Saturday, June 30, 2007

20 Years of Camping!

We are heading out to go camping! I was trying to find a photo of where we will be going, and I came across the photo that I posted. This photo is our very first camping trip together as a family. I then realized that this was taken 20 years ago this week. My husband Charlie, is a Fourth of July baby. For his birthday, he always wants to go camping. It is the only time he will relax. No phones, computers, nothing and no one calling him to do anything. He is a die hard, camping for a week, creature of habit, kind of guy. There will be a lot of fishing, hiking, and looking for rocks to bring home. He always reminds me that this is not going to be a scene from the movie, The Long, Long Trailer. We always have good food. I don't know why, it always taste better in the High Sierra's. There will be games of horse shoe's and boccie ball. Naps in the hammock. Stories around the campfire, roasting marshmallow's for s'mores. Oh, and of course looking at stars that are right upon you and even closer through a telescope. Plus, bringing a little handful of books is a great way to lounge and get some summer reading in.

My step dad would take us camping when I was growing up. All of us kids could take one friend. We always had a blast! I am happy that this has become a tradition in our family. Even though a couple of our daughter-in-laws do not care for camping, we get to take the grand kids now.

I will read you in a week! Have a great and safe 4th of July!
Muah! I will miss you!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Beloved ~

My Beloved

I belong to You, my Lord and King,
And I know that Your desire is for
And Your love falls like sweet
refreshing rain,
Gently flowing down again so free.
Lead me to the place
Where I can hear Your words of
Where the fragrance of Your love
consumes my soul.
Where my heart is overwhelmed
With the mercy that You've given;
Where I hear Your gentle voice call
to me,
You are my beloved.
And many waters cannot quench the
burning flame;
Rivers cannot wash away Your love.
And I know that in You I am safe;
You call me by my name,
Your beloved one.

Holland Davis

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Our local news has been covering the fire in South Lake Tahoe. I find it to be devastating and heartbreaking. The news showed people running to their homes, shoving their vehicles full of their belongings. I can not get the look on their faces out of my head. I thought to myself, 'What would we do? What would we take? Where would we go? What would happen to us?' I have been walking through my home, thinking of all the memories, filling it with things that we love and the stories behind a lot of these items. I know that these things that we fill our home with are just that, "things." Some of them handed down through generations.... some not. What these people fleeing their homes must have felt, having to make a decision on what to take and leave behind. I know the bottom line is that items can be replaced and people can rebuild and life outweighs things by a huge long shot. In today's newspaper, it showed a woman sitting in the ashes of where her home once was, holding what was left of her mothers china. She was crying. My heart just goes out to them.
Note~ link
As of tonight there has been 3,100 acres burned and 200 homes destroyed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Party in the Country

Diandra's best friend's birthday fell on Saturday, the 9th of June. The high school her friend attends graduated on the 7th. It just so happened that this was her friend's 18th birthday, and Diandra knew that her friend, Danielle, was going to be completely jipped an 18th birthday party in the process of a graduation so close. Back in January, she asked Danielle's parents if they'd let her give a surprise party for their daughter. They gave her $500.00 to cover the costs. She came home explaining all of this to me.... I was surprised. She had never done anything like this. I didn't know if she could pull this off. Diandra would discuss all of her ideas, and see what my thoughts were. She would spend time on the computer researching her ideas, make lists, and more lists. If any of you knew Diandra, you'd understand the lists of organization she had going! Diandra told her dad and I what our roles were..... uh? We were involved now. Whoa! There were to be at LEAST 50 people to attend the party, who actually RSVP'd. Diandra was 100% frugal, and used every penny of that $500.00 wisely. She went from one place to another trying to get the best deal possible on each item she needed. Forks, napkins, plates, cups, food, decor...everything that a party entails. She even handmade all the invitations, as well as decorating the dessert plates, and forks and spoons cutely. She was quite Martha Stewart-esc and made the table centerpieces as well. As time went by, her dad and I could both see that she really did need our help. Since the party was being held at her other best friend's house (located in a completely opposite direction from their destination), Diandra had to come up with a means of getting Danielle to the party without her knowing. The only catch was that Diandra was the one who had to get her there; no one else could pull this important part of the plan off because none of Danielle's friends from school or family knew Diandra's best friend.

So, Charlie and I were quite necessary. I was getting so nervous the closer the event got to us. But, she was so calm. I cut up the chicken and put them on skewers, (note: the morning of the party, Diandra and I went bright and early to where the party was going to be to drop off the supplies. Diandra had been helping there the past two days as well). By the time I got home, it was 10:30 a.m. and I started cutting chicken. By the time I finished putting the chicken on skewers, it was 3:00. I was literally crying. The smell and feel of the chicken got to me. I still had to take a shower and get myself ready. I was to be back at the house where the party was going to be at 4:00. I was late.

I was impressed to see everything my daughter was doing. She first started with the invitations by scanning little drawings she had designed and then arranged neatly on Microsoft Word, eventually printing them all off herself. She took the symbols that she designed on the invitations and painted them on the bottom of each clear desert plate with the same colors she'd used in writing on the invitation. Diandra also made party favors with these designs on the tags. She painted Chinese lanterns to coordinate with the party colors. She made all of the desserts that her best friend liked (chocolate is her favorite, and rightly so!) The invitation said, "Flip flop on over for an old fashioned all white party," along with the details of the event. Everyone was to wear white and khaki and colorful flip flops. There was crochet and boccie ball games going during the party. Diandra wanted me to take pictures throughout the party so that she could make a CD to give her afterwards.

I really don't feel comfortable at things like this and thought that I could make my exit. I really thought that my job was done and at one point, I went up to her and mentioned that I thought that I was going to go. She looked at me with sheer terror on her face and said, "What?" I knew that she really just needed her mom there with her period! I stayed and just made myself busy washing dishes, putting things away, getting things for people and answering any questions that I could. I was there until the very end. She was so appreciative and I was so happy to be there for her. It was a great party and I was so proud of her.

NOTE: For all of you who RSVP, and then decide NOT to go...please, by the kindness invested in you, CALL and let the party giver know. Poor Diandra was ready for 50 people...only half showed. All the money, time, and effort Diandra had worked so hard on...

Old wheel barrel carrying a load of Vinca flowers.

The table center pieces were varying sized, empty boxes with Gerber Daisey's stuck into each one.

Mark, Darlene's son, who's friend's with Diandra, helped her bring 5 large tables, and 50 chairs to the event. What a blessing he was!

Koi fish in the pond

Graduation/18th Birthday presents

This donkey, Jack, enjoyed the festivities as well. All throughout the party, he was "He Hawing." Diandra said it's normal; everyone else heard him each time he did it and just looked at each other with awe. It was so loud and sounded so deep from within. You don't realize these little country sounds actually occur outside of children's books. He really added something to the party.


The menu consisted of Grilled Chicken on skewers with four different sauces to dip them in, pasta salad, mixed green salad, and fruit salad, all of which were homemade.

Diandra painted the Chinese lanterns to coordinate to match the colors of the party and were placed through out the yard.

Diandra seen the bags at Michael's, and decided that she could do them herself. She took colored bags, stenciled and then cut them out, taped wax paper behind each one.

Graham crackers with chocolate frosting placed in bags were the party favors (a treat passed down from Diandra's Great Great Gram).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tagged ~ One Word

1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Relationship?
3. Your hair?
4. Work? work
5. Your sisters? priceless
6. Your favorite thing? loved ones
7. Your dream last night? Tennessee
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream car? I am actually driving, but since I am asked, and get another pick, old 53-55 pickup truck (how do you "one word" this?)
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your shoes?
12. Your fears?
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? happy
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? family
15. What are you not good at? tags
16. Muffin?
17. Wish list item? security
18. Where you grew up? California
19. The last thing you did? mending
20. What are you wearing?
21. What are you not wearing? shoes

22. Your pet? dogs
23. Your computer? slow
24. Your life? blessed
25. Your mood? tired
26. Missing? kids
27. What are you thinking about? work
28. Your car? Jaguar
29. Your kitchen? unfinished
30. Your summer? hot
31. Your favorite color?
32. Last time you laughed? today
33. Last time you cried? yesterday
34. School?
35. Love? boundless

Friday, June 22, 2007

My Ballerina~

My daughter Diandra has her dance recital coming up this next week. She has been dancing since she was two years and 10 months old, almost her whole life. Being that she was my only daughter, her room was pink with butterflies, bunnies and full of baby dolls. I couldn't wait to put her into dance after seeing my youngest sister's recital. I was cRaZy to put her into dance at such a young age. What was I thinking about? She was just a baby!

Diandra has stuck with dancing throughout the years, works in the office, and helps as a dance aid in the classes as well. She has helped choreogragh dances and routines for the towns cheerleaders and talent shows. She talks about quiting dance... but I have yet to see her do this. I have to admit it saddens me to think about her not dancing anymore. I always thought that she would be dancing in the light. When I see her up on stage as a young woman, my heart strings are pulled by memories of her as a little girl in her little pink tu-tu, mismatched socks, her brothers soft worn white t-shirt and black leggings calling me "look mommy, look at me dance!" I am smiling with tears in my eyes, "Mommie's looking honey; I see you!" Whether or not she decides when and if she will quit dancing, she will continue to dance all over my heart.

Song: Wild & Free

Song: My little Girl

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Beneath the waters
Green and cool
The mermaids keep
A swimming school.

The oysters trot;
The lobsters prance;
The dolphins come
To jon the dance.

But the jellyfish
Who are rather small
Can't seem to learn
The steps at all.

By Marchette Chute

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Sophia ~

We have four dogs that live at our house. Jack is our rottweiler and we also have added one by one, three chihuahuas. Let me tell you about this little girl named Sophia. Three years ago, my husband, Charlie, and daughter, Diandra, came home two weeks before the Christmas Holiday with an early Christmas gift for me. The reason they got me this little bundle of joy was because I was taking over my daughter's chocolate brown Chi named McKenzie! They decided it was time that I got my own! The more the merrier! I fell in love with her at first sight! Charlie and Diandra tell me she is a chihuahua.... I say she is a mix. They insist that her siblings were all the "taco bell chi's", and the dad as well. The mom unfortunately died giving birth and the pups were being bottled fed. How sad is that?! As they were telling me the story my heart just wrapped around her.

* Note: I call her Sophia when she's in trouble for being mischievous, and Sophie when she's pretending to be precious, or IS just being adorable.

Sophie has quite a huge personality for such a little dog. She has a raspy voice. She snorts breathing through her nose. She is constantly investigating! She gets into everything. Eats everything. Sniffs everything. You name it, she does it. She has the loveliest howl that just cracks me up. She has a temper tantrum when you go to pick her up to be put in her crate. She loves her sleep and hates to be bothered and will let you know it for this is the only time that she allows herself to sleep because she is always on watch. Sophie is my little shadow, she will scream to let you know that you have gotten too close to her and to be careful. She will also scream if I walk out the door or if I have come home and did not give her the attention that she thinks she deserves.

I have to be very careful not to leave anything down or out. Like I said, she gets into everything! For example, I have cut gum, which she's stolen from Diandra's stash in her backpack, out of her fur on numerous occasions... One time she was chewing on something as fast as she could before I could get to her. As I got closer, I realized she had red lipstick around her mouth! Without me knowing it, she apparently got a sample lipstick when I had dumped my purse trying to find my keys.

Sophie will take off running with both mine and Diandra's bras... and just lay on them. Diandra swears she wants to wear them herself. She knows how to work those brown eyes for some treats at the table too.
She is always taking the chewy bones out of McKenzie and Simone's mouth. She also has her "spot," to sit on me, and if the other two chi's are there she will squeeze in and literally bump them out of that spot. I am always telling Diandra that if Sophie was a little girl, she would probably not have a lot of friends. I just adore her and she constantly makes me laugh.
Sometimes, when Sophia knows she's been doing something she shouldn't have been doing, she cowers down, lowering here ears to the sides. Now honestly, she has big ears, but that's just her breed! Diandra thinks that when she does this, Sophie looks like Yoda from Star Wars.
I'm unsure of how many of you have been to the theatres lately. For a while, they had this commercial for "Fandango." In it, they had a paper sack dressed up like an elderly woman, sitting on the couch with her dog. The woman would say, "FAN-DANG-O-O-O-O-OHHH." The dog, would repeat "Oh-OH-OH-OOOOO" in a howl. Diandra and I can get Sophie to do just this, and the other two Chi's chime in with squeakier howls. It's a riot!

Sophie with lip stick

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We must Believe...

When we walk to the edge of all the light
we have and take that step into the darkness of the
unknown, we must believe that one of two things
will happen ~ there will be something solid for us to
stand on, or we will be taught how to fly.

~ Patrick Overton

Most of the grief literature says that the final stage of grief is acceptance. I believe a better word is adjustment. Most surprising has been how much changes after the death of a spouse or loved one~ nothing is the same. It has been life-changing to feel how deeply sorrow can move into one's being. Grief does not only invite change; it demands it. Losing someone is not an experience I would have chosen, but with careful grief work, their loss has deepened my life. God knows grief intimately and offers what we need to recover our equilibrium in ways that we can understand. Gradually uncertainty and doubt gave way to a deep sense of God's presence, and I feel gratitude for the generosity of God's love in the midst of my anger and alienation.

*taken from the book A Healing Grief by Sara Wengerd
NOTE** Lynette ~ there was more to this ... your comment has had me add to this. Love you sweetie...
I believe we need to bear in mind that death is only one source of grief. It is my observation that divorce, chronic pain, job losses, the birth of an unhealthy child, or debilitating illness or accidents can cause distress, far greater than the death of a loved one. A friend who lost his first wife to death and his second to separation found separation to be the most painful: "Death is an amputation; separation is like having gangrene."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

To Hold and Protect

A night light in one of my bathrooms

It's been almost a week since I have heard from my son Rob who is serving over sea's in Kuwait.

There has been someone in a town near us, who has been trying to kidnap young girls on ten different occasions. (On tonight's news, it seems they have caught him) Diandra works in this town, and I can't tell her enough to be aware of what's going on around her.

My babies are on my mind right now, more than usual. I just want to hold and protect them. This is out of my control.... this is when the rubber meets the road. sigh~

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


This is me.....

And this is my nephew Evander... we call him Evan.

I love all of my nieces and nephews. I think Evan at this age looks a little like me. I love that my daughter Diandra, looks like her daddy. My son Rob has always looked like he was my son, but never looked like me.

My sister Jessica and her family, live in the bay area, which is two hours away. I was a little concerned that Evan would not know me. However, I've found that hasn't been the case at all. When we do get together, my sister and I laugh the same, and at the same things. We both find it funny that Evan will stare at her and I when we do this. He will come up to me as if I'm around daily, and knows that I belong to him. There is a connection.

Monday, June 11, 2007



to be held,
to be loved,
to feel warmth,
to feel your beating heart.
Wanting to be sheltered from the cold,
heartless winds.
Falling into invisible arms;
into an abyss of love.
that my desires will be filled;
my desires of loving warmth.
Wanting to be held,
Dreaming of passionate embraces,
of tender kisses,
loving words,
romantic nights.
Waiting for undying love.

Written by Dawn D.

taken in Chinese Camp
When I was on a day trip to Yositmite with my mom and step dad, we stopped in Chinese Camp. As we were walking down the main street, they were telling me stories concerning the area. They believed that this house was the town brothel. I walked around it and noticed the beautiful windows with iron, and the plaster falling off exposing the brick. I just looked at the windows thinking about the women which once lived there. As I looked at the window, I imagined a woman waiting for undying love. I came across this poem and immediately thought of the brothel house window.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Shades of Lavender

That Day you came

Such special sweetness was about
That day God sent you here,
I knew the lavender was out,
And it was mid of year.

Their common way the great winds blew,
The ships sailed out to sea;
Yet ere that day was spent I knew
Mine own had come to me.

As after song some snatch of tune
Lurks still in grass or bough,
So, somewhat of the end o' June
Lurks in each weather now.

The young year sets the buds astir,
The old year strips the trees;
But ever in my lavender
I hear the brawling bees.

For me the jasmine buds unfold
And silver daisies star the lea,
The crocus hoards the sunset gold,
And the wild rose breathes for me.
I feel the sap through the bough returning,
I share the skylark's transport fine,
I know the fountain's wayward yearning,
I love, and the world is mine!

I love, and thoughts that sometime grieved,
Still well remembered, grieve not me;
From all that darkened and deceived
Upsoars my spirit free.
For soft the hours repeat one story,
Sings the sea one strain divine;
My clouds arise all flushed with glory --
I love, and the world is mine!

Lizette Woodworth Reese

Today, I stopped, where I have driven by a thousand times. I encourage each and every one of you that reads this, to stop! and do something that you have wanted to do for a long time. What are you waiting for? Live! Now is the moment!

I got out of my car, and the scent of this wonderful Lavender, ever-so-gently hit my face. In an instant, you could hear the faint humming of the bees, busy at work, unaware that I was even there. The world was mine!

What have you been wanting to do?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cinnamon Man!

This was taken on the trip to the beach in Crescent city. I am on the bottom kneeling with pony tails. My aunt Kim is next to me, and my mom is standing behind us with my sister, Jessica, on her shoulder's! I look at this picture and it makes me absolutely nervous.

Sinner Man

o sinnerman where will you run to
sinnerman where will you run to
sinnerman where will you run to
all on that day

run to the mountain
the mountain wont hide you
run to the sea
the sea will not have you
and run to your grave
your grave will not hold you
all on that day

see sinnerman
mountains are falling
the sea it rages
the grave will not hold you
all on that day
run to the lord
lord please hide me
run to the lord


where you gonna run to
all on that day
run to the mountain
the mountain wont hide you
and run to the sea
the sea will not hold you
and run to your grave
the grave will not hide you
all on that day

the mountain is falling
and sinnerman
the sea it rages
and sinnerman
where will you run to
all on that day

the mountain wont hide you
the sea wont have you
and the grave will not hold you
all on that day

When I was about 5 yrs old, my family took a visit to see my Grandma B.J. (short for Bennie Jo, my moms mom) in Crescent City where she lived for a short time with one of my aunt's, Kimmy (whom I also adored and looked up to), who is two years older than I am. When we were little, nothing pleased her more than to tell me the truths about life's little mysteries... like there isn't a Santa, or Easter Bunny just to name a few.

On one of our many road trips together, we loved to sing songs. We'd sing some favorite childhood songs like "The ants go marching one by one, Hurrah! Hurrah!", "There's a hole in the bucket!", and "This old man." We would sing them with a lot of drama and with much enthusiasm. Another song that we would sing was called "Sinnerman,"(also a favorite). Instead of "Sinnerman," I thought it was "Cinnamon Man," but would say "Cinna man." I loved cinnamon toast, and thought 'okay, why not, there is a 'muffin man.' In my mind, this was all okay, songs didn't always have to make sense... Humpty Dumpty (an egg) sat on a wall and had a great fall. Our family was on our way to the beach, where we were going to spend the day. Well, I remember singing this song at the top of our lungs in the back of an old station wagon, with my aunt Kimmy sitting next to me. Next thing I knew she stopped singing and just looked pleased to tell me I was singing it wrong... "it's not cinnamon man! It's Sinner man!" I said "No it's not! It's cinnamon man!" She then crossed her arms and demanded that I ask my mom. "Humph!" I said "I will! Mom! Is it Cinnamon man or what did you say Kimmy?" She said, "Sinner man!" I said, "Yeah, that Mom! Sinner man?" My Mom gave her little sister a look, and then looked at me with apologetic eyes.. "Yes, honey. It is sinnerman." That song took on a whole new meaning for me. As we sang it... the drama and enthusiasm were gone. I had so many questions and was asking them as we sang each line. I needed to understand WHO was the sinnerman and WHY was he hiding. Needless to say, when we sang that song it gave me the chills. It also gave me a reverent fear and I'd always try to be good, even at that young age. It wasn't because of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny either.

**NOTE** Dear readers, In regards to my aunt Kimmy. In all fairness, she grew up, and actually helped me with a LOT of life's little mysteries, was one of my biggest cheer leaders and defenders and I do not know what I would have done without her! But, she was a stinker when we were little! My aunt Kimmy would be the first to admit it and adding some stories about me no doubt. *wink

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

On one of my walks...

I am trying to start my day off with good healthy choices... like cottage cheese and fresh peaches with some Jasmine Green Tea my boss wanted me to try. On the wrapper it was written, "I shall be a cloud, you the moon, and this is our tea." I am also getting out my pretty treasured dishes and using it for myself.

I am taking a walk...

A white rose reaching for the sky

Always look up and see the detail in things

I love how God has put so much detail in each flower and has made them all so different even though they are the same.... like us.

And make sure you look down, you never know what will greet you.


Sweet fragrance

My Sophie enjoying herself too! She is always up for a good walk.

Some good ol' H2O when I got home