





Monday, October 29, 2012

Magnificent Monday

Long ago, when I first started homeschooling my girls through a Christian organization, I was given a required reading assignment. It was a little book about blessings. Not one about how to receive them, but how to give them instead. It spoke of speaking out a blessing as family members leave the home for the day and other such things. I do not recall the name or author of the book, but it's concepts have stuck with me.

I started this practice years ago, and while I am by no means perfect, and I don't always remember, and I am not always in a good mood to say blessings, I have taken note that it makes a difference. I have blessed my daughter on the way to work with specifics,"May you have a good day at work and get a perfect sale". And she did. Not because I am magically, but because our God loves. But even when things don't get answered to blatantly it still can change the attitude, or environment of those you send out with a blessing. Words of encouragement can do that.

I noticed recently while traveling that many people do not do this. Not even "Have a good day honey". It's so simple, it such a simple, easy, and quick way to show love. So I started saying it to those I was with,"Have a great day at school", "Have a peaceful day at work, may your efforts be noticed". At first they looked at me kinda funny, but then they started saying thank you.

Speak in love and with positive attributes for the person. Speak of what would make a "good day". Sometimes I speak of who they can be, even if they are scared or don't believe in themselves.
Try it. Even if it's hard, even for a difficult person.Keep at it. It will make a difference, not only in them, but in you.

May you be blessed with a productive day, health, and a simple yet happy moment today!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sweeping.

So the Giants swept the World Series.
That, my friends, seems really impressive. But more importantly it made a lot of people in this general area really, really happy.

I hope they all stay in good moods all week long. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Invitation to Tea, and Life

I just read this article over at Storyline.
It's truly amazing, and beautiful.
What an amazing couple, what an amazing man....
Instead of turning a blind eye to the issue, or moving away from it all together...he did something so simple, so peaceful, and changed lives instead.

He invited them over.
He listened to them.
He reminded them that someone cares, and life is worth living.

We can all do that, for anyone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Seeking Fruit

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Galatians 5:21-24



Seems like a good list to me.
Who wouldn't want these things in their life? Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by peace instead of chaos, hate instead of love, despair instead of joy?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

 Sometimes that list looks overwhelming in the ,"I am trying to get it right" category. But God doesn't ask for perfection. Jesus was perfect and paid the ultimate price because we are not. It's that simple. Sometimes hard to believe, but always true. With the help of the Holy Spirit I can be, live, and show others those attributes on that list.

Even if I start small, and focus on one thing, at least I am moving in the right direction.
 

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Thankful.
That the storm yesterday didn't destroy anything we needed.
For people holding us up in prayer.
For grace and mercy, boy did I need it last week (and the week before, and well, the week before that).

Thankful for doing life together with people that love God passionately.
For people in my life that get me. And for the God who created me, quirks and all.
For those around me with amazing talents and abilities, who are willing to share and teach me as well.


Thankful for fall, cool air, rain for the plants and wells.
For colorful leaves, and harvests.
Soup, warm bread, and friends to share it with.

For miracles.


What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Productive.

While the wind blew, and the rain came down....(followed by hail and apparently a tornado touched down somewhere near here, which frankly is unheard of. This is the foothills to some major mountains, it's just odd to think that could happen here)  I was very productive. Not pictured is dinner from scratch too.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Again with the HFCS

Wonder why your diet doesn't work?
Wonder why you , or your kids, are always hungry?
Check this out!
I've said it before, I've backed it up, and I will say it again.
High Fructose Corn Syrup really is poison for your body.
It triggers hunger! It blocks the signal that you have had enough.
Well , I have had enough!

Please, do your self a favor. Check this information out. Now the above site is kinda in your face, but she points it all out straight up. She does have some source links. The corn industry will tell you it's safe...sure, it's "safe"...but do you want your brain faked out and thinking you need to eat more??

Didn't think so.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Scary Soy

I have known for a long time that soy isn't actually that good for you. It can mess with your thyroid and it is one of the top GMO foods out there.

Found this.
 Read up, soy is in a lot commercially prepared foods in one form or another.
It has a link to more information. There is a list of 170 reasons why to NOT eat soy. That's a lot.


Friday, October 19, 2012

It's A Process

We have sorta been pre-approved for a home loan.

I say this with uncertainty in my voice, and a fuzzy feeling in my head...one because I am suddenly having a heck of a time with seasonal allergies, a cold apparently,but also because I didn't expect this to happen for another couple of years.

We have a sorted past.

One filled with pain and shame. Sorta.
I don't feel like telling it all right now, it is truly an epic tale, perhaps in November.

ALl I have to say is this.
It will take a miracle.

The amount we are approved for isn't much.
There are limitations, as in, it can't have any "issues".

This combination leads to near impossibility (all things are possible through Christ, right?)
and competition because this level of home goes quickly.

All I know is this...IF we can find a house, we can cut our housing expenses nearly in half. NEARLY HALF.
That means we could pay off our student loans, finally.
AND it also means we could breathe a little bit easier each month. And that sounds nice.

Pray for us.
We will need it.
Thank you.

Here's to expecting great things....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Knocked To My Knees

I was whining to God about something.
Not just today, but ALL WEEK LONG.

I have been a bit of a brat I might say.
We all have those (un)glorious moments, right?
I am so very thankful for all I have, but I got to looking at what others have, and well, tantrum.
It was dumb really.

Thankfully my heavenly Father is so very kind, and gentle.
He would send me reminders of His love, word of wisdom from others, or from the blogs I read, or devotional time.
I am struggling feeling like the unwanted step kid.

I head know I am loved, that I am adopted into His wonderful family, but my heart feels like I am tolerated, not embraced, and that I don't quite make it. I am not quite okay.


Such a dangerous place to be.
The enemy isn't called the king of lies for nothing. He slithers into my head, wags his tongue at my ear...and feeds me lies based on my past pain and experiences.
And sometimes I swallow them down.
Sometimes I recognize it for what it is, AND SPIT IT OUT.
I was having a hard time spitting this week, and much to easy of a time swallowing.

Then I read this.

He was PRAISING GOD WHILE HE WAS DROWNING.
Worth the read.

I know it slapped me back to reality, and I don't mean in a "it could be worse, you could have this happen" kind of way. It's this beautiful man's attitude regarding God.

I repent of feeling unloved, and I am praising Him for all He is, and ever shall be.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

World Gone Mad

I read this today on one of the blogs I frequent. The Common Room.

I am seriously shaking my head as well...
Think for a moment what this would mean...if you didn't want something useful anymore, you couldn't sell it, or even donate it to say, a thrift store to sell. Unless the seller has specific permission to re-sell that item from the manufacturer or copyright holder.....

Excuse me?

I see landfills of useable items filling up valuable land.I see many people struggling because they can not afford new items.

Someone wants their almighty dollar, and it's blinding them to common sense and logic.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

The temperatures have finally dropped! I am so happy. I love all seasons, but we were really ready for the cool weather to come back. I actually had the opportunity to wear my Uggs last night. It was like a hug from a long lost friend.

Fall also means the start of the gain weight season, oops, I mean the holiday season.

Things I am going to do to avoid gaining weight, and actually lose weight this year:

1. Stay on my nutritional products. They help curb all those cravings and keep me satisfied.
2. Return to doing the 30 Day Shred workout. I say return because I didn't have it in San Diego, and now I hurt my back, so I have to wait for that to settle down. I will start with walking on the treadmill asap.
3.Not celebrate the SEASON...but try , very hard, to celebrate the DAY. For some reason in our minds it becomes a food free for all starting soon and not ending until January 2nd. I say a weekly seasonal treat, and then the actual holiday itself is enough. That way you can enjoy the special foods of the season, without an extra 5-20 pounds when you are done. I need to be super careful about sugary treats because they set off a sugar addiction, that is no fun and makes me feel tired. Sugar is also in inflammatory in your system, and inflammation is the cause of so many terrible things. Consider that while you ponder your options. There are many fabulous tasting seasonal foods that are good for you, sometimes it is just the preparation that makes it dangerous (sweet potato/yam sugar bomb for example).
4. Get support. A spouse, a friend, a coach. Grab someone and tell them, "I need help to stay on track". Tell them a phrase to use that will help you, and what would not make you so upset that you rebel against them. The goal is to stay friends, but help each other. For me this includes prayer. Nothing is as powerful.
5. Remember the goal. You might have a photo of you at goal weight on the fridge, or the mirror or near the scale. I have a dream board made like a collage from magazines. It is full of healthy food options, inspirational quotes and a silluette that makes sense for my body. I don't have an image of a 5'11", size 0 model. That's not going to happen, which leads me to number...
6. Be realistic, optimistic, and love yourself. I was given the genetics I was given. I haven't taken the best care of those genes, so I will improve upon that. I won't, however, beat myself up for not looking the way society thinks all women should look. Even most models will complain about something on themselves, and everything gets airbrushed and fixed. This is a personal journey, don't compare yourself.  Goals are good but if you put an unrealistic time limit or number on the scale, it will only lead to trouble for yourself.  I could have been a lot farther down the scale, but I made choices that took me off that path. I can face that. My body has now had time to adjust to being over 50 pounds lighter and I can look forward to finishing, I still have a long way to go. Perhaps, because I did it this way and not straight through, I will be mentally ready for the outcome. I have never been that small as an adult. I need to be ready for it. Perhaps by taking this break my skin has had more time to adjust as well. We know what skin looks like after it has been stretched out and then released....not the prettiest thing to look at. Perhaps I needed to look at my coping mechanisms and fix a few things...which I have been working on. Weight returns because the eating patterns remain. There is still work to be done as each layer is removed. I am able to face that now.


I am ready to face the holidays and not gain weight!
Are you?

Monday, October 1, 2012

GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!

My husband hit his goal weight.
Actually, he is under his goal weight.

A-MAZ-ING.

He still freaks out when he sees his reflection or shadow.
This trim guy thing is odd for him.

Now to buff up! Woo!

Thankfully the nutritional products we have  are easy to switch how we use them to maintain his weight and build some serious muscles. Not like all scary pumped up or anything...just healthy.

This has been a great year and journey towards healthier lives.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Twelve

Someone turned 12.
siiiiiiiiiigh.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Trippin'

My trip down south was actually a really good one. My dad was happy to see me, and thankfully it didn't give him another heart attack when I walked into the room, since my sister didn't tell him I was coming...just said she was going to the store instead of the airport. Kinda funny.
I drove my parents to doctor appointments, I was in the hospital supporting my mom during the procedures for my dad. I drove them out to Yuma to visit my other sister, and tried to be helpful and supportive. I especially enjoyed my time with my sister and meeting my great nephew R. He is a cutie pie! Love that baby! It was nice to get to know his dad as well, since they have lived in Colorado until recently I never really got a chance to hang out with him.
I also had an opportunity to hangout with some dear friends. One was visiting SD from Reno. I gt to see her more often than our friends down here, but it was a delight to hang out with all of them together again. I miss my tight group of buddies. She rented a beach house complete with water toys. I learned, shakily, how to use a paddle board. I could get hooked to that easily. I had the opportunity to work in one of my fields while down there, much to many people's delight. :)

I also had the honor to witness a marriage proposal. Long time boyfriend D proposed to my niece K, at Disneyland, and we were a surprise being there. It was great. A truly wonderful moment. During said trip we rode splash mountain, and I was SOAKED. And yes, I hear you saying, "It's called Splash Mountain for a reason". I did not just merely get splashed. I looked like a fell in, someone actually asked that! After the ride my family wanted to go in some little store by the exit, and I wondered over to the other side of where you would buy your photo of you yourself screaming as you look over the edge of the giant drop, so I could stand in the sun. I stood there, shoes off, dripping onto the ground creating a little river of water...and people walking by would talk to me or about me. One dad saying to his whining son, "See, it could be worse, you could be wet like her". One woman, dripping like me, commented that she knew how I felt. A family came up next to me waiting for their photo and that's when I heard it, clear as day....Jack Black's voice.
I opened my eyes and looked over at the family. Lovely wife, 2 cute kids, and a dad....with the right shape and hair, turned away from me. He spoke again. I knew it had to be him. Then he turned around. Yep. I couldn't snap a picture, and I didn't speak to him because some guy ran up and said a lame movie line and forced him to shake his hand. Jack was gracious, but then started looking around and became uncomfortable. I chose to leave him alone. He was just a husband and a father right then, taking his family to Disneyland.

I have been so blessed to share in these fun moments and wonderful friendships in the middle of some hard to face stuff. I am so very thankful to my heavenly Papa for giving me moments of joy, and sheer fun, and adventure throughout my life, even when life itself is so uncertain and roller coastery. 

I am trying to always look for the good. Always seek the positive, seek the glory, and be grateful.




Friday, September 28, 2012

Sew Buttons On Your Underwear

The title has nothing to do with this post.
My life is so weird right now I just needed to spread it around.

My dad started chemo therapy, and about a week later, had a small heart attack.
Yep, so that was exciting. Due to the change of circumstances (he could no longer drive himself places, my mom doesn't drive really anymore, and my sister was stressing out over a plethora of other stuff going on in her life...) I was flown down to San Diego for 2 1/2 weeks to help out. He had stents placed in his coronary artery. The blood clot that caused the event was most likely from chemo drugs, therefore a whole new plan was created. He won't start the new stuff until next month, and he is home "resting" letting his heart heal before he re-starts. Except I now got word that he has 7 stitches in his hand due to a run in with his band saw, because my dad doesn't really know how to take it easy. He has stuff that needs to get get done.

I take after him.

And I don't, all at the same time.

Confused?
Me too.






Thursday, September 6, 2012

The New No-No's

Long ago, while I was working three jobs as a single mom, I had to wear latex gloves for work. Thankfully this particular job was a once a week gig because my hands would flare up into red balls of anger that would not be soothed. A few years later, married and expecting a baby, I was sent to be tested for a latex sensitivity, so they would know what to do during birth. This was before most hospitals became latex free zones (or mostly latex free). The testing showed "dermal sensitivity",...um, yes, isn't that what I said? Red balls of anger?
Anyway....long story short, I have discovered in the last few years certain allergies, that turns out are related to said "dermal sensitivity". Bananas were discovered about 2 years ago, followed by avocado (sad face).
Over this same period of time, perhaps longer, I have become more and more sensitive to spicy foods, salsa being the main issue.

Turns out, after a mouth full of blisters finally woke me up, I am allergic to tomatoes too. And not just tomatoes, but the nightshade family, including hot peppers. I have been allergic to bell peppers forever, since childhood. Now all it's cousins have joined in.

I am not amused.
I don't know what to cook, or frankly, how to eat, without tomatoes.

I am sticking out my (blistered) tongue at my garden right now FULL of tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers and jalapenos....well phooey.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Of Faith, Farmers, Rain, and our Future

A story of faith, and things to come. This farmers wife has amazing faith, as does her husband. Her story isn't just their own, or just an area, this is playing out across America.
Think some stranger's farm crop problems won't affect you?
Think again.
We are all in this together.

I am not a panicked soul that is waving a sign and yelling on the street corner to prepare for doom...however, be aware of what's going on. Be aware of what may come and make some plans. Get a kit together for your family. Even the emergency agencies put in place by the government say you should have 3 days worth of clean water, food and supplies.

Food prices will go up.
That's just the way it works.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Other Things Previously Not Spoken.

A lot of things have come to my attention recently. Here are some of them. I am developing a plan for my own family for safe, real foods. Doing what we can to preserve what we grow ourselves and buy high quality whenever we can. We are not wealthy in any way, but we are willing to make changes that matter. Plus, making many foods yourself is cheaper, and better for you anyway....
.
 This is a VERY LONG article, but it has so much information regarding the benefits of enzymes in your food, but more importantly is looks at the rising problems with Gluten sensitivity , when it started and the timeline of events that may have lead to the sudden explosion of people with gluten issues. Worth reading.It discusses the changes in not only our wheat, it's production and care, but also the yeasts used as well.

The FDA says we have no actual rights to choose what we eat, or don't eat...they have the right to choose for us. It doesn't matter what your belief is regarding raw cow's milk ...read what the FDA pointed out in the response. It has the right to choose for us, we have no rights.


GMO labeling in California...this is a great post regarding it...if you are a Californian please educate yourself regarding this Prop and more importantly the issues surrounding consuming GMO foods. Soy and corn and the highest GMO crops, and they are in nearly all processed foods. Even if you are not in California, this is good information, as what happens here will help create change other places.

We don't always know what's in our food.
This is the official FDA statement about GRAS "Generally Regarded As Safe"
Here is an article of why and how this is a problem.
SO a company can just decide something is GRAS...and even if filed it takes awhile for anyone to look into it. I am not for over regulation...but on the flip side if I choose to eat a processed food item I want to know EVERYTHING that I am about to consume. If there is red dye from the wing of  beetle I'd like to know that, even if it has been deemed safe to eat.

Foods Cancer Loves...I learned some interesting things about why certain food is bad. I appreciate the scientific information instead of just saying "sugar is bad".

Tomorrow links to information regarding the drought in our country, how it is affecting our farmlands, farmers, and our future.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Things Unspoken

So, my blog has been suffering a bit lately.
Sure, I could say it's the back to school frenzy (it was pretty calm around here) or the big recording concert (went well, wasn't as involved as in past years), or canning/preserving the harvest (which I have been doing and I am now avoiding by writing this post) but that's not really why.

Been reading a lot lately, and pondering, and learning...but not sharing, yet.

Here is a little of what I haven't been talking about:

We have had an expensive summer with unforeseen repair bills and other expenses, it's frustrating.Just when we get to a better position, it's demolished.
My dad started Chemo therapy last week.
And now he might have had a heart attack and is in the hospital, far away.

I actually think that's enough to share right now.
I have a couple posts for next week on the other subjects so forward on my mind.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So Close.....

Feels good, looks good, full of energy, less medications, and a happy doctor...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stirred, Not Shaken

Well, maybe a little shaken.
But I will get better.

God is at work, on me.
I told a friend I feel stirred up. But not JUST stirred up, I feel like I am in a giant Kitchen-Aid mixer with the paddle...I feel a little battered.
The pun at the time was not intended, but take it for what you will, I laughed.
 
Things are getting riled up and I have some house cleaning to do, literally and figuratively.
I have a house guest coming, so the literally has to happen asap...as for the rest, considering what I feel like, and knowing I could feel oh so much better, I am addressing cleaning up the inside asap as well.


What does this look like?

I called in back up, I called in a mentor to help me examine what's coming up to the surface.
My  coping mechanisms aren't working, because it's time to get rid of them.
I will have a Sozo, or healing prayer, session. It's a peaceful way to sort out some stuff and get rid of the lies. We all believe lies, from our past. Lies get in the way of the beautiful truth. Truth will set you free.Not self-actualization truth, God's truth.
I will dive into the word, and spend more time with my heavenly Dad.


And it will all be okay.
Whatever is ahead, whatever is coming...God is preparing me, and I will face it boldly with Him.


Friday, August 17, 2012

A Sad Break

Apple time!


Well, it's a little early, but our tree...
For some reason (found weak spot from previous injury) dropped a very large limb suddenly yesterday...
That's a 5 gallon bucket sitting next to it for scale...
 which we then filled up 3 of them.
Spencer and I tried to drag that limb towards the burn pile, but not only could we not due to it's weight, but I got to thinking. Apple wood is a good one to season and burn, and adds flavor if used for cooking. So a friend will stop by with a chainsaw to help us out.
So apple sauce, dried apples, apple butter, apple pie filling....and heat and flavor. Seems like good save to a sad limb break.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blank

I have stared at this blank page all day.

Well, not all day. It has been opened in a tab all day with me avoiding looking at it.

I have a lot to say, just not right now.


So what I can say is this.

Choose your words carefully.
Give praise whenever possible, as often as possible.
This country needs rain, and divine intervention, will you join me in prayer?

Learn God's true word, treasure it, live it.

See ya tomorrow...


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And So It Begins...

Someone started 8th grade yesterday, and it wasn't me...


I will try for a clear shot tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life Outside The Net...



 That's my dad with the hardhat and the chainsaw. Forestry Service marked trees that had to come down on our property, so my dad chose my birthday to cut some of them down.The crew worked well together.

  If you walk down the road from where we stay, and stand RIGHT HERE at the trail head you can receive texts, and sometimes a brief call. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH...and someone was brave enough to say it...
 Thanks Smokey for warning of the dangers of forest fires and outhouse stench.