Monday, February 28, 2011


Most people who know what special day it is today (March 1st) will also probably know that a Gamanfa Ganu is a Welsh cultural tradition, usually a hymn singing festival, characterized by choral singing in four part harmony. The hymns or Welsh songs are usually sung in Welsh, which is a bit daunting, but don't let that put you off.  It is magnificent choral singing  with the community joining in.  Even better is when a Male Voice Choir sings the old Welsh hymns, many of which are written in the minor key -- very dramatic.

You may be surprised to know that GYMANFA GANUS are held in many parts of the United States and Canada and not necessarily on St. David's Day which is March 1st, the special day of St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales.  

So glad our 'G' day arrived on St. David's Day.  Now sit back and listen to this Male Voice Choir singing the Welsh National Anthem.

The Letter 'G' is brought to you by courtesy of Mrs. Nesbitt and her ABC Wednesday crew.
Click on her name to visit more fascinating examples of the letter 'G'

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Wanda's Art Challenge this month is for Flowers.  I thought these crocuses would be very appropriate.  Not sure the color will match my blog background, but I do love their colors.

For more Flowers, visit Wanda's Blog and join all we would-be artists with your own masterpiece!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


With all the moving of furniture and hassle of new carpet etc., we finally bit the bullet and turned out a large pile of books which we will give to the library for their book fair.  Then we decided to get a new TV because our old one is a monster to move.


I always vowed I would never have a TV that dominated the living room, but unfortunately there was no where else to put this.  It is larger than I expected because when we saw it there in the store it didn't look so large.  It was against a long wall of other models.  At least Moth can see the picture properly.  Now, if they would only put some decent shows on! I have watched all the NCIS reruns too many times. Nat. Geo is sometimes good  but often I resort to CCTV -- the China news network!  They do have some interesting programs on Chinese history.

Kaybee has brought rain, cold and snow!!  We're thinking of sending her back! Have to cover my plumeria tonight.  It's going down to 36 degrees.  We offered to take Kay up to the mountains to see the snow, but she didn't seem interested. (For new readers she is from Toronto where they still have a couple of feet on the ground.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The wonderful thing about being a born again Christian is that not only is it free but everyone has equal access to  'being saved'.  You don't have to be rich, smart, famous, old, young, black, white, Chinese, Spanish, sinner, saint -- or whatever.  You don't have to speak a certain language or belong to any particular cultural entity. Salvation is free and available for anyone and everyone.  There are no requirements  or prerequisites . Anyone can become a Christian because it is a free gift from God for all who want it.  You can't have it if you don't want it.  No-one is going to force it upon you, though in the past, rulers have mistakenly tried to make it a requirement for their people. But it can't be done that way.  In your heart you personally must want God's forgiveness of your sin.  You will NOT be denied.

"For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith (in the Lord Jesus that he can truly give us this gift), not of works  (or anything that you have to do to earn it), it is the gift of God."  Ephesians 2:8

Monday, February 21, 2011



The new National Geographic came this week and on the front cover was a gorgeous photo of a fox.  I was so glad it is "F" week for ABC WEDNESDAY.  I spent an evening freehand drawing and coloring him.

Then today, I was going through some old papers and came across another photograph of a Fox, so I spent this evening working on him. Not quite so meticulous, as I was distracted by all the earthquake news in Christchurch on CNN. We have been there twice and recognized some of the buildings.

Our prayers and concern are for those people in New Zealand who are going through a night of terror for those not yet rescued.

Feel Free to visit ABC Wednesday to see some more Fantastic
blogs on the letter 'F'


Last week our shelter held an adoption Fair at the Vista City Library. It was only a small one, with two cats, one rabbit and 6 dogs.  I got to look after one of the cats.  I was so pleased because the cat I had was Elle, only I call her Mollie.  Sometimes the cats are in the shelter for a week or two before they are given a name and I'm not an official animal namer. Mollie, (or Elle, whichever you prefer), is one of my favorites.  She is a three year old tortie and is very sweet natured.   Every time I go to the shelter, I always  visit Mollie.  She loves to come out of the cage and sit on my knee. So we have spent quite a bit of time together.

She had quite a large cage and didn't seem to be at all disturbed by the process of travelling and being looked at. 'Though she certainly did perk up her ears when the dogs barked.  They were outside.  In fact it was such a warm day that they had to be kept in the shade.

This was a very sweet black lab mix(?).  Sadly none of our animals were adopted at the fair, but at the shelter  itself  as many as 25 animals were adopted.  So that was a really good day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


"Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights. with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
James 1:17
Since this week, ABC Wednesday's letter is the letter 'E', I decided to take a verse beginning with 'E' for my Wednesday's Word on Thursday.  It was one that came readily to mind, so I decided to check off my own list of good and perfect gifts that come from the Father.
       1.  My world of blogging.  Yes, a gift, because it has found me friends, kept my mind active and keeps me busy.  After retirement I honestly wondered what I would do with all the time on my hands.  Blogging is one of the things I do.
       2.  My artwork.  I never realized that I could draw and paint until after I retired. There is a great sense of accomplishment when I complete a picture, even if it isn't good enough for the Smithsonian!
      3.  My Ladies Bible Study -- a group of about 20 of us who meet to study the Bible every week.  I love it and I love them.  We all have so much in common, not the least of which is studying God's Word and learning how to apply it to our every day lives.
      4.  Feeding the birds and watching birds.  I have done this since my days in college, but now I can just sit out on the patio and watch the back yard birds and any unexpected visitors. I'm going to participate in a national Back Yard Bird Count next week.
     5.  My cats at the shelter.  Of course you knew I would include them.  It is a most rewarding past-time.  Last Saturday 25 animals were adopted.  Then yesterday we had eight new kittens brought in -- very young ones.  Three of them had the spots of the Bengalese cats and two had blue eyes and silver stripes.  They were scared to death and now it is my job (and others') to make them comfortable and happy.  I am a CAT SOCIALIZER.

These are some of the most unexpected gifts God has given me as I have been "put out to pasture".
What is God doing unexpectedly in your life?  He is good and He is perfect -- and He is the greatest GIFT.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



These are photos of my elementary school in the village of Flamborough, UK., shortly before it was torn down sometime in the 70's and replaced with a new, modern building on the other side of the village.  It was called the St. Oswald's Church of England Elementary School and was the only school in the village.  I attended there from 1947-1949

I never look at the playground in the first picture without remembering the day the milkman was crossing the yard carrying milk bottles in a metal crate in the midst of a heavy snowstorm.  Suddenly there was a brilliant flash of lightning and clap of thunder simultaneously.  The milkman was struck by the lightning  --  that one flash.  There were no more. Of course, he didn't survive.  I was in Standard 6 and it was 1948.  My classroom was behind the windows on the right hand side.

Across from the school was the large village green, nothing fancy.  Just a large grassy area with  what we called the Mere on it;  rather like a very shallow lake.  The Green was too marshy most of the time to play soccer or cricket on it.

This is my class with the Headmaster and our class teacher, Mr. Wall.  I am on the back row standing next to him.  I remember the names of about four of these students. I also remember the boy who is standing in front of Mr. Wall was really, really good at Math and I wasn't!

Fast forward 30 years or so and cross the Atlantic and most of the U.S. to Oceanside, CA.  This was one of my third grade classes I taught in the 70's.  About four of these students became my pupils again in High School after I moved on to teaching high school.  It is interesting to me that of these four, none of them had changed very much at all in personality, abilities or quality of work by the time they were in High School.  My point is, that kids don't change much over the years until they hit 15 or so.... then look out!  :}

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Student Story.

This was made for me by one of my very gifted students before he graduated.

Jose came to us in 9th Grade. (Aged 15, for those not used to the American school system. Again, I'm not using this student's real name.) He had lived in Mexico all his life.  He came from a good and caring home and was a bright, and polite young man -- not to mention handsome! When  his mom married an American businessman they moved up to our area.  That's when Jose joined our school.

He and his family had great plans for him to graduate on time, (at aged 18,) and then attend a top notch American University.  The major problem was that Jose did not speak a word of English.  Because we were a small school, we thought we could try to give him the start he needed.  He immediately made friends with another student his age, who took him under his wing.  Between them they worked out the language problem and Jose put in an enormous amount of time learning all the necessary school work as well as the language.  This was a determined and motivated young man!

Of course He made it -- just as he planned.
I thought you might like to read what he wrote on the back of this drawing.  (I have covered his name).
What a sweetheart!

Earthquake Update

There was a 4.1 with a 3.4 right on top of it today in Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico. That's the same place as the 7.2 we had last Easter.  Think those are the ones I was looking for.  But we shall see.


 We had a 3.7 earthquake out at Hemet half way between the coast and Palm Springs and two others, 3.3 and 3.0 just off the Los Angeles Coast.  I think I am still expecting something more in the region of 4.0 - 5.0 , but maybe these three will have eased the stress a little.  I'll give it another couple of days, and then say that's it.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I'm going on record with my earthquake theory about which my family teases me unmercifully.  Whenever there is a substantial earthquake in Chile, we see one in Central America and then one in Southern California within a  day or two.  The 7.2 one we had at  Easter last year was preceded by one in Chile. I've been watching this pattern for several years. By Southern California I mean anywhere from a hundred miles south of the Mexican border all the way up to just past Pasadena.

Well, they've just had a large earthquake in Chile again.  So I'm going to stock up on food.  Nothing scientific or supernatural here, just my observations.  We shall see.  Feel free to laugh if it doesn't happen.  We will laugh too being glad it didn't!

Thursday, February 10, 2011



What is love?  I asked myself this question last week. The word is bandied about so frequently today, that I seriously wonder how many young people really know what it is. Certainly love is not sex,  although TV, movies and books seem to illustrate that it is.  Too often the message is, "there's no real love without sex."  But then we also hear, "Luv yah!" used over and over again, sometimes said just flippantly, almost as if it meant the same as, "Have a good day!".

Even as a teenager, I have always thought that real love is very special. I believed that so much that it was almost a year before I allowed myself to tell my last boyfriend, my husband to be, that I loved him.  I remember the exact place   --  on Ealing Common in west London.  The genuine meaning of that word was so important to me that I would not, could not say it unless I really meant it and believed it.

Anyone who reads my blog frequently will probably have noticed that I am very hard on myself.  No slacking off for me!  No excuses either. So last week when I was feeling particularly aggrieved with myself and wondering how anyone could love me, I decided to look  again at the great Love Chapter,  First Corinthians, chapter thirteen.  I just really needed to be reminded  of God's loving kindness.   That word,'loving kindness', along with the words, "Love suffers long and is kind", was just what I needed to hear.  I lose patience with myself over and over again, but God, who is Love, suffers long and is kind. Thank goodness! Where would I be if He were not?

So if you truly want to tell someone you love them this Valentine's Day take a look at verses 4, 5 and 6 of I Corinthians 13. They tell you what Love is. It's quite a standard to live up to.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

D is FOR...


I have to give them equal time since I am always blogging about cats, which is actually one reason why this DOG (below) appears on this blog.  

We were going to Coles Carpets and made some passing joke about how Coles should be  donating to the cats at the Animal Shelter, since it is  our last cat, Bailey, who is giving them the business of supplying new carpet for us.  Yes, we are just about at the joking stage by now!

We parked the car and walked into the store and this is what we saw!

Note the card around his neck, below.  
This is the same place where I volunteer among the cats.

Then I got this flyer below, from the shelter, in my e-mail soon after we got home.

Note the part that is circled and starred.
(only in California, yes?)

If we call something a DOG's DINNER  we usually mean it in an uncomplimentary way (at least we did when I lived in England).  But this ad confirmed my decision to feature DOG on ABC Wednesday, especially because I wanted an excuse to feature the book (below) on my blog.  

This is a volume I get from Readers' Digest every couple of months called Select Editions. It contains four individual books.

One of the stories in this volume is called  "A DOG'S PURPOSE"  
by W. Bruce Cameron

I have to tell you that this is the BEST animal story I have EVER read.  In general, I don't usually like animal stories, they are just too much of a tear jerker.  I feel the same about animal movies-- even Lassie -- especially Lassie--movies.  But, I'm telling you that if you like DOGS at all you MUST read this book.  I'm sure it is in the Library.  It is so upbeat with a great plot and just a very satisfying reading.  Couldn't guess how the ending would turn out. I read a lot of books in a year, but this one just has to top the list -- not because it is a literary masterpiece, but because the author has captured the absolute essence of --
well, -- doggie-dom.  I loved every word!

And now, how could I do a 'D' page and not have DAFFODILS on it?  So obvious, but so full of the promise of spring.
 They have been for sale at Vons for the past two weeks.

Have a Happy Spring and take your doggie pals for a long walk in the sunshine.

Visit other ABC WEDNESDAY Blogs by clicking on the link HERE

Monday, February 7, 2011



Still working at drawing people.  I'm not very good at catching a true likeness.  This was a young Mexican girl we saw on our November cruise.  She was actually, younger and prettier, but I'll keep trying.

 Visit Wanda's Art Challenge HERE

Friday, February 4, 2011


Well, this one certainly is!  I've been looking for this picture among all my "stuff" for quite a while.  Came across it yesterday.
(The little square bottom right is not part of the picture.  It is an award sticker.)

It was painted by a seventh grade boy who had been in our school  for about 6 months. 

When I asked Martin (not his real name), what his painting meant, he said, "This is what I felt like in my other school. I am the triangle in the middle".  

Martin,  was academically very bright.  He had a great sense of humor and was well-liked by the other students.  He did not have a resentful or rebellious attitude. I'm not saying he didn't ever get into trouble for he was definitely normal.  Except for one thing.  He was skinny, somewhat small in stature, wore quite thick glasses and always got good grades.  He definitely had the look of a nerd or geek. Because of this he became the brunt of bullies in his previous school.  Yes, bullying was just as prevalent 15 - 20 years ago.  Because we were a small school, we could keep track of our students more easily and simply did not allow bullying. One thing that helped was that we knew every student by name. 

Ours was a private Christian school, small by choice and definitely not a school for the elite.  We wanted to have a place for students who just couldn't handle the rough and tumble of the large schools in our area.  We didn't take children who were discipline problems and only those with academic problems who might blossom with more one-on-one attention.  This was before home schooling became popular.

It was hard financially, to run a small school like this.  Sometimes I didn't take a salary and my teachers certainly didn't get paid what they were worth.   But Martin's painting made it all worth while.

He wasn't the only one.  Sometime soon I'll tell you about a couple of other students who made it worthwhile. 

Martin graduated from high school and joined the navy.  He married his high school sweetheart whom he met at our school.

Thursday, February 3, 2011



Far from it, in fact!  My sin has separated me from God, who is holy, sinless.  I want to know how I can be made clean from my sins so that I can stand before my holy God.  The Bible tells me that God has decreed that for sins to be forgiven, blood has to be shed.  That was God's choice -- His method. Who am I to argue with God?  But a sinful man (or woman) cannot shed his own blood for another sinful man. He would be shedding his own blood for his own sins.  So Christ, as the perfect, sinless man made the perfect sacrifice  of shedding His own blood -- not for His sins, for He had none, but for MY sins -- and for any others who wish to have their sins forgiven.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

C IS FOR....

What else is there?

Ah, but this chocolate is something special.  It is in fact a chocolate biscuit -- cookies, for we who are in the U.S.

If you should ever come to my house for a cup of tea or coffee, usually in the afternoon,  this is what you will be served:
I know it says 45% cocoa but isn't cocoa the same as chocolate?  
There is another packet of these that is 70% cocoa but I don't like them because they are not sweet enough. As it is, the 45% ones have only 130 calories each.  Of course you don't know how many I eat at one sitting, or how many packets I use in a week (or, while we're on the subject, how much sugar I put in my tea!).  There are only 12 cookies per packet.

My friends from church will be laughing if they see this, because I have a reputation for serving these.
You know I have said any number of times that I don't bake, not only because I  don't like to, or can't, but because if I do, Barry and I will scoff the lot and we certainly don't need that!

 When we went on our cruise, on the bus trip in Costa Rica , our tour guide showed us a cocoa pod:

Well it smelled like chocolate even if it doesn't look like it.

By the way, did you know that there are some orchids that smell like chocolate?  That's absolutely true, because I've seen them and smelled them.  Somebody knew that there are enough of us chocoholics out there to bother to create that.

Sorry, it's a terrible photograph, but it's the best I can do under the circumstances, which I will explain in a moment.

So here are the chocolate cookies.  Hmm... looks like there are a few missing from this plate.  Can't imagine what happened to those!

NOW.. the 'circumstances' mentioned above is one more 'C' which I hardly dare mention in this house.  We are on the point of going out to look for CARPET... and why don't I want to mention it?  Well,  we are biting the bullet and replacing carpet that carries the last vestiges of evidence of poor Bailey's CRIMES! 

For more ABC Wednesday, please visit  Mrs. Nesbitt's hardworking and highly successful blog by clicking on the link.