Wednesday, August 31, 2005






Monday, August 29, 2005

How we love our animal friends

The second "person" I met on my first day at work was KT.  She had just come back from having her hair trimmed.  Right behind her was Elaine.  Jess introduced me to both of them.  "KT is the guard dog here," he said with a smile, "and Elaine is the manager.  You'll do well to get to know them both."

It's been nearly 5 months since I started this job and Elaine, KT and Nugget have become like family for me.  It's very hard for me to think of Elaine as a boss, although I know she is.  And those dogs, well, I love them as if they were my own.  That's why it's so hard to write this.

You all know that KT has been struggling the last week or so.  On Friday, she began to follow Elaine everywhere.  She just didn't want her out of sight.  She had been to the vet that morning, but she really didn't look good.  The vet wanted to continue the medication for a while more.  KT wouldn't take it.  The truth is, she didn't want to eat at all.  She drank water and not too much of that. 


Mostly, KT just wanted to lay around.  She seemed sad, but when Elaine would approach, she would look at her with such love and wag that bushy tail of hers.  She even wagged her tail for me when I would talk to her.  But she really just wanted to be with her mom.  If I could show others one quarter of the love that her eyes showed to Elaine, I'd be considered for sainthood.  What a beautiful girl she was.

This morning when I arrived to work, Elaine and her son were next door burying KT.  Just as I was leaving with the bank bag and mail, they came walking up.  I just gave her a hug.  There just aren't any words to say.  My best effort was just to hold her. 

Soon enough, life will be back to whatever is normal without KT.  I know there are greater tragedies today in the world, but for Elaine they are all diminished by the loss of her KT.

Tonight, as you pray for all who havebeen affected by Katrina and for others who are hurting, please add a little prayer for Elaine.  May God richly bless you all.

Monday Morning Question

From Sometimes I Think, Krissy asks what our plans for Labor Day are.  I can't believe it's Monday already! 


Well, I'm working on Saturday, but have Sunday and Monday off.  Rob says we aren't getting on the road at all.  Maybe we will have a small barbecue just for ourselves and just rest and play right here at home. 

The church will probably have something planned for the kids, so Andrea might not want to be with the old fogies.  Oh, well.  Holidays like this have unfortunately become more of a pain than the fun that it was when I was younger.  Too many people on the road, trying to "last gasp" their summer.  I'll just be happy to have the day off.

Blessings, Penny

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Saturday Six

Here we go again . . .from Patrick's Place, the Saturday Six:

1. What is your current desktop picture?  What made you select it?  On my laptop, it's a fully bloomed rose bush - flowers only, with a couple of bees.  I took the picture myself and like it because of all the different colors on one bush.

2. A close friend who you consider to be up to date on fashion suggests that you should update your look and offers to pay for a session with an experienced hairstylist you've never dealt with before.  Knowing that it's free, would you go? No way!  My look is as updated as I want it to be and no one I don't know is going to mess with my hair.
3. When you do look in a mirror, what is the first thing you usually look at? My eyes

4. Take this quiz:  Which Bugs Bunny character are you?  I am Bugs Bunny herself.

5. What label seems to describe you the best as a whole? laid back

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #60 from Stacy: Is there a specific person that you credit with your successes? and HOW did they help you? Yes, I credit my mom.  She never gave up on me, always ecouraged me.  When times were tough, she was my champion. 

Friday, August 26, 2005

Weekend Assignment #74

Weekend Assignment #74: Forget about the things you need -- Tell us about something you want. Preferably something useless and/or expensive. In other words: Toys! Something fun and/or sparkly and/or indulgent that you don't already have but wouldn't mind getting, if someone were offering.

Extra Credit: Do you really think getting that toy would make you happier?

HERE is what I want.  I don't need it, can live without it and want it sooooo bad!

I would be the happiest camper this side of heaven, I just know it.  Bubbles, here I come.  I think I'd quit work and turn myself into a prune.  Doesn't matter the weather, I love hot water. 

There's room for it in the yard outside our bedroom window.  We could make the window a door . . .

Would it really make me happy?  I'm already happy - it would be like the frosting on the cake.



Yes, truly TGIF!  Tomorrow I still have to work, but it's not a school day, so I don't have to get up early to make up all of Andrea's work.  I got a call today from the school psychologist to set up a time for what they call SST or student study team.  This time I'm not going to let them throw stuff at me . . .I'm going to insist that she be tested for learning problems so that I can help her.  Last year, we had 3 such meetings and all they did was throw more paperwork my way - have her do this - try this.  They don't seem to get that she really needs some help.  She can't remember what a story is about 2 seconds after she reads it or has it read to her.  She also can't remember the content of her latest favorite TV show.  I know there are tools to help her begin to comprehend and I know that if I have them, I can help her.  It's so frustrating for her not to be successful at her school work.  It frustrating for me, too, but I have a way to talk about it.  She just has tears.  Guys, please pray that this year they will help her before its too late.  She's growing up so fast!  She needs to be able to make a go of her life.  I want the very best for her.

Thanks to all of you for your concern for KT.  She's still hanging in there, but is not eating much.  We are concerned about that, but it's been so hot here I don't feel like eating either.  The vet believes the internal bleeding has stopped and that she is not in pain.  This is our biggest concern.  If she can stay comfortable, then we will be okay with that.  We don't want her to suffer.

It's been a couple of the hottest days on record for the area where I live and work.  The temperature topped 102 degrees yesterday and was over 100 at 10:30 this morning. I'm not used to such heat.  We don't have air conditioning here at work or at home.  I left the lights off in the office today and that has helped some.  Rob promised to leave the fans on at home.  Heat makes my poor body swell up and my feet look like balloons by the end of the day.  Even the water pills don't help much.  I'm hoping it will be cooler tomorrow.

It's almost closing time here.  I don't know how I would survive work without my laptop.  When no one comes in all day, I can get my work done early and play Pogo or write in my journal.  I'm working on a book for missionaries and today I even had enough time to work on it.  I can only read so many books without falling asleep.  And they pay me for this!  I am so grateful! 

Blessings to one and all


Thursday, August 25, 2005

A little of this, a pinch of that . . .

KT is feeling better today and we are grateful.  Elaine has had her for over 10 years - since she was just a pup.  She's taking a little food.  We are encouraged by this.  We still don't know if its cancer or if she will survive much longer.  I can't imagine work without KT.  I love her too.

I went to the doctor yesterday as planned.  He checked the lump I found and said he didn't think it was anything to worry about, but he was going to send me to a surgeon anyway.  I guess they will biopsy or remove it - or both.  He also froze another spot on my arm and told me to come see him in a few months.  The spot on my face healed perfectly and my neck is doing great also.  I wonder if he could freeze a few other ugly things about me???

Andrea has gone with some kids from church to go shopping for clothes.  She was really excited about it.  She forgot her sizes, so I had to have her write them down.  I think more than anything she was excited about going out with the group. 

I have been really tired lately.  I just can't seem to get enough sleep.  Like most everything else that happens to me, it's probably just another downside of fibromyalgia.  It's tough getting older and not being able to do the things you once could do (or at least pondered doing).  I've had fibromyalgia for 25 years and in that time, I have mostly been okay.  There are times like now that I hate it with a purple passion and other times that I can forget for a while that I have it.  The thing is, chronic pain ages a person more quickly.  Many people my age are in much better shape.  There's some other issues, too.  I suppose those of you who also suffer must know about them. 

I'm not complaining.  Well, maybe a little.  I should be allowed some serious "pout" time. I do climb in the pity pot on occasion, but not too often, because there's usually someone around to close the lid on me. When I think about Pam and her struggle with cancer and John and Krissy who just got married and are facing cancer as well, I feel pretty small complaining about what's going on with me.  I am grateful to have people around who love me and are supportive when I am at my worst.  It's just life, you know.  None of us ever really gets over it.  We just go forward.  We do the best we can in any given situation.  Life is its own solution and it's better for us if we just stay out of the way and let it happen. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I must still be recovering from J-Land's anniverary party the other night.  I've been back to read, but just haven't had the gumption to write. And here's the deal - I always have something to say. 

This has been a sort of stressful week for me.  I've had one doctor's appointment for a small lump I found and have another today for further examination of it.  They probably will take a biopsy.  I hope it doesn't hurt.  Also, one of our watch dogs at work is very sick.  We thought she might have gotten some rat poison, but blood work shows that's probably not the case.  She doesn't want to eat and is just dragging around with a very sad look on her face.  My co-worker took her back to the vet yesterday afternoon to be euthanized, but the vet wanted to try some medication first.  Our emotions were going up and down like a yo-yo.  We both had tears as she took KT to the vet and then fear again as she picked her up and brought her back.  Will she die at home?  Will the pills work?  How do we get so attached to our animals?  They are persons in our lives.  I'm almost afraid to go into work this morning.

Andrea is back to her regular homeschool schedule.  This means I have to set up her work each day before going to work.  We have teaching time before I go and then correction time when I come back.  Andrea hates school work.  We are trying to get some testing done to help her, but the school district is lazy.  This year I'm going to insist.  She's a smart girl, but her rough start in life may have caused some learning problems.  We want to know how better to help her.  It hurts me to see her cry over the simplest math problems.  Makes me feel like an ogre for making her do them. 

I'm off to get myself ready for another day.  It's good to be a member of J-Land.  Thanks to my friend Lisa for searching out such wonderful graphics for me.  Blessings to you all.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Thanks, J-Land

The bouquet is for those who have made the 2nd Anniversary of J-Land a success.  I just want to thank you all.  I spent a couple of hours in the chat room and had a wonderful time.  It was nice to "meet" so many people.

I joined J-Land nearly a year ago on Sept 16th, right after I joined AOL on a free membership.  My son John introduced me, but you all made me feel welcome here.  In that time, I've written a lot, read a lot and made a bunch of new friends. 

I thought I'd see what anniversary time was all about, so I did as many of the suggested things as possible and in the midst of it, enjoyed myself tremendously.  I made my first audio entry!  It was so cool.  I signed the guestbook for those who were in the chat room, I did the Celebration Survey, and now here I am closing the day with my own anniversary entry.

Thanks, AOL, for makings a journals community like this possible.  More than that, thanks to those of you who have become a part of my life.  I could no more give up my AOL membership now than I could give up my glasses.  I had a "blog" on another server, but had to give it up because I had been spammed to the tune of about 100 times a day.  The mail box had to be closed because I had over 5,000 spam e-mails.  Not here. 

AOL, do you smell cake? 

Audio entry

Celebration Survey

For J-Land's Anniversary from Vivian


Here are the questions:

1. The first one involves what you'd call this set of questions. 
Here's a list...pick the one you like best and make it the title of
your entry when you answer these questions in your journal:

Anniversary Appraisal
Anniversary Assessment
Anniversary Audit
Anniversary Examination
Celebration Survey
Celebratory Census
Commemorative Confessions
Festival Feedback
Milestone Marker
Party Poll
Party Proclamations
Revel & Reveal
Second Celebration Confessions
Second-Year Survey
Special Day Disclosures

I chose Celebration Survey because J-Land is a daily celebration of life.

2. Are there any certain AOL Journals that you can't do without?  List a few of your favorites.

By the Way

Sometimes I Think

Ride Along with Me

Jottings from the Sticks

My Country Life

(sometimes) Photoblog

Adventures in Juggling

I could go on forever . . .

3. What is the best and worst things that happened during J-land year 2004-2005?

Best: we finally have our own place to live

Worst: I've had a lot of health problems.

4. What changes would you most like to see made to AOL Journals during the third year?

Easier uploading of pictures and graphic and a spell-checker

5. Has one of your favorite reads disappeared?  Who would you most like to see return to AOL J-land during the third year? Yes, she has left – I loved A Mum's Tale and wish she would come back.

6. What's the silliest/stupidest/most embarrassing mistake you've ever blogged and overlooked? I don't know – I probably overlooked it.

7. What's the newest journal you've discovered that you've put into your daily rotation? 
(Not necessarily the newest to J-land, but the newest to you.)

One Girl's Head Noise

Now, the rest of you, run on over to Vivian's place and post your answers, too!


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Judith Heartsong Essay Contest

This month's essay at Judith Heartsong is I Believe . . .

I believe in love. I believe love has a life of its own and grows continuously within and without. I don't remember the first time I felt love, but I am sure that it was before I was born. I can imagine my heartbroken mother wondering what she would do with another child now that he had left her. I sense she place her hands on her lump of a belly and prayed for wisdom. She probably cried tears of love for the lump that was me and tears of grief and love for her husband.

Nearly 57 years ago, people told her to abort. She couldn't or wouldn't. The doctor wanted to adopt me. She said no. This was her child. Her beloved memory of the love that once was. She wasn't going to quit. In love she bore me. In love she raised us. I never heard her complain that four children was too many. Out of love, she took us to church. She offered her spiritual beliefs to us. She told us God was love. I believed her. She never told me a lie.

There was a fearful night in my room. The windows rattled and the sky outside lit up like daylight. I pulled covers over my head and cried. Beside myself, I ran to her. She pulled me close and her cigarette smell surrounded me. The curtains in her room were wide open and the bright light came again and again. She told me how awesome God was that He alone could light the sky at night and make the clouds crash together for such wonderful sounds. It was God's symphony for a storm, she said. Closer and closer we crept to the window until with each flash we could see the whole neighborhood lit up. I believe that love made thunderstorms a miracle for me instead of something to be feared.

I believe that the love that grows and changes within us comes from God. It's not just that wonderful love that I felt the first time I was kissed, although I was sure that had to be love. I tingled from head to toe and felt wanted and beautiful all at the same time. The real love came in my mama's arms when I found out that puppy love wasn't forever. The love a man and woman experience isexciting at first, but it's the love that stands the test of time that I believe in. I got it all out of order, but I learned about it as I grew.

Inside of me is a well so deep that it will never fill up. It's the well of love. Just when I think it's nearing capacity, it grows. I grow. I believe love conquers all. I'm not an idealist. I've seen it happen. Love turns hatred inside out. My mom planted the seed of love inside me. She told me God loved me before I was formed inside her. She loved me while I was unlovable. She loved me while I was drunk, loaded and crazy. Her love turned me around. My love can turn another life around. That's the miracle.

I believe in the inestimable power of love to change the world.

Weekend Assignment

My son John is asking everyone to look over their journals to an entry that they especially liked over the last year.  I have a couple that I like, even a very recent one, but have dug into the archives.  Not to be wishy-washy, but I found two.  Get over it!  I can't just do one.

Happy Anniversary J-Land!

Thursday, August 18, 2005


He climbs out of his truck, a tall, lanky old man and struggles into the office.  "I've forgotten my code again. Can you let me in?"  He shakes his head as if that will shake his memory loose and reaches for the card on which I've written the code again.  "I'll use it on the way out," he says.  I open the gate after he climbs back into his truck.  He smiles broadly and his wife waves.

On the back of his truck are many items.  There must be 30 wooden picture frames - no pictures - just frames.  There is a wooden box-looking thing on a pedestal.  It has leather handles on each end.  At the back, on top of everything, is a fancy walker.  You know the kind.  It has fairly big wheels, a basket and a seat.  It even has brakes.  There is a rope across the whole kit and kaboodle.

A little while later, he comes back to the office.  "I thought we decided on 568, but the one you gave me is 529."  He looks a little confused, pulls his contract out of his pocket and carefully unfolds it.  "I really wanted the one that was across from my other unit." 

"No problem," I reply.  "You know that unit is a bit smaller?"  He nods his assent and with a few quick keystrokes, the smaller unit is his.  I go back outside with him to take him back to his truck.  His weathered hands stroke the seat of the golf cart as we go.

"I should get one of these for the campgrounds.  It would be wonderful for my wife.  She doesn't walk so well anymore, but she surely loves to go!"  He smiles as he speaks of his wife.  "She's an artist, you know.  A good one."  So that's why all the frames.  His wife is asleep in the truck.  I help him untie the ropes covering his treasures.  I ask about the box on the pedestal.  A cobweb of a memory is floating around in my head.  It looks familiar, but I can't place it.

"Well, my wife collects western items.  That there is a saddle stand.  Look below on the bed here.  It's an old saddle."  Indeed, it was.  Not like the ones of today, sleek and streamlined, but sturdy with a solid horn and leather a little higher than normal at the back.  It's not ornate.  This was a working saddle back in the day.  A stiff rope is wound about the horn.  He tells about the man he bought it from.  Somewhere, he tells me, his wife has the history of the saddle and its owner.  Quite a story, he says.  His mind seems to wander back to the story.

Mrs. M doesn't hear well anymore.  Most of the time she sits in the front of the truck and sleeps or just stares.  She's not animated.  Until Mr. M approaches.  Then, out of the deepest part of her, a smile first and then her round face appears to come alive.  There is a kindness about him and as she reaches for him, the love that they have shared lo, these many years, shines right through and they become young lovers once again.  They hold hands for a few seconds and he goes back to work unloading their treasures into the storage unit.

The items he's placed in these two storage units would have a story of their own if they could talk.  They would tell of years gone by, of the times when they were both docents at the Santa Barbara Mission.  How she would sit under a tree dressed as an Indian woman and weave a spell for the children. How he would lead those same children around on a donkey cart.  They would tell of days gone by at the canvas; now old, but once-young hands weaving again, but this time a story in oils. 

Time has weathered their faces and their skin is thinner than it used to be.  God has carved character where there was once youth. They may have forgotten more stories than I will ever be able to tell. Some of their precious memories now live on in me. I pray that someday someone will see in us the little glimpses I've seen in them. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Anniversary Time

 I am so excited about actually becoming a part of J-Land's 2nd anniversary this year.  I chimed in sometime in September last year and missed the first one.  I have made so many new friends here and have read such great things.  I also love reading the ordinary things that happen in your lives. 

As all-agog as I am, I have yet to make my contributions of voice mail, photo, etc., to all the right places.  Vivian has the information on where to go to make this a special anniversary for all of us.  She can even tell you where to get a cool graphic like the one above to put in your journal.  Now that I've learned how to put them in, I'm going hog-wild with graphics.

See you all in the chat room on Sunday!


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

CarnivAOL is out again

Well the AOL carnival of the vanities has just been published again  This time, I decided to contribute.  There are plenty of great entries there.  Stop by and take a look.  Then take time to thank Paul for doing a wonderful job.  Here's the link:



Monday, August 15, 2005


I probably put in too many pictures again, but couldn't help myself.  What EVER did I get myself into marrying into this HUGE family?  There are brothers and sisters and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews coming out of the woodwork.  Don't get me wrong, I love them, but they can be overwhelming at times.  I am so grateful we only saw these few this time.  It's a lot of family to absorb at once.

Andrea had an absolute ball!  She loved all the attention from the family and really feels like she belongs.  She looks so much like Robert that they are all questioning his whereabouts 12 years ago :) 

I am so happy to be home now, sleeping in my own bed with my own covers.  I missed the dog.  I missed the bird and I missed just being quiet for a time.  I try to think of myself as outgoing, but the truth is, I'd never leave the house if I didn't have to.  I could be happy forever right inside my four walls.  You can even go grocery shopping now on the internet.  Good thing for my family that I'm so involved in the church and have a job. 

Guys, it's just great to be back and reading all your journals again, not just popping in when they give me a few minutes.  I've grown dependent on reading about your lives and experiences.  Keep it up, my friends.  I love you all.

Please forgive me for this

I was reading the report of the airliner crash in Greece, where authorities now believe that six persons were still alive at the time of the crash.  The AP says the coroner reports:

"We have performed autopsies on six people. Our conclusion is they had circulation and were breathing at the time of death," Koutsaftis said, but he added they could have been unconscious.

The crash is a tragedy and I am so very sorry at the loss of life, but how ever can someone be breathing at the time of death?


Monday Photo Shoot

Back at work for the first time in a week.  Here's my photo, son

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Saturday Six #70

I'm trying Patrick's Six again.  We are getting ready to run out the door again, but I enjoy playing this when I can.

1. A reader to "Men's Journal" recently wrote about technological innovations, stating that there isn't any gadget he couldn't live without:  "To see how vital technology is, spend a few days in the backcountry without your phone, pager, PDA, laptop, cappuccino machine, or MP3 player.  You'll emerge cleansed and refreshed."  Could you go a whole week really roughing it with no modern conveniences?  Would you want to? Yes, I could do it, have done it - but no!  don't wanna do it again.

2. What is the most you've ever paid for a:
    A) Shirt $34
    B) Pair of Shoes $120
    C) CD or Album $26.99
    D) DVD $22
    E) Book $175
    F) Vacation $3500

3. Looking back at the answers to#2, which one was the most foolish? The shoes

4. Take this quiz:   Which snack food are you? I tried this, but the web site wouldn't come up for me - too manypeople, I bet.  I'd guess I'm probably an apple fritter.

5. There are three wells:  Love, Beauty and Creativity.  If you could only drink from one of them, which would you choose and why? I would choose love.  It is the only one that can last forever and with it, you feel beautiful and creative.

6. If you were another person, do you think you would be friends with the person you know as yourself?  yes, I believe I would

Saturday Morning

This is our last full day of vacation.  We are going to Rob's sister Irene's house to see as much more of the family as will come there to join us.  We always have a great time at Irene's.  She's a really neat lady.  When Rob was very sick after his accident, it was Irene (his little sister) who became his caretaker of sorts.  She managed his money for him, helped him pay his bills and just loved him no matter how unlovable he became.  Of his sisters, she is the most stable one and the one the rest of the family looks to.

Yesterday, we went to see Rob's dad in a place called Olivehurst north of Sacramento.  The house is huge and Rob's dad seems happy with Manny and Lupe there.  He says it's much more quiet and he can rest. His little house in Wasco was by the train tracks.  He built that house with his own hands.  The walls are very thick and the floors are nothing more than dirt covered over with rugs.  He was very happy there for many years.

We had hoped that my daughter Heather could meet us there in Olivehurst for a visit.  It's been a long time since I've seen her.  She tried very hard to get there, but at the last minute, it didn't work out.  I don't know how she felt, but I was very disappointed.  Though I keep in touch with my children over the internet and by phone, I long to see them in person and get my "mom" hugs.  Because I was in Mexico for so many years, it seemed impossible, but now that we are here in the U.S., they seem so close and yet again, so very far away. 

In truth, I'm looking forward to going home tomorrow.  My co-worker says it's been cool and overcast where we live and I'm ready for that.  The heat here has been almost unbearable for me.  I have a rash on my chest that I can only guess would be called prickly heat.  Now I know how the babies feel. It's been wonderful visiting everyone, but I am ready to slow down now. I guess I'm just a homebody at heart.

They say it will be cooler today . . . around 95 degrees here in Vacaville. 

Blessings, Penny

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Greetings from Northern California

I really tried to upload pictures and do an entry yesterday after we got back from "the city".  I was exhausted.  My back hurt, my legs hurt, my fibro was out of control.  When I started to put the pictures and comments, my 'puter went a little wacky and I was just too tired to care. 

We are home now from visiting Rob's aunt Tina and her daughter Elsa.  It was a great visit and we got to see cousin Roger and his grandson Richard as well.  Elsa taught Andrea how to bake a cake (pineapple upside-down, no less!)  We also ate burritos from Rob's favorite joint in town there.  Maybe tomorrow or Saturday I'll have those pictures to share.  Elsa was amazing.  She had brain surgery a few years ago and recovered from that only to be diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure.  About 1 1/2  years ago, she had a devastating stroke.  She's come so far since then and is doing everything for herself.  She walks with a cane and has a long way to go, but I am so impressed with her tenacity.  She's probably 5 to 10 years younger than I am.  Wow is all I have to say.

The heat here is terrible!  I never have done well in the heat and this trip is no exception.  I have no energy and sometimes feel like a 5th wheel with all the energetics around me.  Armando has been a wonderful host, keeping the air conditioning on for us. He's also our chauffeur - toting us around in his candy-apple red PT Cruiser. 

The pictures will pretty much tell about San Francisco yesterday.   We arrived in the morning and it was very cool and windy.  We ended up buying tourist windbreakers so we could be comfortable.  I took myriad pictures, some of which I may share later just because I like how they came out.  I probably put too many in here, but just had to share.

Tomorrow we will get to see Rob's dad and other brother and my daughter Heather is going to try to meet us there in Marysville.  I really have missed seeing her.  I hope it all works out.  Then on Saturday, we will meet with more of the family at Rob's sister Irene's house.  Sunday we fly home again, pick up Sammy and Dufus and get back to normal again.

I hope I get a chance to post again before we get home.  I miss beingonline.  I surely am addicted to this thing!

Until later, blessings to you all, 


Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Edith and the airport

We arrived here at about 10:30 this morning after a long drive to the airport and a short flight north.  I wrote an entry for my Blessings journal while I was on the plane.  I didn't have internet of course, but got a chance to write.

The flight wasn't full and our bags were at baggage claim almost before we got there.  We grabbed our stuff and began to look for Rob's brother, Armando.  We looked and waited and waited and looked, but we couldn't find him.  Rob went to the pay phones to call.  He got a busy signal, the wrong number and another busy signal.  Finally, after 45 minutes or so, I got up to make the call.  Asking Rob for the number, he said 488****.  I didn't think that sounded right, so asked him to get my phone book.  The number was 448****.  Armando answered and we discovered there was a mix-up on times and he left just as we landed!  As quickly as he could he came back to the airport.

While we were waiting outside, we sat on a bench and I got to do one of my favorite things:  people-watching.  We watched people in a hurry, people reunited and lots of frustration as people tried to find a place to park.  There was a wide cross-walk just down from us where people rushed to the parking garage with their bags in tow.  I looked up at one point to see an old lady slowly heading in the direction of that walkway in an airline wheelchair.  Then I realized that she was not in control of her chair and was going to go over the curb!  Three other people saw her at the same time and as I did, began to run toward her as she toppled face first out of her chair onto the blacktop, hitting her head on the bumper of an SUV.  Rob joined us and we got the woman back in her chair and asked the security people to get medical services for her.  It seems the skycap had left her alone to go retrieve her luggage.  He said that he put the brake on, but as I discovered, the brakes were faulty and didn't hold. 

The woman, whose name was Edith, was 92 years old and had just returned from a wonderful vacation in Southern California.  She wept because this had to happen to put a damper on the whole thing.  She was confused and couldn't hear well because the fall had knocked her hearing aid out of her ear.  I repeated the questions into her ear and prayed for her as well.  When we saw the paramedics coming to check her over, I left her in the hands of an airport employee and went to join Rob, Andrea and Armando for the ride to Vacaville.

I can't get Edith out of my mind.  She was so heartbroken.  I was torn.  I really wanted to stay with her while she was examined.  I guess that all I can do now is hope that her injuries are minimal and that the black eye she will definitely have is the worst of it.  And of course I will pray.  I'm powerless without prayer.

Landing and Flying

The shuttle Discovery landed here in California this morning, passing right over our house with a huge sonic boom.  It was impressive, though we had just enough fog here that we couldn't see the shuttle.  Rob and Andrea watched the safe landing while I pried my eyes open. Welcome Home!!!!

We are just getting ready to run out the door to the airport for our own take-off and landing.  Sammy is being taken care of by the people who have the greyhounds for adoption and Dufus is at Hank's.  The house is empty and off we go. 

Blessings to you all,  Penny

Monday, August 8, 2005

Monday Morning at work

My friend Lisa sent me some very cool graphics to put in my journal.  Now that I've learned about photobucket, I'll probably go nuts for a while.  I hope you'll all bear with me.  It's so neat to have so many friends here in J-Land.  I've been having so much fun.  I'm glad that I'll be here for the 2nd anniversry celebration.  It will be fun to see what everyone is doing even if I'm only on the periphery.

My son John is flying home from Scotland today and tomorrow Rob, Andrea and I are flying the short hop to Sacramento to see family.  Everything is nearly ready to go.  We got our plane tickets, airport parking and will get our boarding passes tonight - all on the wonderful Internet.  My brother-inlaw, Eddie, thinks the Internet is just "Big Brother" on a massive scale, so he's not to keen on using it.  I told him that Big Brother doesn't need him to sign on to get all the information he wants, so he might as well enjoy the convenience.  I surely do.

We're taking the laptop with us as we travel and will try to get online as often as possible.  I will probably go into withdrawals if I don't check in often.  I always have at least 1 computer running at all times.  Yes, of course I'm an addict.  Better than drugs, I always say.  Have a good week my friends, I'll be posting later if I get a chance.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Saturday Six #59

Coming back from Patrick's Place, I'm trying the "Six" again:

1. Besides your parents or siblings, what family member do you most resemble?  I think it would be my maternal grandmother (ugh!)

2. Check out this
interesting website:  Is your hometown newspaper featured?  What is the top headline of that paper or the one closest to you?  Yep, the Ventura County Star is on it - Headline:  "17 hurt as Amtrak train, truck collide near Somis"

3. If you knew it was completely tame and there was no danger, what zoo animal would you most like to pet or come into physical contact with? A Cheetah - amazing cat!

4. Take this
quiz:  How weird are you?  I'm 30% Wierd - not enough to scare others, but sometimes I scare myself.

5. Which of the following causes more stress in your life:  your spouse, your kids, your boss, your co-workers, your friends, your parents or other relatives?  My kids, I guess - I want the best for them and stress out when it isn't happening.

6. You find an old lamp containing a genie:  the genie decides to give you a single improvement for yourself, mind or body.  It must be something to improve within you and no one else.  What would you ask the genie to fix? I'd definitely ask him to take away my pain.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Fair thee well . . .

We had a wonderful time at the fair.  It was Andrea's first experience and she was all over the place looking at new things.  We had to park 4 blocks from the fairground, so I was nearly done in when we got to the entrance.  It was dollar day and opening day, but the crowd wasn't too large when we got there about 12:30 pm.  I think a lot of people like to go in the evening and enjoy the beer gardens and the rides. 

I looked for a place to rent a wheelchair, but it just wasn't in the cards for me.  I like to go through the commercial buildings, the photgraphy and art shows.  Robert likes to look at trucks and other testosterone building stuff and Andrea wanted to go on rides.  We got a little bit of everything.  I wasn't much fun for them, because I had to sit every so often.  Ther ferris wheel was great for all of us.  I got to sit, we had a fantastic view and there was the thrill of riding high in the air. 

Andrea's favorite was the bumper cars.  She had a bit of trouble figuring them out, bt had a blast ramming into other cars and being bumped into.  It's not my idea of fun, but then, I'm not 11.  We watched a few people riding the mechanical bull.  Andrea didn't want to try it (thank you, Lord!).  One girl got tossed in the air and landed on that air support like a bouncing ball.  Even Mr. Macho didn't want to try it.

We had a lot of fun with the animals.  Andrea didn't know there were so many different looking rabbits.  She had never seen a guinea pig, either.  She was really taken by the pygmy goats and let one suck on her finger for the longest time.  It was a great experience for all of us. 

I will never tire of seeing the wonder on my baby's face as she discovers all the new things in this adopted country of hers.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

What is it? Today's the Day

Okay, it's Thursday and time to tell what the picture is.  I'll tell you one thing:  We worked hard for that little puppy! 

About a month ago, Rob and I bought a new washing machine.  We picked it up at the store and installed it ourselves.  Well, actually Rob and Hank installed it.  The guy that sold it to us said that we would have to pull the yellow tab so it would work right.  Rob and Hank pulled and pulled and heard a little thunk and cut the tab the rest or the way off . . .or so they thought. 

The water ran in, the machine began to wash, then it began to spin.  The darn thing started to jump all over the laundry room like it was doin' the watusi or something!  We removed the clothes and redistributed them and tried again.  Same thing!  We called the service center.  They had us look for the "pins" that should have fallen out when the yellow strap was pulled.  No pins.  So we tipped the machine per their instructions and looked for more yellow strap.  We couldn't see it.  The guy had us run it empty and he said it sounded fine.  We put the clothes back in for a rinse and final spin and you would have the the washer was going to go to its death on its first day of life!!  It ran into the dryer first, then proceeded to watusi about 3 feet forward before we could get to it.  We shut it off and called the service center again.  Again they told us to look for the strap. 

We turned that bad boy nearly upside down and Rob held it while I got underneath with the flashlight.  At first I saw nothing, then deep, deep inside, I saw a tiny shade of yellow.  "I think I found it!"  I pulled, Rob pulled, we pulled together (that was totally useless - we pulled against each other, but it was a little fun) and finally Rob got a HUGE pliers and yanked that puppy out. 

That yellow piece of strap and the two pins are what kept the drum stable in transport.  It's on every washer, but usually the installer removes it for the customer.  Of course, Hank was in a hurry and cut it for us.  Isn't that what friends are for? 

The washer works great, by the way.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Monday Photo Shoot

This was supposed to be yesterday.  John wanted us to take a picture up close of something and post it to our journals.  Well, truthfully, I was just too tired to do it, but here it is a day late and a dollar short.  So enjoy:

I worked hard for this thing - so I hope you have fun trying to figure it out.  Good luck, my friends.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Ode to a Vegetable

On my bed I lay

Sore from top to toe

Didn't think it'd be so bad

Little did I know

Work straight thru you fool

Cut a lock so grand

Make it home okay

But I can hardly stand.

So now I am here

In a vegetative state

Trying to get some needed rest

Before it's way too late.


I did it!!!

Okay!  I got it in here!  Now I just have to figure out how to get it at the bottom of the page.

The 8th Day

I'm beat!  This is my 8th day of work in a row.  I am covering for my co-worker so we can go out of town next week.  I didn't realize when I said I'd work the weekend that I would miss my days off so much.  Today I'm really dragging.

This morning I went back to the skin doctor and he burned (or froze) two more spots off of me.  The one he's not worried about, but if the one at my jaw doesn't heal, I have to go back.  I'm not a sun bunny, so I'm not really worried about it.  The places he froze are a bit tender, though.  This is another new experience for me.

Rob and Andrea have been working at home.  He's helping her take all the excess stuff out of her room.  We share a closet between our bedrooms, so he's also been working on boarding up between the two so we have a little more privacy (what's that?)  The dog has become comfortable sleeping on his blanket in the living room, so we finally have our rooms to ourselves.  We also got the new blinds for the living room this morning.  Let's hope Sammy doesn't tear these up.

I can't believe its August already!  What happened to June?  Did we miss a month somewhere?  Wow!  They are surely right when they tell you that time goes faster the older you get.  Today I have been back in the United States for one whole year. I can't actually believe it.  Seems like just yesterday I packed the last thing into the truck and crossed the border back into the world.  I'm glad to be home.

Wednesday I think we are going to the county fair.  I'm going to rent a wheelchair so I can enjoy it and not be such a downer for Rob and Andrea.  She's never been to a fair before.  This will be a wonderful picture opportunity. 

WooHoo!  Yay!  My co-worker just came home!!!  If I'm addle-brained for the rest of the day, she'll cover for me.  Blessings abound.