Monday, September 28, 2009

~ Our Bags Are Packed!!! Well.... Almost! ~

For all those throngs of readers out there, we are headed on holiday to Bella Italia and Belle France for a little get away from it all.

With a sigh of relief, I put my foot down and made a major decision to take charge of where we would stay in Paris. I have been trying to book a flat in Paris for at least three weeks and have not heard a peep from the management! After politely pleading with them via e-mail, I decided, "what do they care!?! So I booked a cute little French hotel instead, and we will celebrate our time there!

I still am waiting for private replies from B&B's along the way. We will wander along the south coast of France and then work our way up to Paris. I was most anxious about Paris as we will be there 5 days.

We will relax and take in some of the old sights we have visited before in Italy and new ones around Bologna, Parma and Modena. It will feel like home, because we love it there and have visited a few times before.

I can't wait! I think that I have all I need and will travel with only a day pack and carry on suitcase. It will be a challenge, but the biggest challenge is to be able to buy trinkets as memories are made of these. Christmas is coming also and there are gifts to be purchased.... perhaps we will mail packages home this time.

At any rate, upon returning there will be a Travel Blog presented, so stay tuned!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Autumn is here and she arrived on time this morning dragging a blanket of fog behind her.

There is a sigh in the air as the colors are soon to be turning to goldens and tans and oranges, more befitting the garden here at Beverly Cottage.

What was once a beautiful carpet of green, sprinkled with tiny purple mat flowers where lady bugs hid, is now a brown crunchy rug of what once was lush to the bare foot.

We aren't gifted by too many fall colored trees here, but the Liquid Amber trees provide our display of autumn color here around the cottage.
The land begs for a drink of liquid splendor from the heavens, but alas, the drought of Southern California's terra, in all actuality, tries to turn back into the desert chaparral it once originally was.
Our fire warnings are high, as we step into this week with forecasts of hot, hot, hot, days ahead .

But without fail Autumn arrives and once again turns our thoughts to cooler days with a dusky feel and smell in the air.
Perhaps it is the fragrance of the dry leaves and pollen left uncollected, but the fragrance of Autumn arrives along with the calendar.

Darker evenings arrive earlier, having to readjust our out door schedules to accomodate her.
Soon we will have to through on a sweater or light coat to keep the chill off.

The neighbor planted Giant pumpkins in the back field and I was surprised to find them growing larger and plumping up.Soon they will be a beautiful, deep rich orange.

I can't tell you which season is my favorite, each one delights me.
Welcome Autumn!

Monday, September 21, 2009

~ To Book or Not to Book ~

Buon giorno! and Bonjour!
We are off on another adventure to beautiful Italy and France!

I am in the process or searching and investigating places to visit and stay in the South of France, working our way up to Paris with a stop at Versailles and Monet's Giverny.

Map stretched out across the office desk and often upon the floor, magnifying glass in hand for a closer look, I inspect every inch to locate just the right spot to stop and experience.
Quickly I type the name of the town just discovered into the computer, and Viola! I am instantly taken to places that I might like to stay with their cost.

My situation is that we are traveling by train, and must be within close proximity of the *gar.
Train station.
I have found in my attempt to communicate via e-mail to some of these establishments, that they seem to not have the time to write back to answer if they are accessible by * pied
. Foot.

One does not want to land in the middle of wonderland, map in hand and hike to a destination 5 miles from the station, if you get my understanding!

I want to create the most romantic place to enjoy our stay and remember. A post~card of the heart, if you will.

I have found two such spots but am not receiving any answer to my posts.

To book, or to continue on with the search.....
Each day I come into the office and turn on the computer in hope of a French e-mail....

Should I just go with the flow and forge my own path as the Discovers of past?
They had to hack through the woods, forge swamps and deal with new discoveries along the path. Can this be that hard??

I sit in front of the monitor hours upon end and search and look and look. I am both exhausted and exhilarated with the thought that soon we will be in the air heading towards our rendes-vous.

Thrilled, I push the key that says BOOK IT.

I will share how all goes upon return. For now, Ciao!

Monday, September 14, 2009

~ Letter Swap ~

While meandering around the blog garden, I ran across this letter Swap promoted by a lady in the United Kingdom.
I thought that it might be something fun to do. A way to meet a modern Pen Pal, and as new fun way to meet someone new in the blog world.
Join me if you so desire. A new twist to an old favorite, the "Pen Pal".
This is just one letter. If you so choose to continue to write, I'm sure you could continue by e-mail!

Have fun!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

~ Do You Remember Where You Were? ~

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 ~

I was up early that morning, welcoming another beautiful early Fall morning up at a Church retreat for Pastor's wives with two of my friends in charge of the retreat.
This was my third year helping to make this retreat a pleasure and restful two days for Pastor's wives. I was in charge of Hospitality and decorating the room as if the women were entering into a garden setting to come and enjoy tasty delights, both to the eyes and the tongue.
The past two years I had faithfully come and prepared the place, delighting that by doing this for the women, it helped me to get through the grief of my parent's passing. On Labor Day weekend 2000, my mother passed. My family and I were surprised that she had left us ,this being our first family member other than our Grand parents to go. The following year, the same weekend, we 4 children gathered together with my father, to help ease him through the first anniversary of my mother's passing.
We arose early that morning, as my sister and I would be returning home to our families. My brother was to drive us to the airport, thus leaving my father very happy he didn't have to take us down the mountain. We said our good night and promised that we would wake him for a cup of coffee before we left in the morning.
About an hour before we were to leave my sister went into the bedroom to waken him and found him gone.
We were utterly shocked!! How perfect an ending for us to have all been there together at his passing in his sleep.
Death is an interesting thing. Our body's either just give out over all the years of living and using it, or when Christ calls us home!
We cannot do anything about it but be found ready for the day.
Being found ready means that we have recognized that we all are sinners and confess our sins to Christ. For God sent Christ to take the punishment for our sins. He used Christ's Blood and our faith as means of saving us from His wrath.It is a simple thing to do,and yet the hardest. It's a pride thing. We are never alone. He is always there, and if you do not have a personal relationship with Him, He is touching you at this very moment, wooing you, He will never force His way into your life, You must Knock,Seek, Ask. It is a humbling thing. No one but you alone with our Saviour, with His out stretched arms, nail pierced hands waiting to embrace you. Love you, and comfort you.
The good things and good life that we do and live are not enough to put us right with God. No amount of human achievement or progress in personal development will close the gap between God's moral perfection and our imperfect daily performance. Good deeds are just good deeds, they will not earn us eternal life. We will be saved only by trusting what God promises for us.
The door opens in, as you receive Him into your life and heart. He gives you peace that passes understanding. I know this by the testimony of my life and others I know who have suffered life's tragedies. It is amazing the peace that is found through the turmoil.

I found that peace those two years being God's servant to these precious women who live with
and share their precious men of God with their congregations.
I could not believe the comfort I had in serving others through my pain.

So, 2001 was the anniversary of my parent's passing, and here I was once again serving these precious Women.

The night before I was awoken by my name being called. I awoke abruptly from a sound sleep, thinking that my Mentor had called out and needed me. I found that I was the only one awake and thought that my name had been so clearly called. I knew that there was a reason I was awakened, and so I prayed. I didn't know why or who I was to pray for, but used the opportunity to do so.
I needed to be up and at the hospitality room at 5:30 and have the coffee going and ready for early risers. I rose at 5:00 and quickly pulled my clothing on and headded out to prepare the morning coffee and sweets for the early birds.
I prepared the room and sat down to talk with one of the senior Pastor's wife for a short time, and then excused myself to go get changed and ready for breakfast and the day.
As I walked down towards my room, I saw my Mentor walking out into the outside area calling for another Pastor's wife who was overseeing the retreat.
My first thought was that one of the elder women must have passed in the night. There was an odd despair in the sound of her voice. She directed me to go into the room and talk to the other friend about what was happening.
It was surreal. We happened to be the only room in our area that had a telephone and we had received a call informing us as to United Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center!
It was unfathomable! It was especially hard as we had no way to turn the television on to hear the news and see what was actually happening.
We had women from Los Angeles who had left their families, and were perhaps 2 hours away from them, not knowing if there would be an event in L.A.
We all quickly gathered in the sanctuary with a radio on and listened to the reports.
Pastor Don Long spoke and soothed us and released us to return to our families and homes.
Packing up as quickly as one can, listening to only a radio,made me feel as if I were a million miles away, and back 60 years, with no means of a visual.
Enya's song, 'Only Time' played on the radio as I raced home through the back country towards the city, and my family. Every time I hear this song I am reminded of those days, and the feelings that went along with them.
Hearts broken as we sat and watched the event play over and over , feeling the grief of others loss,and our country's loss, we lost our innocence. We were ravaged by the evil of hatred and of
Spritual Warfare.
We cannot recapture the innocence, we are a more sober people now because of walking through the fire. For a short moment everyone cared for their neighbor and reached out in understanding because we knew how each of us was feeling. There was a unity and a look up to the heavens and a call upon God our creator for help to get through this.
Where is that today, 8 years later? We were united because we are one people. One people under God.

Looking at my Bible the morning after, I was reading my daily passage: Ezekiel 33.
It talks about God appointing a "watchman". He appoints this"watchman" to let the people know what is coming and to be prepared,and sound the trumpet. If the "watchman" does alert the people, They are responsible for not being prepared. But if the "watchman" does not alert the people, the blame is to be upon him, because he has not done the duty that the "watchman" is responsible for. Make sense? We all expect for someone to warn us of impending danger or disaster. We look to science to alert us to tornadoes, hurricanes, and tidal waves!
This was and is an alert!

I was a believer at that time for 22 years, and I believe that this was a call for all of us to share and be prepared for the day that He will call us before His Throne, where He will open the books and to see if we confessed Him as LORD of our lives, or if we just made ourselves our own gods.
He gently calls all,who will show their strength in Him when He either calls you home or comes again. Because He does say,"Behold, yes I am coming soon."
I want to be found ready. how about you?

I would like to hear your coments.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My home in the 70's

When we returned to S.D. after living in many places,this was my home.

Homes Revisited

This past weekend we were down in our old neighborhoods, and I talked Steve,my dear husband into driving by my old homes. The ones I grew up in. They are bookends to my life and each brings up special feelings, especially when I am standing in the front yard looking them straight on!
We drove up to my first home, the one my parents brought me home to after my birth.
As we drove up, there was a man in the front yard getting into his car to leave. I felt strange getting out of my car to approach the house of his with my camera in hand. I walked up to his car and explained that I had lived there when I was young and wanted to take some pictures. He asked me if I was sure that this was the house since he had lived there 45 years! this was His home too and he had lived there all his life!
He said certainly, to go ahead and take as many pictures of the house that I wished.
It is such a tiny house, and they have added a porch on to it. It's hard to believe that my life and memories still linger there.
Those were simpler times and great memories!

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Greatest Thing That I Have Learned In The Past Weeks

In the beginning of August while browsing through the maze of blog posts that I read, I found a strong suggestion from Vicky Archer, in her Blog, , that if you write, Blog or otherwise, this book is a must. The Artist's Way and companion book, Morning pages Journal by Julia Cameron.
I quickly decided that this was worth checking out, and went to Amazon and ordered the books.
I have been working on the Morning Journal, and the following is what has transpired this month.
When you begin the Morning Pages, you are just supposed to write what is traveling through your mind,"Through it you will be contacting yourself: hopes,fears, dreams,aspirations,and the simple daily life flow."

On Thursday, August 13, I wrote my first ramblings one of which I needed to make contact with several people whom I had a while back, said that we would make a plan to get together.
I think that it is very important to keep friendships close to you. They are gifts that keep on giving of memories, love for one another and blessings when we come together and spend some quality time together.
I followed through and wrote 4 names in a list to contact that day. The first a rather new friend of 6 years. Now 6 years may seem like a long time written on paper, but actually we meet only once a year to share our company and where we have gone in our travels the past year, also share any travel tips and our pictures taken.
We met this couple actually while on vacation in Italy in 2003, in Vernazza, Cinque Terre'.
They were an hour late to catch the train to Florence due to Daylight Savings Time, and we were waiting to check out and head to the train Station to travel to Florence also.
While waiting for the train to arrive, we struck up a conversation,and found that we were both from the San Diego area.
We sat together and while talking, we discovered that we were staying at the same place in Florence! Upon arrival we walked single file down the narrow streets to our destination.
when checking in, we discovered that they had overbooked and Steve and I were taken to their daughter's place to stay. I always wished that we had made plans to see one another there in Florence, perhaps have dinner together, but I thought that we would surely run into each other as we wandered around this magnificent city and saw the sights! Not to be! It would be like trying by chance to run into someone in downtown San Diego!
Luckily, we had exchanged home information and made a plan for our first get together after we arrived home.
Fast forward 6 years to 2009.

We had spoken in early June and decided that we would a date to connect and talk in July, both marking our calendars July 1 to call. Well, life always presents hectic busy schedules and here I was returning a call in August.
It wasn't until a few days later that I received her return call back. We quickly planned a rendezvous for the following Monday in Balboa Park for a wonderful picnic dinner.
Monday came and I was at the store picking up some items to complete the basket that I was preparing, when Steve called me to tell me that our friend's husband had just been found on the side of the road where he had been taking his weekly bicycle ride to Otay Lake. He had apparently suffered a massive heart attack!

If we had not planned this meeting, I don't know if we would have been notified to pray for he and his family, or even known that he had passed, which happened three days later.
The bond of friendship is strong, cords of love care and prayer for one another form this bond.
We all are in shock that a healthy active man could be taken out of our presence and plans for the day and week, and brought into our Precious Savior's presence in the blink of an eye or faster. I feel privileged to know that he was planning to spend the evening with us, but we miss him so. We know that He ran the race well and was in the Lord's will, always helping where he could to share the Love of the Lord with others in need.

We went to the memorial on Saturday morning and attended with around 400 others. What impressed me most was that the family was surrounded in prefect peace that only comes from that personal relationship you can have with Christ. The other thing that touched me was that every person in that room had been touched by their friendship with this couple and their outstretched hand.
Every person they knew felt that special friendship.

How can one love someone only seeing them 6 times in 6 years?
One year I failed to call them when we were in Anza Borrego camping, and who did we run into on the Palm Canyon trail? Them!!

God put us together for this time.
We will indeed continue to foster this great friendship and keep Jim Lovewell in our hearts and memories as long as we are here.

The 4th name on the list was called soon after. We quickly got together, and the day before we were to meet, my friend had a situation that was greatly bothering her, in fact, to tears. She wasn't even sure that she could be a great hostess to me because her heart was so grieved. We were able to talk and pray and encourage,and once again it was God's perfect timing for us to come together. He is so good. I love it when He reveals Himself in these moments and says,

I still need to make the two other contacts, perhaps today is the day for this. God will urge me at the right time.

I think that what I have experienced this month is that it is important to let those you care for and love know that you do love and care for them, from the bottom of your heart. We all do not know when our time will come.
We must be found ready for HIM, and have let those we love and care for know we love them.