Friday, October 30, 2009

Out with the OLD and In with the NEW

We finally took the plunge and bought a flat screen monitor. As you can see, the old one was huge, probably 18 w x 15 h x 24 deep. (I didn't measure it.) It was a monster, but we need a large screen for MOTH who has one eye that doesn't work properly. We have had the old one for quite a few years and it was getting so fuzzy that even I had to sit about 6" away from the screen in order to read a page of normal size text.

You can just imagine how much more space we now have on our desk! All the more space to fill up with more papers! And I thought computers were going to bring in a paperless society!



When birds sit so near and pose so beautifully, they think they're begging for food -- but actually they are begging to have their photograph taken, especially if there is a blogger around.

This one I think is a juvenile cowbird. It doesn't have its brown head yet and it doesn't have the white eye of the grackle. But you can just see the green sheen on it. Anyway whatever it is, they congregate in great numbers around our shopping malls.

I hope to have a post of just Bailey, doing some thing interesting next week -- that's 'interesting', as opposed to sleeping and eating. I've been trying, but that 'red eye' beast ( I don't mean Bailey), doesn't cooperate even though the camera and the computer program says it is on. But he is appropriate for Halloween, I suppose.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We had another of those bird accidents that tend to happen around feeders. A dove slammed into the patio window, even though we have stickers on them. He was still alive afterwards, so I left him hoping he would recover. Sometimes they do. But by dusk, though he was still alive, he had not moved. There was no way I could put him out of his pain -- I just can't do that sort of thing -- and I hoped he might still recover, so I moved him under some bushes and put an old saucer down in case he needed water. We haven't had rain for about four months.

But the next morning, guess who I saw perching proudly on the bird feeder! Our new young Cooper's Hawk who has made several unsuccessful passes through the bird feeding area lately. He certainly is beautiful and circles the house so gracefully in large swoops. He passes through the area only about 15 feet from the patio window and has even flown under the patio cover.
This was taken through the patio window and from behind the curtain. I didn't dare move or I would never have got this shot.

....and then I went to see what happened to the dove. The picture below tells the story. Sad, but there it is. I guess the hawks have to live too.

On a happier note, just look at these beautiful grasses that are planted in the city's parking lot by the baseball diamond. They are beautiful -- so feathery and frothy and this is only part of the display throughout the parking lot.

(The Lord says...)"I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them." Rather than having to learn and obey all the minute laws as they are written in the Old Testament in order to earn salvation, God says that we will know in our hearts what is right or wrong . Whether we choose to do what is right is another story. So He sent Jesus to be the free gift of sacrifice for our sins (if we want Him to be) and the Holy Spirit to guide us into choosing to do right (if we want to do it).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nine Years Old Today
October 25, 2000

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jose and Sylvia

Go visit them at
Arizona - but it's a Dry Heat!
and congratulate them and their lovely family

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Anniversary Overflow

Out of about 20 shots this was the best we could do! Our problem is that we are a family of photographers (3rd generation actually) and none of us like how we look on camera when we smile! So this is the best photo you will get when we are all together!

This was taken at the Sheraton in Carlsbad. It was a family dinner. The big celebration was our trip to Norway in June.

We all had dessert after the dinner, though we certainly didn't need it! This was our dessert from the hotel. A large chocolate chip cookie and ice cream.

More cards came after this shot was taken. The scene in the front is of Bridlington, Yorkshire at sunset, from our best man of 50 years ago, (whose birthday was actually the same day.) They know my passion for Yorkshire. Flamborough is only 5 miles away from this shot. So we got an unusual Anniversary card from them, by design.

The night before the dinner last week


Thanksgiving in Kauai last year!


Therefore to him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

I was about 15 years old when I memorized this Bible verse. It was one of the first that I ever memorized, (that's because it is relatively short and I was looking for a short verse!) Even so, it impressed me because I thought I did try to do good things. But this verse puts a different perspective on that idea. Eventually I learned from the Bible that even though the Lord wants me to do good, it is not the good things that I do that will earn my way into heaven. I could do all the good things every day of my life, but only by asking God for forgiveness for being a sinner would I find my way to heaven.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Yes, 50 years ago today, Saturday 17 of October, 1959
Barry and I were married in Goole, Yorkshire.
Sorry it couldn't have been Flamborough, but my family had moved and travel restrictions meant a compromise. Better that than no wedding! Sadly, the little Methodist church is no longer there.
(If you click on the black and white photo above, you can see what we looked like all those years ago)

Last Sunday at church with the 50 beautiful, golden roses given to us by our friends
Mark and Joyce Lee
(I really am smiling! If you click on the photograph if will enlarge and you can see that I am.)

And though this may look to some as if this photo is more fitting for a funeral picture, we wanted to have a photo of the flowers and the Bible. People often ask those who pass notable wedding anniversaries to what they attribute their happy, successful marriage . We attribute ours to
Total commitment to the marriage, to each other and our Lord Jesus Christ -- and a healthy sense of humor doesn't hurt either!

( We chose to have the flowers there last Sunday rather than this Sunday, which is closer to the actual date, because a dear friend is celebrating her 100th birthday on that day)

ADDED LATER: If you're really interested you can see a little more of my wedding on my sister's blog CLICK HERE A Patchwork Quilt Made by Design.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


First a word about Joe Cool's Blog -- aka Jose. As the banner to his blog page, Jose has a photo of a bright orange mustang almost identical to the one below. Now what are the odds? Jose lives in Arizona and I live near San Diego. A few weeks ago the car below was parked on the street we take to go to church. It is not always there and a few times I passed it but didn't have my camera -- but I thought of Jose. Finally I got this photo yesterday. Check it out at Joe Cool's Blog Almost identical! Now, Jose, I will draw and paint this car for you, because you have been asking for one of my paintings. So give me about a week -- we have a celebration coming up this weekend which will cut into my time.

Also, just a note about the white crowned sparrows which have now returned to our location. According to all the bird books I have, they do not migrate, but I'm here to tell you that ours do -- or at least they go somewhere. They all disappeared from our area in April and they all came back last week. And this one very obligingly ducked his head at the waterfall so that we could see that he is indeed a white crowned sparrow.

(These are short verses of Scripture that have meant a lot to me over the years, with a brief comment as to why.)

"In the beginning was the Word... and the Word was with God and the Word was God....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." John 1:1,14
These words tell us just who Jesus Christ is. I like to explain it this way. If I were to stand before you and talk to you, and if my words were able to take shape and form into a human being beside me, (shades of science fiction here!) that human being would be me, because they have come out of my mouth, from my thoughts and my heart. They would be the very essence of me. So it is with Jesus. He is the living, breathing Word that has come from the heart of God and taken on the form of a man, yet He is wholly and completely God.

Finally, my plumeria did eventually bloom, only it seems rather late to me this year. They still have blooms but not as many as last year. I must note the date in my diary so I can compare it with next year.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Painting

Still Life - October 3, 2009

This was an experiment, which now I come to think of it, nearly all my paintings are. I have not done a still life for a LONG time. I was quite pleased with the way it turned out, but I can see a few improvements I could have made. I have another one almost finished, not quite as good as this one, I think.

Two days ago we had an unexpected visitor in our yard. Only unexpected because he usually comes at night when he is eating my small hibiscus plant. It is one of the rabbits that plays in the circle. I haven't been able to get a good photo of him because it is usually too close to sun set. But two days ago he came right up to the patio window at about 4.00 p.m. I was talking on the phone to my son. He climbed onto the runner ledge of the screen door and looked in the window as if asking for food. Of course I didn't have my camera! This is the best of the evening shots that I have, but I'm working on it!

Then yesterday I was out at the store when my husband saw this bird. It is either a juvenile Cooper's hawk or a sparrow hawk. It is too small for a regular Cooper's hawk. But my good husband saw that I had my old camera close by and he took this shot through the patio window.
Of course he (the bird that is!) was looking for a meal. The little birds make such a racket around the feeder in the afternoon, they attract his attention.

What a menagerie we have in our back yard!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Meet Josie

I said the other day I had found a way to get my kids to look at my blog. All I have to do is post their photographs! So here is Josie. She is Son #1's cat. She is a Norwegian Forest cat and very beautiful. He also has another cat named Cleo, but she is somewhat shy and doesn't come out when he has company or to have her photograph taken.

We had a bit of excitement last week because Son #1 found evidence of a LARGE cat that had been spraying on the wall of his house right where his cats sleep. Fortunately his cats are indoor cats, because right in his area a cougar has been sighted recently! So Son #1 is a little more cautious and alert when he goes out into his back yard. His house has hills and rocks all around it.


The results of all my tests are now in. The main answer is that I have peripheral neuropathy. Quite a common ailment that simply means a disease of the nerves in the hands, arms, feet and legs. It can be caused by alcoholism, (I don't drink); diabetes, (I don't have that); a high fever, well I did have scarlet fever as a child and Asian flu when I was in college.

The brain MRI shows that I have some small holes where nerve cells should be, but nothing major and not caused by mini strokes. The test for the nerve response in the ears also shows some holes. (So now, not only do I have rocks in my head, I also have holes in my head!) The EMG shows abnormality of feeling in feet and legs. Mostly they never do find any real causes for neuropathy, if I have none of the above, but the 'holes' could well contribute to a lack of balance. So the physical therapy I am now having can help the brain compensate for these balance problems. It certainly is helping because at least I now know where my feet are!

I have to have two more blood tests to make sure none of it is caused by problems with the liver kidneys or pancreas. I really don't think I have any problems there.

It is nice to know that there is nothing seriously wrong, but I must keep doing the small exercises to keep my brain connected to my feet and I have to go back for a check up in 6 months.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

People...who Need People

One of the blessings of having been a teacher in this community is that two or three times a year I will bump into several of my former students. Sometimes they recognize me before I recognize them. It is so good to see them going on with the Lord. For some reason it is usually Sunday after church when we go out to lunch that I see my former students -- and often it is at the Claim Jumper! Yum! (And the meal is so large that I take half of it home for the next day!)

These two sisters -- no names, just smiles -- are two wonderful girls we enjoyed so much in high school. Great students and such role models.

This is a group photo of my Ladies Bible Study which is held every Wednesday afternoon. There were about five missing. We are in the midst of studying Colossians and having a great time. If you are interested, I post my notes for each class on chrisscomments (click)

In addition, I have been thinking of posting a short verse from the Bible that means a lot to me on this blog every Wednesday and call it Wednesday's Word. So here is the first:

WEDNESDAY'S WORD: Therefore be followers of God, as dear children. Ephesians 5:1

I have been a "follower of God" by my deliberate choice for 54 years. He has never forsaken me and has led me through many and varied experiences. And the great joy is that He will lead me through my last experience in this life, my physical death, and take me by the hand into the New Life he has for me in the New Heavens and New Earth. What a joy!
Got another painting coming up in a day or two, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some Beautiful Things

I'm not a member of SkyWatch Friday, mainly because I haven't figured out how it works. It took me two hours to post the video clip on my last post! But this is our season for sunsets. This was a spectacular one from about 10 days ago. I took four shots but chose to post this one because it has more colors in the sky. I promise you I did not touch up the colors at all. It is taken from our driveway. You may also see it on Wanda's blog because I sent them to her in case she didn't feel up to hunting for a good Sky Watch photo.

I've discovered a way to make sure my sons visit my blog. Post their photographs!! This is one Son #1 took a few days ago. It is unusual because we get no rain at this time of the year, hence no rainbows. But one day last week there were a few scattered light showers over the mountains, and Escondido got this wonderful rainbow. At some point it did stretch the full width of the horizon. Beautiful shot!

The wanderer has returned. After three full weeks in Bulgaria and Macedonia preaching encouragement to some churches we have been supporting over there, Moth(the Man Of The House) returned -- pretty tired after preaching 24 times, and conducting three weddings!

He brought back with him these two beautiful Austrian crystal puffins. You can see some of the colors in them, but of course the photos don't do them justice. They stand about 2 and1/2 inches high and 3 inches wide. He knows I love puffins because they live and breed on the Flamborough cliffs. So he knew I would love these -- and I do!