Thursday, June 30, 2005


While cruising the 101 on the way to lunch. I noticed that we had smoke in the air. Almost immediately we could smell the woody smoke. It seemed to be coming from an area in front of us. As we turned off to get to the restaurant I could see the billowing cloud coming from the base of the fire on a hillside several miles in front of us. After lunch we headed to the mall to get Debra's watch resized. We passed the mountain side where the fire had been contained, but was still smoldering. The policemen were limiting the traffic across the overpass closest to the fire. We could see the helicopters dumping their load of water and then going to a nearby urban lake to refill. On our way back, it was obvious that the fire had started at the road. The footprint on the shoulder, a vehicle sized black smudge gave a clue to the cause. And when I found the newsreport, sure enough, a burning truck had ignited the hillside. Firemen in their bright yellow protective gear were spraying the remaining smoldering areas to be sure the fire was completely out. The air was clear again. Only ten acres burned . . . . . this time. But it is only June after one of the wettest years in California's history. The underbrush is tall and drying out rapidly as the weather begins to warm. And the hottest months in California are yet to come.

If you are paying attention, you can see that firebreaks are ready. Strategic strips mowed or plowed. We should be praying now for God to protect California from another horrific fire season.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Saying Goodbye

We've lost a lot of pets over time. We lost one today. Our aging dog, Patches, died this morning. It was time to let go, he was too weak. We've lost dogs to cars, irate ranchers, or wild animals. Patches was fortunate to live a full and happy life. But it still hurts to say goodbye. We will miss him.


Today Debra finished her six week Challenge at Curves. I am really proud of her for loosing over 17 lbs. She is looking really good. I weighed and double checked with my local Curves. While my clothes are fitting better, I haven't lost significant weight. i still plan to keep up the exercise program and my diet out here has been pretty good. So perhaps when I am finally at home to weigh in there, I'll see some weight loss or at least less body fat.

We are trying to get Thomas' condo sold. Today was a day of dealing with the inspection report (they are always very complete with all sorts of bad news), trying to communicate with the realtor, trying to phone the missionaries in Croatia for an interview and having the Sprint PCS tell me I wasn't set up for overseas calls, getting the wheat sold (looks like we had a better crop than I expected) , trying to talk Henry through finding documents needed for the closing on the condo which may happen next week, etc etc.

The afternoon was spent running errands. Debra tried to encourage me with my quest for weight loss with some books at Borders. We took in a movie "Cinderella Man". We finished the day at a Japanese restaurant - Miso soup and a Endive Pear Salad - both were tasty. When you break your chopstick, the manner in which it breaks is supposed to be reflective of something in your life. Mine broke with very jagged edges - matching a jagged sort of day.

Now we are back at Debra's place. It is late and traffic on the PCH has slowed down. In between cars you can hear the ocean waves roar as they break along the beach. Calming way to end the day. The ocean breezes through the windows makes snuggling under the covers with Debra's electric heating pad (fits under the sheet) something I'm ready to do. I've finished my internet "stuff" - so time to thank God for the day and go to sleep hearing those lovely ocean breakers.

Monday, June 27, 2005

About Me

I was born in Texas and have lived there all my life. I started out in the Panhandle, an area known for its flat terrain. We had relatives in Colorado, so early in my life I developed a deep love for rough mountain terrain and beautiful, babbling mountain streams.

When I got married, I moved to the Austin area and attended the University of Texas with a major in home economics - now called human ecology. I worked for several years at Dillards starting in fabrics and moving to the draperies and linen department. Later I worked a few years for the state finishing as a computer operator. When the children came along, I chose to stay home as a full time mom. In their early years, I worked several times at "Mother's Day Out". When the kids hit school, I got involved with both Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and of course the various school parent organizations. We moved to Hutto, a small farming community outside Austin, when Thomas was entering second grade. In a small community, it was important to bring activities to the town - so I was one of several who helped get Cub Scouts started and I also got Girl Scouts going again. Troop meetings, Pack Meetings, campouts, and day camps are some of my fondest memories.

We've always been active at church. I started working with children when I was sixteen. When I went off to college, both at West Texas State in Canyon and then at the University of Texas, I was always teaching Sunday school or Wednesday nights. When my children arrived, I began attending Ladies' Bible Class during the week. I began teaching - and at best guess I've probably taught for between 10 and 15 years between the two churches we were affiliated with over the last 25 years. I've also organized several women's retreats and been one of the speakers at several.

When my youngest child, Debra, graduated from high school and headed off to college in California, my husband and I had a chance to travel. So I joke that when my last child left the nest, we did too! Our travels over the last three years have taken us criss cross across the United States several times. We have gone to many of the big science fiction and fantasy events. While I have always been interested in photography, I have begun to pursue it in a much more serious fashion. Currently I am trying to move from the world of amateur photography to professional photography. Some of my shots are close, but I can still come back from a photoshoot and browse my photos and realize that I can't consistently deliver the quality of photos that I desire. But I get enough good ones (and they do win some prizes now and then) that I get rewarded enough to keep trying. Plus, the real joy I get from being outside experiencing the beauty and serenity of God's natural world is very fulfilling to me. It also helps keep me active. I find that I am willing to hike several miles to get to the sand dunes at Death Valley just to get that sunset photo. When I return to the car, I am usually tired, sore, but also filled with awe at the intricacies that I have seen and experienced.

I have also been blessed with many friendships over my life. I treasure each and every one of them. Each of my friends enriches my life by exposing me to their different interests, their unique wisdom, and their sense of humor. I have been very blessed to have friends that have not only shared the exhiliarating wonderful moments of life, but I have always had people who were there when times were dark and difficult. God always provided someone who could give me a word of comfort or wisdom to get through those days.

Enough about me for now. I'm sure a lot of my story will come out as I experiment with this blog.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

My First Blog

I have not done a blog before. I have done journalling before, so perhaps it won't be that different. It is Sunday morning. I'm in California with my daughter. It is early enough that traffic is light on the PCH and I can occasionally hear the roar of the waves crashing on the beach.

We went to the sidewalk sale at Redondo Beach yesterday. I enjoyed strolling and window shopping at the booths. Several months back I had gone to the web looking for the things a photographer would need to do a booth. So I took advantage and watched how people had their booths set up with an eye for what I need to start buying if I am ever to try to sell my photography at these outdoor events.