Monday, January 31, 2005


Apparently I have gall stones.  I had a test last week for this.  Then on Saturday afternoon (when no self-respecting doctor is in his office) I got a letter referring me to a surgeon.  Well, I still have 2 more tests to go and no one had called me to tell me anything and I went nuts.  I worried myself to death.  Is it cancer?  I saw something on one of the pictures that was in an area that I thought was my kidney and it recorded a and b as being 6.59 cm and 2.91 cm respectively.  Do you know what a worry-wart's mind can do with that?  Then I get the referral!

I called first one doctor and then the other this morning.  Finally I learned I have gall stones.  Rob say surgery is a must.  I don't want surgery of any kind.  I had enough when I was young.  Gimme a break already!  I made the appointment, but am not happy about going.  Give me some encouragement, guys!  Tell me that these things will go away and nobody has to alter my body - too fat, by the way - in any way.

I want to go work on my new house.  In fact, I'm going over now to take pictures of them doing the demolition before the re-do.  I'll post some later. 

Well, God must have a purpose for all of this.  Who am I to question?

Krissy's Monday Morning Question

Krissy asks what was one of your first crushes.  Amazingly, I remember his name and sort of what he looked like.

I was in 4th grade. His name was John Binkley.  He had blonde hair and wore glasses.  He was ever so smart and knew lots of stuff about stars and science.  We would study together at my house.  I can't temember if we ever held hands or anything like that, but I thought he was the greatest.  He even bought me some paper dolls or something like that to cement our "love"  My mom was a constant presence, although we didn't see anything wrong with that . . .

Ahhhh - young love. 

Friday, January 28, 2005

Jeannette from Jeannette's Jottings wants baby pictures.  This is mine.  I was about 1 year old here.  I think I'm just about the cutest baby around!  The picture was taken in late 1949 or early 1950 with my 3 sisters.  Somewhere there are a few others, but I have a hard time putting my hands on them.

I hope this isn't too huge when I finally hit save.  It took me 4 tries to get it into my FTP space.  I need intelligent training.  And soon!

The Boys are Moving!!!!

YAY!!!!  the boys are moving out!  What does this mean??  Our little house will be vacant this weekend!!!!

Of course, we have to wait while the repairs are done and the remodel on the bathroom as well.  I'm so excited.  A place of our own.  I've got tears in my eyes.  I really need to have my own space.  I dreaded the thought of looking at apartments because I'm just more of a loner.  I know it doesn't seem like a person who had up to 30 kids at a time could be a loner, but I really am.  I like my quiet time and if I hadn't married an adventurer in 1987,  I'd probably be homebound by now. 

We love living here with Hank.  It's as close as we can get to having our own place without doing it, but there's something about naming the 4 walls around you "ours" that is very satisfying.  We sort of felt that way on the ranch when we finally moved there, although all we had was a small room to call our own.  A group was going to come this year and build us and Andrea our own little place.  That would have been great.  This is almost better.  Here there's cable and high-speed internet.  And there's GRASS!!  Green and lovely and we have to mow it . . .I don't care . . .Rob has to do that anyway.  In the front there is also a little ivy-covered arch that I really like.  I still haven't seen inside, but I've claimed it in my heart and I know it will be just what we need.

Here's what happened:  Hank said those guys were shirt-tail relatives and were probably never going to move out.  The rent is low because it's situated just above his body shop.  I kept looking at it and told Robert that it was the house I wanted.  So I started to pray.  I prayed every timed we would pull out ofour spot in front of Hank's house 2 doors away and again as we would pass it coming home.  We figured if it was God's will we would get the house. 

Thanks, God.  I love you.  You give me what I need and also the desires of my heart.

Peter Pan and Wendy

When I was little, I lived pretty much alone with my mom.  My sisters all got married the year I was 8, so I spent a lot of time alone.  I read books most of the time, because television wasn't all that great and I listened to the stories on the radio.I was kind of a daydreamer.

Our next-door neighbor kept an eye on me, although I was never told she was babysitting.  I had a key to the side door and would come home from school, change my clothes in the service porch area and go next door for lunch.  It was a favorite place for me to go.  My best friend Becky was there.  She went to Christian school, so we only saw each other in the afternoons and on weekends.  Their house had a turret above the front door and although I never got to climb around in there, my thoughts were there a lot.  I was Rapunzel.  It was the best time of my life. 

My bedroom windows opened to the side where Becky's house was and I would invite her in to "help" me clean my room.  Cleaning was never my strong suit, being the baby and spoiled and all.  The deal was, Becky would clean my room for me and I would make her a butter and sugar sandwich.  Mine would be butter only.  We called each other "Butterball and Sugarball"  I was a skinny little thing, mostly tomboy.  She was a bit heavier and all girl.

After the room was clean we'd play our favorite game.  It was "Peter Pan"  I would be Peter Pan and she would be Wendy.  We'd climb into the linen closet in the hallway between the bedrooms.  I would get on the top shelf and Becky on the middle or bottom.  Below us were drawers we used to climb to our goal.  With the doors closed, the adventure could begin.  We would fly and go places that could never be imagined in the light.  We saw gardens with myriad flowers, stars so bright and silver, black sky, blue sea and city lights galore.  It was a wonderful time.  A few times, we fell asleep there in the closet.  The first time, our mothers were frantic.  The looked in the walnut tree in the back yard, both family's guest houses, my favorite wall, in the hedge and under the piano at Becky's.  Their girls were gone!  They called our names, but we slept and dreamt of Never-Never Land, oblivious to their concern.  Eventually, my mother remembered she had seen us once climb out of the linen closet and opened the doors.

There, like the babes we were, slept Peter Pan and Wendy.  The wakened us and asked us not to play there again.  Told us how worried they had been.  We couldn't obey.  It was our very favorite place.  Magical, actually.  A place of dreams and flight only imagined by a child.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Getting to know me . . .

This from Newportjazzlover's journal . . . my first time there and an editor's pick this time . . .


1. First best friend: Becky Furman

2. First love: John Binkley

3. First real kiss: John Noonan

4. First screen name: pennyfre

5. First pet: a frog - unfortunately, he didn't last well in my underwear drawer.

6. First car: '55 Ford (in 1970)

1. Last cigarette:  Nov 17, 1988

2. Last kiss: Robert - just leaving the house

3. Last good cry: This morning

4. Last beverage drank:  Diet Coke

5. Last food consumed: Homemade beef pot pie

6. Last crush:  Robert - today all over again

7. Last phone call:  To Mexico - my friend Yessy

1. Who is your best friend: my hubby, my friend Ruth and Dena

2. Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend: Nope, married - he's my guy!

1. Where are your favorite places to shop: Consigning Woman!

2. Type of clothing: jeans, warm shirts and fuzzy boots

1. Do you do drugs: only what the doctor ordered

2. What kind of shampoo do you use: What's in the shower

3. What are you most worried about? health

4. What would you change about yourself: I'd slim down more

1. Colors: Green, then purple

2. Foods: Red meat, sweet & sour pork, Good 'n Plenty

3. Subject in school: English

5. Sports: Do I hafta?  Well, I do love gymnastics and ice skating as long as someone else is doing it.

6. Movie: Sound of Music, Music Man, Victor/Victoria, Polar Express


1. Given anyone a bath: more times than I can count

2. Smoked: yes

3. Made yourself throw-up: unfortunately . . .

4. Skinny dipped: yes, when I was young enough and skinny enough not to care.

5. Been in love: Certainly, many times, the best one is right now.


1. Clothes: jeans, white turneck, red fuzzy sweatshirt, pink fur-lined slippers

2. Music: Come Now is the Time to Worship . . . Brian Doerkson

3. Make-up: none

4. IMs: none right now

1. Hugged: my hubby

3. Last person who slept at your house: Must have been our friend Jon


1. In the morning I am: Not good before coffee . . .

2. Love is: Jesus, then family

3. I dream about: peace for me and my family

1. 7 years ago: widowed and homeless with 14 kids

2. 4 years ago: Falling in love again

3. 3 years ago: A newlywed with 12 kids

4. 1 hour ago: soting clothes to send to Mexico

5. Tomorrow: going to get a massage

6. College: AA degree from Mesa College in 1990 - I was 41 years old and mama cried to see that one of us finally did it and with honors. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Nearly every night, I have at least one dream.  When I wake up from one, I vow to remember the details, but sleepy as I am, do not write them down anywhere. By the time I awake again in the morning, they are gone forever.  On occasion, I remember many details and enjoy sharing my dream with my husband.

Robert, however, dreams nearly every night and vivdly so.  He never writes anything down, but will share his dream with me . . . in the minutest detail.  How he ever remembers is beyond me!  He tells of conversation, action, description of place and everything.  As I patiently listen, I am in awe.  They are not so good that he should write a book, but the man could at least write a soap opera.

I have a couple of vivd dreams that have never gone away.  One I had when I was just 8 years old.  I dreamed that my sister and her husband had invited me to their home to stay a few days and when they opened the door, it was a huge mouth and throat inside. The uvula was a huge and dangly thing and ever so scary.  I was frightened to death and wouldn't even consider talking to my sister for some time.  Trauma is the word you'd use today.  My sister soon calmed me down, though.  She sent a Ginny doll as a peace offering.  Funny though, I can still see nearly every detail in my mind's eye as if it were just yesterday.  Odd, huh?

The other dream was some 20 odd years ago when I was quite angry at my first husband for something he'd done.  I talkd to people about my rage, but eventually, it must have come out in my dreams.  I dreamed I found him in my home and started chasing him with a knife.  In short order, I had cut him up in little pieces and stuffed him under the floorboards of the house.  And just in the nick of time, too!  The police were banging on the door to get in!  When I awoke, I was out of breath and convinced that I had killed the man.  The feeling lingered for days, but I wasn't about to go out of my way to find out if he were truly alive.  Fortunately for me, it was only a dream.  I hate the thought I might have spent all that time jailed for murder . . .

Dreams have such an affect on our lives.  They warm and recall events, frighten us, even warn some of an event yet to come.  Maybe one day I'll put those that I recall on waking on paper before my next sleep and perhaps dream, washes them away.

Do you recall a dream that has stayed with you?  Want to share it?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Weekend Assignment #44 - Party Gone Wrong

It was Pooky's 1st birthday, and although she lived with us, her parents wanted to have the party at their house.  Pooky is just our nickname for her - they named her Monica. 

Poor as church-mice, however poor that is, they entreated friends and family to contribute to the party.  Their little home and yard were adorned with lots of balloons and many borrowed chairs and tables.  Children filled the yard.  We brought 12 ourselves. 

Pooky's grandma was inside the little house cutting meat and vegetables to put in the pot already bubbling on the open fire outside.  They had even cleaned up the outhouse for guests.  It was a shaky thing, though and I noticed that our kids weren't drinking much.  Me either.

Although cake, jello, decorations and food were supplied by others, Pooky's parents wanted to make her first piñata themselves.  They made a starburst in pink.  It was just beautiful and they did a great job.  Too great a job, actually . . .kids and adults swung at, belted, slammed and dropped the thing to no avail.  It had hardened to a nearly concrete state!  Inside waiting was candy, cookies, toys and fruit, but no one could make a dent.  Pooky didn't care, but the myriad other children weren't having fun anymore.  Finally, the men took it down and beat it to death with a tire iron. 

My advice:  buy the piñata!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Blasted Bird!

Stupid bird just BIT me!  How dare he!  I treat him like a baby, feed him treats and this is how he repays me?  We were sitting on the couch and I was giving Andrea her school work.  She sat down next to me and Dufus went from my shoulder to hers.  He doesn't actually like her, so before he could "nibble" on her ear, I tried to extricate him.  Blasted bird clamped down with his parrot beak and nearly crshed my fingertip!  Now the stupid finger looks like a red balloon.  THAT's gonna leave a bruise! 

Truth is, I really love the bird.  He's beautiful and sweet (90% of the time) and loves to cuddle on my neck.  He takes naps with me and lets me know when he needs to do his "duty" so my clothes aren't soiled.  Even if he's not really mine, he's my bird.  He launches from Hank's hand to get to me and wakes up in the middle of the night to greet me when I go to the bathroom.  Even my dogs never loved me this much.

Still, when he's bad, he's very, very bad.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Thanks, J-Landers!

Well, today is the 26th anniversry of my 29th birthday.  I slept a little late and got up to many greetings from my J-Land friends.  That is so cool!  It's more birthday greetings than I've had in 15 years.  It's not that nobody loves me, it's that being in Mexico wasn't exactly conducive to a lot of birthday greetings.

Yesterday, the pastor and his wife took us to lunch after church and had them sing "Happy Birthday" to me.  It was nice but also mildly embarrassing.  Then when we came home, Hank and Debbie were getting ready to prepare a special dinner for me.  They also got me a music box doll to add to my collection.  It was very nice.

This morning, after sleeping in and a visit to the doctor, Rob and Andrea took me to shop and to breakfast and to the mall for a water massage.  Now Andrea and I are going to "veg" and watch "Victor/Victoria" - I just love musicals. 

Thanks again, J-Landers.  You've made me feel very welcome in your world.

Monday, January 10, 2005


This is incredible!  A tornado touched down here in Ventura this morning after a water spout was seen just offshore. The swiftwater recue team is just up the street from us where the levee is about to give way, endangering a mobile home park and homes that were built on a "dry" riverbed.  Praise God we are on high ground.

Thunder that shook the house woke us around 5 am.  Lightening and thunder continued for a while giving us quite a display of God's awesome power.  It's been this way for several days, but this is the first thunder and lightening.  This morning, it's almost warm, though we have been warned that freezing temperatures will come later today. 

Last night, Hank's girlfriend Debbie had an accident, becoming one of the many caused primarily by the rain.  Deb's at the doctor's office this morning and her jeep is totalled.  Poor gal, she was really shook up.  Lady pulled out and crossed the double yellow right in front of her.  That vehicle is totalled as well.  We haven't been out for days.  As it lets up today, we have a couple errands to run, but won't go far.  Our car is not high clearance and we don't want to get stuck anywhere.  We're supposed to get a short respite before the next deluge.

Fortunately, this weather system has not hit the ministry in Mexico.  They called this morning to say they had only had sprinkles.  This is good because the house couldn't stand this onslaught.  The roof now needs repair after the last storm and there are mud issues that would have kept them isolated for a week. 

I know it's not much if we look at the disaster in Indonesia, but it's a lot for me.  I can't even look at the devastation there without crying.  That's overwhelming.  If we were younger and in good health, we'd probably have arrived there last week.  I see those faces and all I can do is pray.  It's the best defense against what's going on.  I couldn't handle it otherwise.  I cry when I see an accident happen.  Too sensitive, I guess, but that's me.

You know, despite all, it's a good life.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Birdies in a deluge

I open my eyes and stretch.  It's been pouring all night, but for now I don't hear the rain.  I cock my head.  What is that I hear?  Birdies!  Thousands (I think) of them in the trees outside.  Chittering and chattering, it seems they are making the best of the bird seed whe have scattered about the yard, in feeders and on top of things.  They almost sound frantic.  It's also a happy sound.  I love to hear them chirrupping to each other.  "Hey!  There's good seed at Hank's house and lots of it!"  "Quick before it rains again!"  "Don't forget Junior!"  . . . . and on it goes.

Shortly, I hear a sprinkle or two and the chirping changes.  Suddenly, it's a deluge and the birds are silent again.  Are they huddled together in the tree?  Wings touching to keep warm and dry?  Do they know which branches offer the best seat?  In snowy country, the birds fly south for the winter.  We are south.  Poor birds.

God must have a plan even for these tiny little birds.  I haven't seen one lying in the mud in the front yard overcome by water.  And as soon as the rain gives just the smallest bit, they begin to sing again.  Somewhere in the Bible, I can't put my finger on it just now, it says that they neither toil or spin, yet always the Lord feeds them.  How much more we, who are called His children? 

It's raining harder than I've seen in years and there are floods and mudslides.  I am blessed to be warm and dry.  Huh!   The birds are singing again.  I didn't hear the rain stop.


Saturday Six on Sunday

Patrick has this every Saturday.  I'd like to link back, but somewhere lost his link.  Hope someone will send it to me, thanks.

1. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #38:  If you could live in a foreign country(or city) for one year, which would you choose and why?

Of course, I've just come back from Mexico, but I'd love to go to the Philippines.  So much diversity there.  Did you know there are thousands of islands to explore?

2. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #39:  Did you have a security blanket, stuffed animal or toy that you were attached to as a child?  Do you still have it?

Yes, I certainly do - did, whatever.  It's my pillow - no one else thinks it's a pillow anymore, but I can't sleep without it.

3. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #40:  Favorite alcoholic beverage?

 It used to be Southern Comfort . . .many years ago

4. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #41:  What was your favorite cartoon as a child? 

Katzenjammer Kids

5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #42:  Is there a chore you enjoy doing? 

Laundry.  Definitely.  Love clean clothes and how they smell.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #43:  A time machine will let you travel 10 years into either the past of future.  Which would you choose and why? 

Oh the future for sure!  I've seen my past and don't really want to go there again.  I'd rather try something new.

Friday, January 7, 2005

Really not much to say today.  Just want to check in and write down what's happening.  It's been raining pretty heavily here since about 3 am.  They are saying that it will continue until Tuesday.  We got a few minutes respite from it, but weathercasters tell us we might as well stay in.  Roads have been flooded already and there is concern that this "warmer" storm will cause a huge snow melt and mudslides in the burn areas.  Our partners in Mexico are in a deluge.  The roads are already washed out and very muddy.  I hate to say it yet again, but boy am I glad to be out of there!  Andrea is already stir crazy and a little weepy because she won't get to go to the Farmer's Market in the morning.  Ah well, winter.

Hank told his renters this week that they will have to move out.  He's going to fix the plumbing and rent the house to us.  It will be 3 or 4 months, but we will finally get a home of our own!  It's been a long time.  Of course, we thought of the ministry house as our home, but since we've been here, we have lived on Hank's generosity.  The house is a smallish two bedroom with a fenced front and side yard.  He's thinking of adding a deck on the back for barbecue, etc.  It also has a bathtub - my great desire!  Rob likes a shower most of the time, but I love to soak.  Helps my achy bones.  I'm trying not to get too excited.  Anything could happen between now and then.  Still . . I'm jazzed, guys!  A place of our own!

Dufus, the famous sun conure got to go for a ride yesterday.  He squawks like crazy whenever I go out the front door so Hank said to check his wing clips and take him with me.  We went out to mail a package to Rob's dad and took the bird.  He was on my shoulder looking around for the whole ride, but skittered into my shirt once we went into the store.  He hung there kind of like "Kilroy was here" - little claws hanging on the neckline and his bright orange head peeking out to see what was going on.  It was kind of fun.  I had hoped to take him to Farmer's Market tomorrow just to show him off.  I really love that bird.

I have to get up early tomorrow to write the ministry letter.  After much self-debate, I've decided to write the letter every two weeks instead of every week.  It was different when I was in the middle of it.  I always had material.  Now I depend on Jon and Arlene to update me.  They just don't have the same priorities.  I think everyone will understand.  I'm one of the only missionaries I know that sends updates this often.  Most are monthly or quarterly.  See me patting myself on the back?  I've been writing it once a week for 5 years, with very few missed weeks.  I deserve a little rest.

With that said . . . I'm going to bed. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Another day . . .

I don't know how I got so busy - I don't do all that much - the past couple of days.  Not much time putzing around on the 'puter like I usually do.  Got a chance to look into a couple of journals and left mine to rest. 

Yesterday we had a great mall walk and I got another water massage.  It's just heavenly.  Then Rob bought me a membership for my birthday!  Couldn't get better than that if you're me.  He was going to wait for my birthday, but he's just not good at waiting.  Hee hee.  Doesn't break my heart.  I'm going to be spending a lot of time mall walking and at the water massage booth.

Today Andrea got up in a bummed out mood.  We got a chance to watch a videotape of the kids we left behind in Mexico at the ministry.  This morning she was really missing them.  We all felt kind of weepy watching them, even though we could see that our friends are doing a great job there.  Poor Andrea.  Those kids are the closest thing she's had to brothers and sisters near her age.  Most of them have lived at the ministry for quite some time. 

To take her mind off her missing them, I took her "thrift-shopping" for clothes and then out to  mommy-daughter lunch.  We had a good time together and decided we need to do this once a month.  I guess I forget that she's still learning how to live this new way.  It was good to see her smiling and laughing this afternoon.

Well, off to bed now - it's early, but I'm beat.  Tomorrow's another day.  G'nite.