Friday, December 31, 2010

At the end of the day...

Well, that's not quite how we are spending this New Year's Eve~ tonight we're garbed in flannel & sweaters, watching the Marx brothers, & enjoying the delicious dinner my darling hubby made while I was at work~ pork loin, roasted veggies, & mashed potatoes, paired with homemade wine & Greek Fortune bread from our kind neighbors.
I hope you enjoy a blessed and safe celebration~ I can hardly wait to see what the Good Lord has in store for us in the New Year

Image(s) courtesy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joy to the World

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love

My mother-in-love is home
My children are home
I am in my own home
God is Good

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Prayer Request

My mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital today, with severe bronchitis and congestive heart failure~ please hold her up, along with her sons.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Are you ready for Christmas?

Well, the house is mildly decorated inside & out, the first of the holiday parties has been enjoyed, & I have an idea what I'm going to do to get ready for guests that arrive in less than two weeks~ beyond that, I am not even close to being ready.
Shopping is on board for the next few days~ I need to replace a lamp (Angus, the new cat, got a little too rough & tumble), put some blinds in the craft/guest room (my MIL likes the room dark at night), & look for some inspiration regarding the youngsters & in laws.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

As if I don't have enough to do...

Amongst my blog wandering over the past few months, I discovered Lucy at Attic 24; her style & life are so very different from my own,~ she's a "hooker"*, a stay-home mother with young children, & lives in a small English village~ but I always feel cheerful after a visit.
She has inspired me so dig out my crochet hooks, sport-weight wool, & some assorted beads to try out her recent tutorials on Christmas decoration~ these are so bright & cheerful, I just couldn't resist giving it a whirl. I figure if they don't work out for me, they can always be gifted!

* someone who crochets

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Mama needs a new phone...

Seriously~ my current cellphone is about 5 years old, the battery has trouble holding a charge for more than a day, and the browser is so out-of-data, I can't retrieve my hotmail anymore.
I more than qualify for an upgrade & I would really like to get a smartphone~ web browsing, camera, Qwerty keyboard are the minimum requirements, but my budget is under $100.00.
So I need advice~




Monday, December 06, 2010


Mother forwarded an email to us yesterday which contained a very pleasant surprise~ my older brother is making a fly-by visit this weekend!
I haven't seen Bil in about 4 years, since our Christmas trip to New Mexico, though we've passed emails & e-cards since then. He'll only be here Friday through Sunday, so we're planning to get together for dinner on Saturday.
Sam lucked out & has the whole weekend off, but unfortunately Jessica has to work~ I hope she won't be too upset, since she hasn't seen her uncle in quite some time.
We also learned that my in-laws are all going to be in the Bay Area for Christmas~ Chris' Mom will be staying with us, while his brother & family will be with my sister-in-law's relatives. I will be filling in for two vacationing co-workers thru the holidays, so time off for me is out of the question, but Chris was able to take time off to spend with his family. I believe we'll be hosting everyone here on Boxing Day, so I won't miss out on the festivities or the chance to show off my new home!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Ready, set, KNIT!!!

I participated in this project a couple years ago~ very satisfying. This year, they are encouraging people to make scarves (knit or crochet) for their regional Special Olympics event; go to the website & click the "Projects Guidelines" tab~ all the details for each state can be found, & they even list a few free pattern downloads. There's plenty of time~ deadlines generally are for the end of January, since most of the events aren't held until February or March. Of course, you could send scarves to any of the 35 games being held in the US during 2011 (Northern California is held in March & needs at least 1200!)
If you consider yourself as being "non-crafty", there is an area where you can donate to support the Special Olympics with your financial gifts. But you know what? This would be a great opportunity to learn yarn craft~ you know you want to, right?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Holiday Tradition

Join in the fun!

Friday, December 03, 2010

I'd rather be napping...

I am not a morning person.

Never have been, don’t plan on ever being one.

I really need at least two hours to get going in the morning~ shower, dress, feed the animals, eat breakfast, read the paper, finish my tea, before heading out for the day~ but even then, I don’t feel like all cylinders are firing until about 10:00 am.

Too bad I’m expected to start working at 8:30.

In the past couple months, I’ve been waking up at 5:30 (more commonly known around here as “the butt-crack of dawn”), look at the clock in disgust, & attempt to go back to sleep. A little voice in my head says…

”You could take a walk”

Yeah, right.

But you know what?

After 2 weeks of this nonsense, I did.


Been getting up & heading out the door by 5:45 am~ not every day, just 3 or 4 mornings a week~ & walking for 35 minutes.

Did you know that the stars are still out at 5:45 am?

Can’t say I’m too fond of it, especially now that it’s gotten cold, but I keep going (unless I talk myself out of it when it’s wet out, or I have to go in early).

Hopefully, I’ll see a difference someday.

But I’ll never be a morning person.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


This is what we first saw

Figured we would take it out when we moved in

Two weeks later, we found it covered with small, bright green leaves

Decided to leave it & see what would happen

Went on our trip to Washington DC & returned to clouds of white blossoms

Before we knew it,

we were surrounded by glowing red fruit

Bushels of it

Fresh, frozen, canned, gifted

I can hardly wait for next spring

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I'm finally feeling it...

“Feeling what?” you may ask.








Six months of change and transition took a toll on me, set me on autopilot in most areas of my life for a long time.

Several things were set aside~ things I enjoy and find fulfillment in doing~ mostly because it took too much energy to even think about.

Now, I am through the proverbial tunnel, back in the light and looking forward to all the good things God has in store for me.

It’s good to be back.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My hands ...

have been kept very busy knitting precious little things.
October has turned into "Baby Bonanza" in my little world.
Two ladies from my office gave birth to sons earlier this month.
Wednesday morning, my blogging (and face-to-face) friend, Bek & her husband, Matt, welcomed their first child~ a darling boy named Wyatt (see "Bek Life" in my side bar)
But the capper for me? The birth of my first niece, Malia Mei, Thursday morning! This is the first baby to come into my immediate family in nearly twenty years, when my own dearest Sam was born (Heavens! Has it really been twenty years?) My brother & his wife were blessed through open adoption, and have been allowed to be part of the last two month's of Malia's journey into the world by her generous birth parents. Please lift them up in prayer~ they've taken a brave, but difficult path, and will need love & support over the weeks to come.
I can hardly wait until next Saturday, when we are having a family gathering at Mother's~ since I'll most likely become a grandmother in the next three years, I need to brush up on my baby skills!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer wanes...

Goodness~ has it really been that long since I last posted?

Wish I could say it’s because I’ve been off having fascinating adventures, but the reality is that I’ve been butt lazy this summer! The new job, while interesting and challenging, leaves me mentally drained by the end of the day; most evenings find me indulging in frivolous recreation. I tend my virtual farm, dig for pirate treasure, queue up some old movies, or simply sprawl about in my pleasantly cool bedroom reading light mysteries.



With the waning of summer comes an end to most of our indolence and idleness; Sam started classes last week and has been making the most of his bicycle and bus pass, since he just completed another rite of passage into the adult world~ a speeding ticket. Driving privileges have been suspended until several criteria are met:

1.      Makes his court appearance

2.    Pays us back for the ticket and driving school

3.    Replaces the car key that he lost on a fishing trip with his friends last month

4.    Begins to pay 1/3 of the car insurance and his own gas


Knowing that his mother is a hard case and doesn’t back down on her edicts, he got very motivated and even more lucky, landing himself his first job after 3 years of “casual” looking. He will be doing security at one of the retailers in our old hometown mall; it’s the job he’s been hoping for, since his intention is to go into law enforcement.

We’ve recently been attending a church closer to home, wanting to get to know people in the area and plug into the local ministries, although TCC remains our church home. One of the ministries that this church recently initiated was a community garden, something Chris and I have talked about for a number of years. Phase One is family and charity plots, tended by individuals for the benefit of their own homes or others who are physically unable to participate themselves; Phase Two will be community fruit and nut trees, and a meditation garden to be tended by everyone; and Phase Three is a large area (roughly 2 acres) dedicated to producing crops for the local food bank. We leased a 12X12 family plot, and Chris has been having a great time building the beds and planning the late season garden.

My latest endeavor has been some informal knitting classes for a couple co-workers and their friends. We’ve only met a couple times so far, but I’m enjoying teaching and have been writing up future lesson plans and projects to help them progress in the craft if they choose. I’m finding it difficult to get together with my old knitting group on Friday evenings, since I don’t get off until 5:30 pm and it’s at least a 40 minute drive back to Tracy, so this is somewhat filling the social void.

Lastly, let me introduce our newest family member~

Sir Angus of Lower ChickenButt



More about this charming gentleman later~    

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This is the story of my life; practically every facet of my orderly little world either has, is, or is shortly going to undergo fairly radical change.
The best part is of all: I'm not freaked out in the least.
Really, I'm not; aside from an intermittent twitch in my right eyelid when I'm tired, I'm feeling pretty terrific.
We're enjoying getting to know our new hometown, 15 miles north-east of where we lived before, & feeling very comfortable with the change. We're settled into our home, aside from the guest/craft room~ it's still stacked in boxes, but not for long. I still smile when I tell people we finally bought a house; coming home has taken on a whole new meaning. Every day, I walk around touching my walls, look in the linen closet (enormous!), marvel at the empty cabinets & full pantry in the kitchen, just to assure myself that it isn't a dream. Bits of home improvement get done every week, including getting a bit of garden planted. I'm in no rush~ I want to do some soil improvement & planning before committing anything major into the ground. The patio is filled with planters, the front has a bed of geraniums & marigolds, & we put in tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, & cantaloupes this past weekend.
My career has taken a new & exciting turn. The company that took over is much larger, with multiple locations, great benefits, & a central administration building in another town. I was officially transferred over to the accounting department on June 2nd & have spent the past month assisting with merger cleanup & taking on familiar, but expanded, duties in my new workplace. The commute is the same distance, just east instead of west, with the added benefit of being the opposite direction of the daily exodus to the Bay Area. It's in a mostly residential area, with a large park one block over, so several of the ladies head over there at lunch time to eat & take a walk. Most of all, I'm enjoying the challenge of the work & getting to know my new co-workers; nearly everyone already knew my name & have welcomed me warmly~ a good thing for me, since you know I'm pretty shy & have trouble making the first move.
Our family is also in major transition~ Mother & Stepdad are actually talking about retiring; my brother & his wife are in the adoption process to start their family; & my dear Robb has proposed to his Beloved, so next year, there is going to be a wedding! I knew for a quite a while that is was coming; when we'd talk, Robb could only focus on two subjects~ his search for a house, & how much Stacy meant to him~ within 6 months, it went from "If we ever get married..." to "When we get married..." Well, Robb closed on his first house 2 weeks after we did, moving in the same day, & Stacy has moved into the same area to finish her bachelor's degree, so I knew it was just a matter of time until the announcement. He called me 2 weeks ago, having given her a ring the previous weekend while on a trip to the Keys; he is so happy & excited about the next phase of his life.
Chris & I are planning a trip to Florida in November to meet Stacy & her family, plus have a little vacation time after the busy season; we'll probably even be spending time with my former husband & his new wife, dicussing our role in the coming nuptials.
Life is never dull!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May has always been good...

Things are finally settling down around the Garden~ surrounded still by boxes, but now furniture outnumbers them ever so slightly.

Work is still in a state of limbo; while the official transfer took place April 27th, the consolidation & name change will happen June 1st. Praise God, everyone has been offered a position, & I’m waiting to find out when I’ll be moving on to the central accounting department in another town.

You might recall that we took a little trip a couple months ago; if not, don’t feel bad~ I’m having trouble remembering myself :-S I have a few photos to share:


 First objective~ the aborted visit to the Washington Monument


 A gorgeous nearly-Spring day~ 75 degrees & clear


 Chris & Ranger Ruth checking in with his Mom




 Smithsonian Castle


 I truely covet this seed catalouge


 The things that facinate me at the National Museum of American History





 The White House



From DC, we took the train to Richmond, Virginia


A day at Colonial Williamsburg





A cloudy day at Monticello





 A very rare photo~ how did he get my camera?


Another day, another house museum~ Maymount in Richmond 








The only mishap worth mentioning was not mine~ after we arrived at our hotel in Arlington & were ready to head out to the Mall, Chris realized his wallet was missing. We had take a red-eye flight with a two hour lay-over in Atlanta, stopped at the airport McD's to eat before taking the shuttle, & the last time he remembered having it was when we boarded the plane in San Jose! The hotel staff jumped right in, calling the shuttle driver back to get us, & airport security to meet us~ he would have to file a police report in order to get a temporary id just to fly home (forget about picking up our rental car in Richmond~ rented in his name only, with non-refundable payment already made *grrr*)

Well, Chris has to be the luckiest freaking man on the face of the Earth~ ten minutes after we arrived back at the airport, while filling out paperwork, the arrival gate called saying that they had his wallet! I never heard where it was located (maybe still on the plane) & was allowed to go back into the boarding area to get it, thanking everyone profusely for saving my husband's vacation~ poor guy was not looking forward to a week with me after that sort of expensive diaster :-P


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Having my first "At Home" day

Woke up to pouring rain & a very upset tummy, so I decided to take some of my soon-to-be lost sick time to spend a day alone in my house.
Well, not exactly alone~ the girls are with me, playing "Nurse Kitty" & doing their level best to keep me in my chair.
The move is done, the unpacking is coming along slowly, and we'll be done cleaning up our rental in the next couple days; all that is left is painting the kitchen, bathrooms, & laundry area, cleaning the carpets, repairing some sheetrock in the garage, & attempting to re-mortar some brick facing that Jessica crashed into several years ago. No, we're not required to do all this, but we want to leave the duplex in the best condition we can, both out of respect to the owners & to our 15 years of memories in this home.
The garden has been saying goodbye, putting on a show full of colorful blooms, green grass, fully~leaved tree, & carrots ready to pick. I'll be sad to let it go, especially since we won't be concentrating on the new yard until next year, but I've learned alot over the years & know which direction I want to go forward. For now, we're back to container plants & minimum maintenance while we fix up the inside.
Okay, back to my chair & kintting~ need to get a couple more hats completed by May 1st to sell in our Relay for Life team booth.

Friday, April 09, 2010

It's Time!!!

Moving Weekend has arrived~ Yippee!
Am I all packed?
Not yet.
But I don't care~ I'll be sleeping in my own house by Sunday.
You can't see it, but there is a lot of Happy Dancing going on!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hey, I remember you!

Dropping back in briefly; the past couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least :-/
The little bit of work needing to be done in our new house (Lordy, how I love saying that!) is progressing, but time to put it into overdrive~ Chris is being sent on work trip starting April 26th, so both places need to be ready before he leaves.
The hammer finally fell at work last Friday~ changes are underway & I'm feeling cautiously optomistic, but emotions were running pretty high all around me. Of course, this happened six hours before we flew out to Washington DC; part of me felt bad about not being on hand to help during the intial shock & adjustment period, but the rest of me is rejoicing that I've been far away from the tears, fears, & handholding.
Our trip was wonderful~ the weather was perfect, got to see the main things we wanted to & stumbled on some great surprises, & not a single injury :-D I'll share more later, but right now I need to eat, clear out the email inbox, & head over to the house to stain my kitchen cabinets.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog Neglect

I know I’m among the guilty; in my defense, it has been a very eventful month, even by our normally chaotic standards:

b   Since I’m in the accounting field, the first couple months of the year is one long string of reporting deadlines, which naturally translates into many hours working at the office & home.

b   There was a train of birthdays: Sam, Jessica, my dad, niece, grandmother, both sisters, & two good friends, with the requisite parties & gatherings~ February is an expensive month around here.

b   To my extreme dismay, I had to have a tooth pulled; a previously root-canalled molar fractured vertically under the crown, leading to a 14 mm gum pocket & severe infection. Everything went swimmingly & work on the bridge will start in a couple weeks, but I’m still mourning the loss~ I’m not vain about much, but I’ve always been proud of my teeth.

b   I managed to slip away to the annual Stitches West conference at the end of February~ three days of technique classes, yarn fondling, & solitude. I even returned with $15.00 in my pocket & only six skeins of yarn!

b   The first of March found me relocating my office again, back to the downtown branch after 2 years. The timing was fortuitous, since all the nearby parking around the other location was eliminated a month earlier & I was making a twice-daily quarter mile hike with all my bags & supplies.

b   Two days into the move, I got called up for jury duty; usually I only have to check in every day for a week, but this time I actually had to appear at the courthouse & ended up in the jury pool for a civil case. Fortunately, the projected duration of the trail was 4 to 6 weeks, so the judge excused me, since it would be a severe financial hardship, & I won’t have to serve again for 2 years.


Whew~ that is even more exhausting in print! Oh, I forgot something….

We bought a house.


We got the keys an hour ago.


I’ve shared with several of you that this has been the dearest wish of my heart for over 20 years, a dream that the logical side of me knew was almost impossible living in California. The crash in the real estate market stirred the embers, so to speak, but it took me months to scratch up to courage to even begin looking, & then once we started last summer, it has been a series of hopes & disappointments which had me strongly considering giving up the whole idea as not meant for us. The end of December, just a few days after my television interview about our experiences as first-time homebuyers, we finally had an offer accepted on a house we really liked~ but it was a short sale property, so we settled in for another wait on the lenders. Having been burned before, we continued looking at foreclosure properties as they came up; February 4th, I saw a house with our agent that was very promising, so we scheduled an appointment for Chris to see it on Saturday. We submitted a pretty aggressive offer (for us) that afternoon, just meeting the submission deadline; the bank began looking over the offers on Tuesday, & Wednesday morning, our agent called that they had countered only our offer & wanted a 30-day close of escrow!

It’s been a whirlwind of activity ever since, with inspections, appraisals, form signing, telephone calls, repairs~ all the infinite details involved with buying a house~ culminating in today’s event: Chris & I receiving the keys to our own home.

God is good.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Baby Boy

Not such a baby anymore~ today, he is 19 years old & still my heart's joy. Clever, funny, & kind, he's a good friend, a protective son, & a man of integrity~ his motto: "Fight for a just cause, love your fellow man, live a good life." Any wonder I am such a proud parent? Happy Birthday, Sam.

The votes are in~ two for Vegas, one for the Grand Canyon, one for the Northwest, & several "Gee, I have no ideas" ~ so we are heading to... Washington DC! Yes, we were there two years ago, but were only able to see a fraction of what we wanted, so we figured it's the right time to go back. The plan is to fly into DC, spend three days in the museums, & then take the train south to Richmond, VA to spend the remaining four days sightseeing & fly home from there. The travel folder has been started, with the Nation Museum of American History, Monticello, & Williamsburg on the "must-do" list; oh, and in case you were wondering, I have already reserved our tour of the Washington Monument~ no repeat drama this trip Wink

Friday, January 22, 2010

What do you do...

...when you have a week of vacation coming up, sans any children for the first time in, oh, about forever (9 years, actually, but close enough), and no idea where you should go?
Ask your blog friends!
Yep, here's your chance to tell Meg where to go...on vacation that is :-)
We've had a little tax-time windfall and I've got the itch to travel after nearly 2 years of staycations, but haven't been able to decide where to go in mid-April that doesn't require a passport (Chris doesn't have his yet & I'm not about to go thru the deadline drama like my trip to Canada!)
Any ideas?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I've mentioned before that I've been following the Simple Abundance path for the past couple of years, and with this new year, I've been feeling convicted about sliding past the very first principle, Gratitude. I know I lead a blessed and contented life, full of gifts, grace, and the simple pleasures that make me happy; yet too often, I fail to express my gratefulness, not only with God, but also with my family and friends. I’m guilty of letting the speed of life and the myriad of commitments to keep me in blinder, focused on the next task, the next goal, instead of savoring the here-and-now moments of joy and blessing.

One of the ladies I visit on my blog rounds is Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses; she has been posting "Thankful Thursday" for quite some time and I always enjoy dropping by to see what cheers the heart of each person. This time, I’m joining in with a few things I am thankful for and mentally committing myself to being more aware all the good that surrounds me:

A roof over my head each night;

sharing my home those who love me;

having a job, however uncertain;

being able to treat snow as a novelty;

dental insurance;

modern plumbing;

having a car paid off!

Friday, January 01, 2010

A fresh new page

Welcome to the new year, 365 days of promise & mystery; all I will ask for is my daily portion of grace to face whatever comes my way, and that I will find contentment in where I find myself at the end of each day.

Yesterday, after a late morning start, we wound our way east towards the mountains, stopping in the little town of Murphys for lunch (a great burger with fresh sweet potato fries) and then up to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, elevation 4000 ft

We bundled up and went out for an hour stroll thru the giant sequoias~ not particularly strenuous, but somewhat hazardous given the six to ten inches of hard-pack snow and ice on the trails.

For the life of me, I could not get any traction in my hikers, and had to hold on to Chris' arm the whole way to avoid another fall~ now that my arm is finally bordering on the functional, I am not about to go thru all that nonsense again!

We continued up Highway 4 until we reached the road closure at Bear Valley Resort, right around 7000 ft; it was approaching sunset, so we took a little stroll to the Hell's Kitchen overlook to watch for the full moon rising thru the clouds (only glimpses and no decent photos), before heading back to our valley home.

After an impromptu gathering at our friends home for games, snacks, and noise makers at midnight, we were home and in bed by 12:30~ gone are the party days and good riddance, I must say! Today is a perfect snuggle-down-at-home day; it is chilly and wet outside, so I think I'll make soup from turkey leftovers and devote my time to my book, knitting, and some football games~ I wonder who is playing?