Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Truism

  The littlest Christmas tree
lived in a meadow of green,
among a family,
of tall evergreens.
He learned how to whisper
the evergreen song,
with the slightest of wind,
that came gently along.

He watched as the birds
made a home out of twigs,
and couldn't wait till
he, too, was big.
For all of the trees
offered a home,
the maple, the pine, and the oak,
who's so strong.

"I hate being little,"
the little tree said,
"I can't even turn colors
like the maple turns red.
I can't help the animals
like the mighty old oak.
He shelters them all
in his wide mighty cloak."

The older tree said,
"Why, little tree, you don't know?
The story of a mighty king
from the land with no snow?"
Little tree questioned,
"A land with no snow?"
"Yes!" said old tree,
"A very old story,
from so long ago".

"A star appeared,
giving great light
over a manger,
on long winter's night.
A baby was born,
a king of all kings,
and with him comes love,
over all things."

"He lived in a country
all covered in sand,
and laid down his life
to save all of man."

Little tree thought of the gift
given by him,
then the big tree said with the
happiest grin,
"We're not just trees,
but a reminder of that day
There's a much bigger part,
of a role that we play!"

"For on Christmas eve,
my life I'll lay down,
in exchange for a happier,
loving ground.
And as I stand dying,
they'll adorn me in trim.
This all will be done,
in memory of him."

"Among a warm fire,
with family and friends,
in the sweet songs of Christmas,
I'll find my great end.
then ever so gently,
He'll come down to see
and take me to heaven,
Jesus and me."

"So you see, little tree,
we are not like the oak
who shelters all things
beneath his great cloak.
Nor are we like the maple
in fall,
who's colors leave many
standing in awe."

"The gift that we give
is ourselves, limb for limb,
the greatest of honor,
in memory of him."

The little tree bowed,
his head down and cried,
and thought of the king
who willingly died.
For what kind of gift
can anyone give?
Than to lay down your life
when you wanted to live?

A swelling of pride
came over the tree.
Can all of this happen
Because of just me?
Can I really bring honor?
By adorning a home?
By reminding mankind
that he's never alone?

With this thought, little tree
began singing with glee.
Happy and proud
to be a true Christmas tree.

You can still hear them singing
even the smallest in height,
singing of Christmas
and that one holy night.

~Amy Peterson

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Look Back at Thanksgivings

When I was little girl, Thanksgiving was almost always spent here.
At my Grandma's house in Dunsmuir. 
 It's funny that I still think of Thanksgiving at Grandma's as being the norm even thought there have been almost 40 Thanksgivings since that were not celebrated there. 
Childhood memories are powerful things,
This was taken with Grandma, Dad, myself and Chris in December 1994.
Thanksgiving, for me, has always been one of my favorite holidays.
The smells.
The colors of the trees.
The food.
The time spent with those we love, reminiscing about the past and looking toward the future.
The anticipation of the Christmas season without the rush that the following days will bring.
With our own kidnicks growing up and moving away, some tweaking of celebrations is taking place on both sides of our family. 
 We gathered last night with my hubby's family and while seeing the college kids together and mingling with the new generation was awesome, a vital part of the previous generation was missing. 
 Today, my sister and her family, along with our parents will be together.
Here's a look back at our past gatherings.
November 27, 2014
This still makes me laugh.
Step 8 makes me think Yoda was invited.
November 28, 2013
The words my mom finds to accompany her photos are always spot on.
This was no exception.
November 27, 2012
This post shows precisely why I love Thanksgiving.
November 26, 2011
As I look at this family photo taken only 4 years ago, I am in awe of what has transpired since.
On one hand, it seem to have passed in a flash...on the other hand, a lifetime ago.
What truly matters is that we are ALL together again.
Makes me one happy girl.
November 25, 2010
As I pulled up this post, I smiled at the topic.
When I started today's  writing, I spoke of my childhood memories at my Grandma's house.
It seems apropos that I end it in the same vein.
 And the photo I was looking for 5 years ago it the one I included today.
(That trip still deserves a post of its own...for now, imagine a brand new mother...a new baby... extraordinarily patient grandparents and an 8 hour car ride)
I do believe my Grandma is with me as I type and remember.
Yet another reason I like Thanksgiving so much.

I pray that you are your family and friends take moment to give thanks for what you have.
Loved ones may not be sharing in your celebration in a tangible way, but they are there in the most important way.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Words to Remember

With or without the wine with straws, these are some wise words.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Wells

As you are no doubt sick and tired of hearing, we are still in a drought. 
 The rain we have had and are forecast to have this winter is a Godsend and we are grateful beyond words.
There is a bit of snow in the mountains and if this continues, the lakes may fill and ground water may be replenished.
We continue to pray. 
 I remember not so long ago when seeing a water drilling rig going down the road was a novelty. Now, they are commonplace.
 I thought it might be interesting for you to see what it looks like in a one square mile block in our world.  
New water wells within the last 15 months or so...many more recent than that.
The left side of this first photo are our walnuts.
The first two arrows represent our new well and the neighbor directly across from us.
The third in a huge well behind them.
The homes behind the trees on the right,have wells drying up like crazy.
Not sure how many are actually drilling yet, but I know many are having water delivered to them several times a week.
This photo picks up where the first one left off. 
There is a new well being dug might be able to just see the operation. 
The right side of this photo ends at our trees.
The last arrow represents our other neighbor's new well.
As I was typing this, SPF was reading over my shoulder and reminding me of other rigs we have seen.
I didn't go back to add more arrows.
This is depressing enough!

Monday, November 23, 2015


Do you ever have a weekend where you feel as though you accomplished EVERYTHING you had on your list?
It rarely happens around here, but this was one of them.
It might have something to do with the fact that our college girl is going to be home for 5 days!  FIVE WHOLE DAYS. 
Well, more like 4 1/2, but I'll take it.
 AND relish every moment. 
 The planning part of me emerged in full force and while I get ribbed about that quality...
because of it...
I will NOT be in the frantic, cranky, cleaning, cooking, laundry mode while she is home this time. I'm done.
The kitchen cabinets cleaned and the only Christmas d├ęcor I allow myself before Thanksgiving is up.
The hampers are least for another hour or so.
The Operation Christmas Child boxes have been delivered.
Today is the final day for drop off, so you still have time.
The freezer has been stocked with favorite Orangeworks Ice Cream.

The freezer has also been filled with items for breakfast and lunches while she is home.
Dinners are taken care of with Thanksgiving both Wednesday and Thursday nights, elsewhere and my contributions are nearly finished in that arena.
She requested, of all things, ribs for those are waiting in the wings.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Marshmallows have been made to deliver to college friends.
I set them all to task for me with the promise of a treat.
They went above and beyond and I can hardly wait to meet them all tomorrow.
SPF and I are heading to Pismo later today to spend the night before meeting up with our girl in the morning.
She has had her morning classes cancelled and fingers are crossed that her afternoon one will be as well, but doesn't hold out much hope.
Regardless, I am ready and chomping at the bit!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Truism

When someone you love becomes a memory,
the memory becomes a treasure.

  - Unknown Author
My father in law on his beloved Terceira

Happy Birthday.
You are missed and treasured.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Books AND Steps

Oh, how I miss this bookcase. 
It was in our first home...which my hubby designed from the ground up and we had built on a tremendously large lot in town.
 The rest of the house was pretty great too.
 The laundry room was enormous with a sink and long counter.
 I do miss the house...but it was in town and we were ready to be in the country.
Anyway...the bookshelf.
When we looked at the house we are in now, I remember talking about building shelves at that time. 
One thing led to another and affording this place led to dinners of beans and rice for awhile.
Then life happened.
There were other priorities and I didn't think seriously about bookshelves for years.
 Until this summer when I came across the shelves that had either been in my Grandparents' or parents' home.
The wheels began turning again. 
Beans and rice had recently been reintroduced as a mainstay, so I didn't want to spend much money.  I convinced my hubby to let me utilize a blank wall in our living room. 
Away, I went.
I taped up the wall with the shelf lengths I had on hand and sent pictures to my mom and sister.  Between them, my hubby and kiddos, we came up with the placement.
With the number of books and knick knacks, we needed to have every track anchored into a stud.
My hubby took care of that for me.
I found the brackets at our local, independent hardware store...they are THE best... and promptly purchased all they had. 
The only decision I had to make at this point was should I run out the big box store and grab the rest  I needed to finish or wait for a week.
I opted to wait and support or local store. 
They definitely deserve it.
By waiting, I was  able to live with some of the shelves for a bit and think...and rearrange.
It also gave me time to sort through shoe boxes of photos and have them mostly organized in pretty boxes.
Now that I am done, I am thrilled. 
 It still needs some tweaking and cords need to be hidden, but for now it is doing what I had hoped.  
  The framed picture of my great grandparents' home sits above the Indian basket from Aunt Nells' ranch and the fossils we collected in....where else...Fossil.
Books AND steps are my thing.