Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year! Resolutions?

Will I be done by midnight? I hope so. It's so interesting to me that how I can be just a bit "off-tilt" and my balance of life is effected by it all. My swimming has been of hours practicing on my balance as well doing cardio fitness. I've done it for over 6 months. I can't believe it's been that long. To do the balance act I focus on a point and raise my legs to front, side and back. Oh, and also the ankle and across my knee, and then try to sit like in some imaginary chair. The coach sometimes is really on our case and we have to balance and kick-out. It's probably some kind of Tai Chi because I recognize the end hand movement of power. The hardest thing about all this is that we have to close our eyes and still balance. I can only think of ballerinas dancing as they first lean forward and balance their center of gravity and then stand straight-up in perfect posture. This is my goal because I can't do that for very long or even compare myself to a dancer in any way, but I want it. Even if it's oh.... maybe the 3 or 4 year olds. I so appreciate ballerinas dedication, strength, and complete focus, and control of their body.

I think I figured out the secret of life. Actually, that's how I'm going to live my life this year. I always have this one word goal or New Year's resolution. One year it was "serene". I found that a person that has a firemen and 6 children can not possibly be serene unless you are extremely flexible in all things. Changes in just seconds can cause your new found serenity just flying out-the-window.

The next year I decided I'm going to be "flexible" and then try "serene" again the next year. I'm still not there yet. I tried the word "compromise" for Kiely's junior year in high school, that went over like--well it didn't. I tried "acceptance" and last year "courage." I did accomplish that and it felt so good. This year it "balance."

I'm going to be balanced in all things... my physical balance, my system, my homework, my time spent on projects. I can say if I'm balanced and not "tipsy" or never wavering even in my faith, I can manage balance.

My Marine Coach or as we call him, "Drill Sargent" told me it took him more than 6 months to learn to balance on this board that's on a ball, and he did it. It had determination and I'm going to have that, too. Not balance on a ball yet. Our Drill Sargent is not young, but in great physical shape. Dave expects more from me than I can give right now, but luckily I found the scriptures ... Mosiah 4: 27 not requisite that man run faster than he has strength. D&C 10: 4 do not run faster than you have strength. Yes, I love those scriptures because it helps me pace myself and become stronger. It helps me not to hold my breath because of the pain, or try and pant to stop the "not breathing habit". Actually, not breathing is defeating the purpose (non-aerobic exercise) or then the panting causes hyperventilation. Sooooo, there you go. Just pace yourself to what you can do and progress happens, it really does.

Some things that I want to balance is my gardening, my reading, my music, my temple attendance, and yes my health. Balance my organizations meaning be absolutely NOT OCD about writing everything out and inflexible and uncompromising, and then I just ending-up either procrastinating or quitting all together. If I go and label and completely overboard ... writing all this down, then I will have to go out into the "forbidden forest" and take a bunch of pottery in the little red wagon and throw them at the rocks. My favorite stress reliever. Part of that vision that makes me laugh is that when I imagine Archeologists like to find middens. What are they going to think about my trash pile or midden? They have a peculiar job, don't they? Oh, I recommend this activity for everyone that has a place to throw them. Glass isn't good, but the pottery is a very good work-out and doesn't hurt the environment. See really, I'm leaving excellent artifacts for generations to study. I need to write on a couple plates and show a mad woman tossing plates, so the archeologists know I was playing a game.

Ponder this point of danger. I do wear gloves and glasses, protective clothing, but of course you know by now, this is "Danger Ranch" and the threat of the "forbidden forest" is very underestimated by many, especially my grandchildren. There are wild animals trails, poison oak, bushes with ticks, and an occasional traveler (or homeless) encampment living out there. Spooky.
I Pray For More Energy &
That Means I Need To Work For It

Balance, I just yawned. Is this boring? I think balance applies to sleep and rest also. I have had none of that today getting Kiely ready with all her paperwork needed for college. We are leaving after church on Sunday, depending on the weather.

Know what? I just thought of something. I could start getting up earlier in the morning. I could balance my inner energy, my colors, my self-worth. I can think of times negative feeling come into my mind and the cure for that would be let other sweet things enter my mind and the negative would be pushed-out. I like Kiely's hymn, "Scatter Sunshine."

 I love the word Vitality. Vitality... 
even when you say it, it feels good and energetic.

Next Morning:  Okay, this morning I had dreamed about "balance" all night. I was working on a ship, dry-docked, so I could stay balanced and not seasick. I was sweeping as a part-time job to keep the newly sanded floor beautiful for the finishing work. I was chasing grapes downstairs and I realized it was lunch time. I sat on a box and peppered my turkey sandwich with our defective pepper shaker. I can't eat much salt and the pepper is very hard to shake out. Soooo, I shook it very hard. It had sea salt. I remember jumping waves and how great the water felt swirling around my ankles after I leaped over the first foamy line of the wave rising to meet my feet. It was jump-rope in the ocean.I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night.~~Bill Watterson **Calvin and Hobbes**


I worked and played all night and when I woke-up so cold in the morning I realized I shook a whole can of cherry Diet Dr. Pepper on my pillow and sheets and blankets. It was not a "Pepper Shaker" or a "Sea Salt Shaker", it was my Cherry Dr. Pepper! Nice. I didn't even think "PEPPER" (Thank you Bree, it's like a pun, and definitely not intended) I went right back to sleep and dreamed  I was actually shot by a drive-by shooter and all of this is blood. I am dead and know I'm a spirit. I know this is going somewhere so many don't understand...but the soft drink is red. So, just looking at my pillow made me think I was shot. How can I see I spilled the drink and then go right back to sleep and the red soda makes my mind think I'm bleeding on my head.

Dreams permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.~~William Dement

My thinking of death or that I have died in my sleep: Dang! I didn't get to do my goals for the year. Wait......I'm cold. I'm alive, I'm alive! Now... Can I balance my dreams? I'm ready for my swimming exercise this morning, at least it will be warmer than my bed. Nice, I'm resting here and my head is on a whole can of dumped over, cold soda pop.

Sahara Has Balance In Some Things

Sonny Can Tip and Never Fall!
Sonny is Balanced In Other Things?
Basketball, I guess it's a Stud Thing.

So... I'm Random More Than Usual

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Nativity Luke ll

This seems so real,
it makes me cry every
time I watch it!

The True Christmas, It's Beautiful.

Mary Did You Know?

I Try To Take One Day At A Time but Sometimes...

Sometimes Several Days Gang-up and Attack Me All At Once!

How much Christmas can a person stuff into your Christmas stocking? All of our stocking in this family are over-flowing with "Christmas" and we are very grateful. It's wonderful to have the "Christmas Spirit"come way early in the season. We've had Christmas' that were just so hurried we didn't realize what we had, until the day of Christmas or a trip to Utah after Christmas. The lights and Nativities were all still up and I think, "Whoa..I didn't slow down enough to soak this all in."

Steve is always Christmas..everyday of the year. Scrooge! j/k He's kind and thoughtful and always, always doing good for others. I wish I could be more like "my hero."

I Can See Larin and Corbin ( the Sparky Dog) and My Steve Lazenby Is Driving
This "Spirit of Christmas" was actually thrust upon us with the Christmas Parade. It is a long on-going event that started when I was a baby and my Captains, Steve (Captain, 81, my husband) and Captain 82 is my son, continue the tradition of riding down main street in our parade. All the firefighters love it with the fire trucks blaring and Santa in the ol' Mac, an icon of all our parades. That's the fire truck that my grandpa was commissioned to buy for the fire department in the '50's, of course it's our favorite and Santa rides in it at the end of the parade. I hope next year we'll get our turn again to ride with Santa. Now, as the grandchildren go..... it was the biggest truck that they wanted to ride on. Of course!

Kiely didn't go to her orientation at college to be with us and ride the engine again as a "little girl." She didn't want to miss it at all. I guess she'll just be getting "orientated" lol her first day at school.

One of our friends, Chris Garmon, was riding back on Foothill Road while Steve was bring the old engine out to storage after the parade, at Limonera Ranch. He said, "Steve was raring through Foothill Road all by himself, grinning from ear to ear. He loves that truck. I love it, too! I love it so much the last time I rode in it, I broke it's siren. I wound the siren up to tight and it quit. But! Hark! It had a bell and Steve didn't have hearing for a week after. I went a little nuts.

Kiely's favorite Christmas presents have been the wonderful letters of recommendation for scholarships at the agriculture college. They each have been a present to her like nothing she's ever received. Mr. Flores her agriculture teacher, and FFA adviser, and dedicated counselor gave her the best letter she's ever received. Mr. Flores works so hard at getting each high school senior off to college with scholarships and so much time spent with even the application requirement. One child is crazy, we know...but a whole bunch of Seniors with deadlines. His work load is hard, yet he wrote this wonderful, amazing letter for Kiely. She's been out of high school for almost three years, but he remembered and detailed all the things that Kiely was known for doing during her attendance there at high school and in the community. Kiely didn't show me the letter for a couple days. I'm not sure why, but I think it's quite emotional for her to read it. Words can really be treasures.

re "hunky-dory" Tatum got a huge branch way into her leg. The branch was wider than an arrow

I'm still not though decorating the tree. It's all ready to finish, just that my blog was yelling at me to write something. Yeah, and I can fill it in so fast. Not all things a and went way inside her calf. Dustin and Steve were both here and they removed the branch, but Tatum ended-up in the hospital for over 5 hours.

All the grandchildren were crying over Tatum. I couldn't keep all the grandchildren hushed. They saw her wound and it scared them and like most times crying is contagious. I sat about 10 or 11 grandchildren down at my table and fed them three gallons of black cherry ice cream and chocolate fudge brownie flavors. The crying stopped and I told them all they could have as much as they wanted. Funny.... that was only one small bowl each. The trick here is that you tell them ahead of time, "You can have all you can eat," so they eat slowly, enjoying each bite. There was not a "brain-freeze" headache with even one of them, because they weren't in a hurry. Success! By golly, they didn't need very much to fill their little stomachs. The plus here is that they were all sent home with ice cream for dinner. Oops.

Tatum was told not to go out to the dump area along with the boys--they also were not in the right place, but they did anyway. It was a good call to take her to the hospital because she had big pieces of wood still there in her leg. Yes, she went to school the next day and didn't even say another word about it. Yes, this is "Danger Ranch" and don't you forget it!

The other sad occurrence and it was sad for me. I had this wild squirrel that loves me. I feed it, it screams at me often, but looks in my window everyday, upside-down. He had a fluffy burnt orange front and lots and lots of fur and fat. He ate cat and dog food and lived in our attic with his family. I had told one of our grandchildren how much I loved "Buster" and I watched the show "Perri" on TV when I was just 6 years old. (1957) I wanted a fluffy-tailed squirrel like her, but I got Buster. You might want to read about my skunk encounter, I wanted that one too. grandson heard all about Perri, and how I loved the actor. He was Billy Mumy and red-headed and freckled actor that was my first true-love (haha) on TV. He was also the child in the series, "Lost in Space." Walt Disney made it so real for me and I still wanted a squirrel.

To all of you that are confused with this fixation of a rodent, let me remind you their were no squirrels like that fluffy-kind around here while I was growing up. No where! The kids with guns shot them for fun. Now, the ground squirrels are different...they are big rats with a bit of a furry tail, but not like this. I looked at Perri like I loved the chipmunks in the desert, and that's a whole another story.

The point of this is that my grandson wanted to give me Buster for Christmas. He set a "Have-a-Heart" trap and then had to go home. Yes, he put cat food in it and yes he caught Buster, but I didn't know because it was going to be a surprise. He forgot to check the trap or thought that he wouldn't really, really catch Buster. But...he did, and in about a week he checked the trap. Buster was there, but not alive. I feel so bad for my grandson. He tried to make me happy. I tried really hard to just make it look like he was doing us a favor by ridding our home of varmints in the attic. "No worries, just clean the cage," I told him and then I went in the bathroom and cried silently. My little friend of so many years is gone and I know my grandson knows he made me sad, somehow... and that even made me sadder.

I'm looking at my star on my tree thinking... Should I get out the angel and put her up there? What really goes up there a star or my beautiful angel? The star...I have so many angels in heaven looking after us all and I appreciate them looking after us, my lovely angel, even as beautiful as she is would never do them justice. I know they're so much more than I could describe or imagine.

Kenna's fourth birthday was wonderful and all she wanted was homework like her big brother and big sister. How cute is that? And if that isn't enough, how about all she wanted to do was to go around and sing carols at our neighbor's doors. It was a Relief Society night so members of the Church wouldn't be home. We went to all our neighbors and friends that are not members of the Church and we went out on a very, very, cold night. Utah woulda' froze!

Steve, Dune and Kiely Lazenby Caroling

The Grandchildren Having Spreading Lots of Joy!

We sang 'til we lost our voices and the little grand children (lots and lots) and nieces and nephews started to even dance and act out the songs, these little improvisations were exactly expressing their emotions with the Christmas Spirit and just emerging with this great enthusiasm. That was their way of expressing the happiness of it all. Our neighbors laughed and took pictures. The Mupu community is rural so our neighbors, all up the canyon, just about never even have "Trick or Treaters" at Halloween, let alone, carolers--accckkk and it was rainy and cold in California! Surprise!

We had the cold and the snow fell all over the hills and mountains around us. The grand kids even had a snow day and brought it home.

The fire department had two Christmas parties. One for the adults and one for families. Steve and my son, Dustin worked on the adult night and it was a blessing to them and their crews for they were able to be available to handle a huge multiple, vehicle collision and they were really able to help.

The family party was wonderful. It was done by so many people. Steve was handed the assignment because he wanted to keep this tradition going. Some disagree with that because they don't have young ones at home or haven't been on the department as long as "the old-timers" but it's a chance to invite all former fire department personnel and also their families. It's like a class reunion with a whole bunch of children. I attended this same party with the fire department as a little kid and I'm so happy this tradition is continuing. I hope it stays on forever. Our food was wonderful and Uncle John (Steve co-worker that drives and works the engine) was Santa. He was perfect. The grandchildren thought he was so great! He really knew their names and he had a familiar voice. I think all sat on his lap! John is a very sweet Santa. He's PERFECT!

Our ward had a huge program and my Marnie was the Chair. Marnie is the Activity Director and Janet Grant just put on a terrific program. It was a tremendous task. I know Marnie learned a lot from her direction. It was wonderful. The most beautiful thing about it was it was an Interfaith Community Program held in our building. Well, we do have the biggest....We celebrated with many, many different churches in town.

Marnie was concerned and well as many others the day before the program that the pictures around in our building were faded and warped. We wanted all to see that we loved the Savior and we also rejoice at the Savior's birth. The maintenance room needed a key to turn on the heat early. Of course the our ward wanted it to be warm and cozy that evening. There in the little closet of the room, where the heater stands, was many, many brand new pictures! They were very large, framed, and had gold letters at the bottom explaining each picture. I think Marnie's heart about flipped, a prayer was said and there, Heavenly Father eagerly sends down the blessings. I think all of the program committee had a "happy dance" right there in the foyer. Heavenly Father sent a gift to our whole ward. The Church of Christ wasn't going to be attending, but dear Sister Grant.... when one segment of the program canceled, she was anxious to plead with the Church of Christ to come and sing. Many are our neighbors and we know them really well. They offered to help us and as they came in our building were going all around asking about the portraits and our "glorious" pictures. "Where did we get them?" ugh........ in the closet. I don't think they said that.

We had wonderful soloists and the music was played with prelude of a Spanish Harp with Xavier Montes. (He went to high school here and was buddies with my brothers in FFA) We had the Presbyterian bell choir and they were such a treat. Our little primary children got up to sing and I held my breath. Many of those little ones were my kin. "Please don't jump around and scream, please..." Angels again came and whispered in their ears to stay good. Or...was it their moms and dads with a stern warning? Anyway, they were fabulous, and tender, and sang so well. The gentleman next to Steve hadn't said a word though out the whole meeting. I tried to talk to him when I sat down but he was quiet and maybe there under an obligation? I don't quite know. He didn't smile until the children sang. He just turned to my husband while the primary children were coming down from their assigned place on the podium and said, "That (medley) was wonderful and it must have taken a lot of work of someone, to pull that off!" Steve just grinned Yes, they are a choir that is beautiful all year long and we are so blessed. Thank you Gail Pidduck for your dedication to the primary. Yes, work...but really the best calling in Church. I know!

The Interfaith Celebration of Christmas was really well-attended. It filled us up and The Church of Guadalupe and St. Sebastian has over 6,000 members in town. They also were in this program, so many Catholics attended. I saw so many of my old classmates from school, our neighbors, my husband's, my dad's, and my grandfather's customers came... as well as those connected with the schools, city employees, CERT team members that Steve teaches, and so many people that he has helped in fire department calls. My Steve seemed to know everyone. We gave out and received many hugs that evening.

Grandpa's birthday was celebrated again this year by going to Disneyland.

How could we miss it? It was the most relaxing and happy time for all. I feel the fireworks are just for Grandpa Doug. Beautiful songs accompany the fireworks show and Grandma Dune was able to see the new updated "Small World" this year. We had a fun breakfast at the "Story Tellers" cafe. Again, a big raccoon character scared me. It sure looked like a big rat! Yes, I screamed. Kiely was trying to get "Brother Bear's" attention and was pulling on his back. We needed a Christmas picture and the bear would be perfect! The bear turned suddenly and she was the same height as his huge mouth-full of teeth---right in her face, and it startled her. She laughed so hard, I thought she would fall down. Her giggly laugh got everyone around laughing even the bear was laughing in his suit.

Brother Bear and Kiely Lazenby

That is something because they are
not ever supposed to break character and speak.
Maybe laughing doesn't count.

Steve was asked by the Port Master at the Ventura Harbor to be a judge at the Christmas Parade of Lights of all the boats and ships at the Harbor and then some. We had a fantastic dinner and lots of our family were there. Dustin and his kids sat on the opposite jetty, except we had his Tatum with us. Now the grown one were signing back and forth with the cell phone lights. It was so fun. I've always been close to seeing this beautiful parade but never have gone. I saw so many families from Santa Paula and we were able to catch-up on old times. The Harbor Master took Steve and all of our family out on a cruise to see the fireworks. I stayed because I get seasick watching a boat. Harbor Masters have a great job! Scott is really perfect for the job, he is such a fun guy to be around.

Our Daughters: Marnie Jenkins and Larin Knapp

I haven't written in my blog for so long. I'm trying to keep up with my swimming and it is getting really difficult for me. I'm stepping it up to prepare for the chores that Kiely has been trusted with all these years. I did way too much Friday and had heart problems, it's that run-away heart thing. Kiely already knew about it. She dreamed that I was hurting in my chest. She dreams things and they do come true. It really is scary to me, not really the heart.... because I have lots of medicine for that, but that she knows things. It's the same gift that my Bree was given. I still went to Church on Sunday, but felt like I had been running all night. I had to be there because Steve was the main speaker. He spoke and related scriptures and we sang the songs that matched the verses. It was a great program and I'm glad I lost my voice again singing Christmas songs and really understanding the real meanings of the songs and how they tell the story of Christmas.

It's fixin' to storm again, however the blue sky and sunlight would make me think that's not gonna' happen. Steve's off on Christmas and today he's out on the tractor killing the weeds. The horses are out in the pasture going crazy with fun wiggles in the beautiful sunshine.

I think we're having a "White Elephant Exchange" for a Christmas party, Christmas Day at Marnie's and for Christmas Eve. we're going to my mother's house. Both places are next door. One on one side and my mom on the other.

Oh my Bree in Arkansas...How I miss you and your dear family. I love you all so much and miss you! There's always the opportunity to begin great traditions at your own home. Walmart? lol Yes, we started shopping there now in Valencia, too. How 'bout those Hawgs? Did you get one of those lighted in your yard this year? Bree, do you remember me dressing you all up like the Nativity scene and taking tons of pictures every year? I would post a couple photographs, but the tree is on top of my picture trunk and taking down the tree would be something that would take "three men and a boy to do!" I love to think of those times, even though they were so hard. Our house was without heat and electricity, Yeah....we're so old... we needed to be electrified, here. No, just kidding, we were still in construction and borrowed lights with extension cords from the horse arena and my mother and dad's house. We did get a wood burning stove for Christmas. We couldn't afford heat, so The Mill, our business neighbor gave us one from his store. Brand new! HEAT! That was a wonderful Christmas Gift. Forever Remembered! The Mill was good to us in many ways, called all our kids "Barney" because they only knew Marnie, my middle daughter, and that morphed to "Barney" and then the whole Hengehold Family called all my children "Barney" easy. Dustin wouldn't look at them when they called him Barney, so they called him "Bub" and he was okay with that. He was only five years-old. I wonder if any Hangehold family knows any of my kids real names? We are blessed to know them and will forever be grateful.

Tons of grandchildren are flying through the door. Rattin' each other off and and climbing over unwrapped presents. Another very full day. I think I'll go outside and take some summer-like Christmas pictures. Yippeee! Kiely is bringing in pizza. YUM! My dear, wonderful husband enjoying his favorite ride of the year, pulling tractor. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It is COLD OUTSIDE Even For So. California

Be Sure And Turn Off My Player For This Video...Very Sweet.

I have so much to blog, guess I'll work on it tomorrow. Maybe I need to rethink it anyway. TMI and I wait too long to write it all onto my blog. That is not called "procrastination" it's fanatical-hectic-crazy-time!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Funny Family History Quotes. After Turkey-Day. Shopping? Oh... No...The Important Stuff: Genealogy

Today, I was getting ready for Christmas, but just in my head. I was going to change my music to Christmas. I think I have the special ones I want to hear over and over.

Steve bought us a tree. Funny that I didn't even have a "say so" to help pick it out, but he knew I would just LOVE it and I did! It's a live Scotch Pine, I think that's what they call it, but it's the pine tree that naturally grows in our mountains around here. I'm thrilled with having one I can plant afterward. The tree smells wonderful and all my Christmas decorations are just outside the door on the porch.

We are going to the Santa Paula Christmas Parade tomorrow, then I'm going to do a real mean living room clean-up and transformation; including changing the pictures and all the stuff on all the desks, armoires, piano, everything to look Christmas.... including the kitchen. I've always wanted to fix my bedroom all Christmasy, but maybe next year. Kiely's room has a tree for it, but I don't think she wants to put it up this year. Makes me a little sad---but she has soooo much going on. Riding her horse and trying to get enough riding to last her a couple months. College get-away and preparing for school and packing, and lastly... the hardest... sprinting on her school work for good grades, now. The semester ends soon.

Yesterday was a day that was wonderful. So many people worked so hard to make the mansion next door (my Marnie's house) filled with food, fun, and wonderful friends and family. Lots and lots of people. It was great watching the movie, "Up" with those in our family that hadn't seen it. Steve and Marnie have a big TV and the main character Mr. Ferguson, looks and acts so much like my father-in-law that just passed-away a couple of years ago. Only thing missing was Mr. Ferguson was a bit more grumpy and Grandpa Doug was mostly just silly all the time. Thanks Marnie and to everyone that made the lovely dinner. I sat in the window with some pumpkin pie and watched the kids with the horses and enjoyed the children and grown children and beautiful sunset "pink moment."

I started at home. It just blows me away with the amazing feats of giving hints and updating the records constantly. It was a gift (thank you, thank you) that I have coveted for years. I can only think that the only way the work would be done was from my home. I swim a lot and even though it's in Ventura, getting ready from the pool and going to the Stake Center is really a challenge. I forget to have lunch, I always forget to take my heart medication, and I stay way too long. There's no breaks... so the hurrying probably is what makes my head butter and mistakes are too common when that happens.

I always feel especially when I'm neglectful in my genealogy that this visitation is going to happen. I didn't see this Family Guy episode. But honestly, I really had this weird experience. Brightness and strong light entered my bedroom and I instantly covered my face with my warm blankets. I had no idea who my ancestor was. But, because it was a beautiful light, I didn't think it was of evil. I was really scared because I know I was going to get my butt chewed-out for flakin'out on my duties here on earth.

I woke-up Steve very gently and whispered, "Steve, (shiver) we have company." "Don't move, but open your eyes and see who it is?" I knew it was someone shaking their finger at me. Steve said, "What?" real loud and irritated. I said, "Shhhhhhhh," very quietly and shivered again and got very close to Steve. He started busting out laughing hard and sat-up. Startled by that; I said something like "Stop making fun or don't mock angels" some weird things like that. He said, "I installed a light behind the little dressing table and our electricity went out so it just automatically turned on for us." and he said, " The big light up the wall is in the plug behind the dresser." I sat-up and looked. Yep, he was right. But that didn't stop me from thinking one day I'm going to get in trouble and I hope I have time to make things right. Maybe it was a warning.

Norman Rockwell Drawing. Yep!
It Could Easily Be My Tree!

This is the BEST Family Tree.
Bree, Photoshop my other
babies in the tree (missing my
little Arkansas grand chilren!)

I slept hard last night so I couldn't wait to start working on my lines. I would start laughing while I was working...I was so happy! All the stories of the past that I have collected over the years and the absolutely crazy relatives that I have accumulated. I just think that's just what makes me like I am. Sorry.... Happy Ancestral DNA, as my dear little girl calls it. How 'bout crazy DNA? Yeah...I like the sound of that.A long time ago I found these family quotes on some website. I can't remember where, but I did copy the authors of the quotes. They crack-me-up!I just had them on my Microsoft note-pad and saw them recently when my automatic download started.

Here they are:

If you don't believe in ghosts, you've never been to a family reunion.

Cleaning your house while your children are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

In America there are two classes of travel - first class and with children.

Have children while your parents are still young enough to take care of them.

Adolescence is when children start to bring up their parents.

Home is the place, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

In some families, 'please' is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was 'sorry'.

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.

Some family trees bear an enormous crop of nuts. (Yes! That's Us!)

I grew up with six brothers. That's how I learned to dance - waiting for the bathroom.

Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.

Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children. (Kiely says, "Diarrhea is hereditary; it runs in your genes (jeans)."

Let's face it, there's lots of spoiled kids out there,because you can't spank Grandma.(HAHAHA)

There's one thing about children - they never go around showing snapshots of their grandparents.(HAHAHAHA!That's Great!)

Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.

I wish to thank my parents for making it all possible...and I wish to thank my children for making it necessary.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

I can get up in the morning and look myself in the mirror and my family can look at me too and that's all that matters.

The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant - and let the air out of the tires.

Family life got better and we got our car back - as soon as we put 'I love Mom' on the license plate.

My father never raised his hand to any one of his children - except in self-defense.

Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million-dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. (This is good, huh?)

Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that allow children to come back home.

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.(I thought that was Family Home Videos?)

All of a sudden big letters and colors wouldn't go away, sorry but I'm blind and can't find the HTML with the (can't write it because it's goes more freaky but it's a certain secret code called "hyper text markup language", and at 1:11 am trying to fix it again, I'm through!!!) It can have the BIG LETTERS. Go ahead you Freaky Blog. It really has a mind of it's own. Maybe I'll wake-up and it will write my blog for me. Hope it's a good one. I better moderate it though, or it will be reported.

Note: I woke-up this morning, Nov. 28, 2009 and guess what? I fixed my huge letters and "OFF" colors. The blog didn't win with its "take-over" of my site. A voice in my head said just copy paste and start over and delete the other one. I did and it and the process only took only 15 minutes. What the heck? I but it had to be one of my angels whispering in my ear this morning around 2:45 a.m. just after I turned-off Art Bell.'s my husband with a Spinet Piano. Thank you my dear daughter from Arkansas sending us this picture of us in California. Arkansas or California? Yes, here.
Turn-off my playlist
or the song on this
video will drive you

It may anyway...

Now, about the video...My husband is such a hotshot, so talented and we were so entertained by this, it actually took a while and the quick shot of our house doesn't really show all the gang watching this and laughing, hootin' it all up, and calling Steve, our hero. Behind the piano is our old barn where Marnie's Mansion is located now. Steve's "Redneck Style" I love it with all the junk and stuff...okay...bye.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Whoa. .. How Did Thanksgiving Come so Fast?

Anyone for eating a "bird" considering
my last post? My bird rant, and change of
heart in last post Nov. 10th.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Wishing all... a Thanksgiving of sharing love and gratitude with family and special friends that bless and touch our lives. Wishing also that my dear friends here and all those celebrating this glorious day, have joyful gatherings and lasting love and memories! ♥ ♥ ♥

My days lately have been filled with all kinds of interesting adventures. Ups and downs (very few and unimportant) The ups have been overwhelming and without sounding like I'm the most blessed person in the world and sounding like a recorded and memorized Testimony--my life and our family's lives have taken a huge jump for all the choicest of blessings. Should I name them one by one? I really could, a very large bevy of them. There are blessings I don't even recognize yet and I'm grateful for those, as well.

I don't understand any of it and I'm so humbled by receiving so many of Heavenly Father's most precious gifts. It's a complete happiness of our circumstances. There are many things that need fixing with our house, my website, and our budget that is non-existence, really....but I'm seeing those things as blessings, also. Would I have been as close to Heavenly Father if all our needs were fulfilled? Would I be so grateful for what we do have? I can't think of one single thing I need at this time, just more opportunities to serve.

I can't even explain it and I can't really express it except to say, "I'm so thankful for my blessings. I am grateful and appreciate all that my life is. My testimony has been taken me to a level that if I were to try and express my feelings out-loud, I would just cry." Heavenly Father is so generous especially to us that are "just us" and I don't understand why.

I haven't contemplated this day much. It is suddenly Thanksgiving. The Twilight Zone marathon is on and I can't even hear it over our silly cockatiel whistling for joy. "Fabio, I wish I could just kiss you, but you'd bite my nose." He's happy and thankful he's not dinner and that I'm not trying to kiss him.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's About Time. What the Heck Are We Up To? Fighting The Birds

I'm not sure where to begin, so this posting won't be a book, maybe. First off, I must say it is so "Redneck" to end a sentence with a preposition--yes, I'm a redneck, yes, I have a farmer's tan, and yes, it doesn't look attractive when I go for my swimming exercise class.

We are happy! Heavenly Father has blessed our family so much these past two weeks. I can't even describe how I feel in words. I've said that before and it's true! The joy is comparable to nothing else that I've ever experienced.

Our life is not perfect at all. That is the normal mode-of-operation around here. In fact... I have some major concerns about little things that I could actually become unglued about."crazy," I'm blaming the birds. I told my sister, "I'm taking out the snake gun with bird shot and shooting annoying birds." Before you think I'm a total jerk for killing birds, let me let you into my world of birds.

Our owls--three different species are eating our kittens. I know I can't kill any of them.. but they make me so mad, I'm dangerous. We had a little black kitten that survived the big Great Horned Owl. We also have The Barn Owl or Screech Owl, and a spotty, squatty, owl. I'm not sure of it's real name and the squatty owl, I have no beef with. (ugh...preposition, again!) The Great Horned Owl and the Barn Owl... I could literally shoot with no problem, sort of. Hahahaha There I go again. Preposition.

Our little scrawny black kitten that was the runt was picked-up by the owl and the owl ate its ears, toes, broke it tail, and defurred it in many places on that little kitty's body. It was dropped in a big bush because that scrawny kitty is crazy mean! It had to literally fight to get a place to nurse when it was born. "Scrappy Kitty" is a kitten that acts like a rabid Chihuahua. No, better description---a 'big, super mad lion' personality in a very tiny packaging. Scrappy honestly chases both our dogs and if the three went to blows--the kitty would win. Wise owl wasn't so wise to pick this kitten. It makes me sad, the kitty is so chewed-up. Some of the other kittens weren't lucky with the owls. tear. I love kittys.

Kiely was out feeding late, around nine, and of course all the animals follow her like she's Snow White. Out of no where, huge flapping white wings descended and almost hit her face in the attempt to pick-up that little black kitten again! Kiely thought it was a Rodan "Giant Monster of the Sky," ("B" rated Japanese Horror Film from the late 1950s) The owl looked like an ancient Pterodactyl. It was "ginormous" and screeched at her, claws drawn and down, wings flapping, and eyes blazing. It was here! Screaming Kiely thwarted the ambush. Honestly, I don't think Kiely will ever recover from that attack and the 'assault bird' incident will never be forgotten. Okay...the huge Barn Owl gave Kiely nightmares.

That owl even tried to get our Cockatiel, Fabio.

Fabio was in the window last night and the owl came down after it and smacked into the window. Fabio freaked out and I had to cover his cage to calm him down. We actually have him because of our dear canyon neighbors, the Colvard's, rescued him. Fabio was all torn-up from a hawk-attack and survived and he is very happy now. Today, I considered letting the owl inside to feast on Fabio, because he isn't as "Fabio" as the real Fabio. My picture that I took of him was blurry because he was attacking me while I was taking his picture, so my picture is way too fuzzy to use. The good picture doesn't do him justice. Fabio, the cockatiel, has a mop of fluffy-tuff on his head that looks like a huge Mohawk.

Let's see... Fabio's now happy... He never actually made noise until Kiely found fun cockatiel songs on "You Tube." She played lots of them. One after the other, and guess which one he picked to sing? It was the one... only played once... and that bird decided he loved it? Right! "The Mexican Hat Dance!" Fabio did sing "Old MacDonald had a Farm," once because it was our home-phone-ring-tone. I changed it to the regular ring and guess what? We try and answer, the bird. He picked-up on our donkey's bray. And... he coughs all evening, that's been a recent favorite.... because I was sick. It's actually his favorite tune after the "Mexican Hat Dance." Cough, cough, cough. STOP! The bird is freaking me out. Oh, he bites, too. I won't kill him, but often... I'll cover him when he gets outta' control.

This is the kicker.. I'm resting in my bed from a huge aerobic workout. I just returned from the exercise pool in Ventura and I'm so tired. The instructor is an Ex-drill Sargent in the Marines. Actually, I shouldn't say "Ex" because he's still a Marine. You know once a Marine, always a Marine? Guess what starts on my wall of my bedroom while I'm trying to rest? A stupid woodpecker. She's drilling a hole under the eaves about 25 feet off the ground. I went out and shoo'd her away... but I just got cozy in my bed again and she started-up with this horrible drilling. Some years ago we did have a woodpecker that was quite "brain-challenged" trying to drill a hole in our metal chimney. I didn't think I could survive through all that noise and Steve was no help, he got such a break from the woodpecker by going to work. I heard it all day. Just like now.

My House! I Took These
Pictures To Prove That
Woodpeckers Have Invaded Us

I went outside and she won't fly away. I threw rocks at her and one time hit Steve's side of the window. I'm such a wimp, it fortunately didn't break the window to pieces. Out-of-nowhere, the hammering stopped. I still had my camera and guess what? She's in the hole. Me calling Steve now, will not help. I hope the bees that have relocated from my mother's house to our attic will make her fly away. I wonder why all the squirrels haven't left the attic?

And that's another thing ...okay, I am trying to love fluffy-tailed squirrels as long as they don't jump at me or touch me. Buster, the squirrel THEN, brings every relative and girl friend he knows... to come and bunk with him. I feel so taken advantaged here.

One more bunch of birds I can't tolerate, are the dang red-tailed hawks. It was nice to see one once in a while, but there are so many of them near our house when they migrate here for nesting. Guess which car they have chosen as their litter box? The FJ, my new car! I think Bree got it once on her new red paint job on her BMW. Yesterday we went to Ojai to fix a saddle with new leathers. My car wasn't home, so they used my porch. It was their calling card to let me know that the hawks are here. It wouldn't be so bad if my mom had not had a hawk drop a gopher snake on her head and shoulders. I see the shadow and run for cover, it's either a 'poop-bomb' or a live animal. I just had a thought, "What if it was a rat or worse, a mouse?" I think I would faint right there.

I'm not posting a picture of a crow...but you know they carry West Nile Virus. Never-mind... I found a perfect picture of the crow I like....

We have four horses and two donkeys. Crows awake at dawn and fly up the Santa Paula Creek every morning at dawn. Caw, Caw, "in your craw!" They didn't live here when I was little. What's up with the new population explosion? I hate giving the shot/vaccination to the horses and donkeys. It's a separate shot so they know what's coming, after the combination vaccinations. Yes, that's when I fell and hurt my knees so bad. Thank you crows. NOT!

I love the Mocking Birds, the sparrows, love the Quail, the beautiful Meadow Lark and we have our dear Road Runner that runs through our place on the same track everyday. Our chickens are precious and the Mourning Doves, in the morning just remind me.... "THIS IS HOME".

The dove's happy laugh sounds like 'Tickle-Me-Elmo' I crack-up so hard when I hear them start laughing! I need that ring-tone, right? I had to stop today because a huge flock of Mourning Doves were eating the grain in front of the chicken pen. I do love them and they are beautiful and the really do bring me joy.

Oh by-golly, the Barn Swift... I could just kick. Yeah, they say, "Let's all fly down the chimney for them and clean it!" By the way... Message to Swifts: "Swift's, it would be a good idea to have a plan how to figure out how to get out of the house you fly inside." Black soot goes everywhere and you leave all your dead friends in drawers, behind the refrigerator, behind the hutch, and in the bed and that is not good options.

Oh Swifts! The sister missionaries were at my mom's house visiting with her. My mother isn't a member yet and they all were having a very spiritual conversation. The Swifts, by the hundreds came down the chimney and scared the sisters so bad. They thought they were from the devil himself, flying black bats (they were sooty and actually do looked like a bats) They came from Satan to not only scare the sisters away, but to stop the Spirit at that moment. One sister wouldn't go back to my mom's house :( The other sister helped clean. Weird birds...You take a handful of birds and throw them out the front door and they fly back in. Tell me Swifts, "Is the fun worth the collateral damage?" The sister that was so afraid and screamed and screamed was near the end of her mission and she said she didn't have a "Welcome Home Talk" prepared. She certainly had a lively story to tell her home ward when she arrived home.

I am now in a tizzy and a little thought creeps into my mind from our Prophet President Spencer W. Kimball, the President of the Church and an article he wrote the late 1970s. "Think of The Prophets" favorite children's Sunday School hymn. Yes, I remember. I have the Book. What would The Prophet Do? This is from a message from the Prophet: Spencer W. Kimball, “Fundamental Principles to Ponder and Live,” Ensign, Nov 1978, 43
His favorite Children's hymn: Deseret Sunday School Songs was published in 1909, no. 163
"1. Don't kill the little birds,
That sing on bush and tree,
All thro' the summer days,
Their sweetest melody.
Don't shoot the little birds!
The earth is God's estate,
And He provideth food
For small as well as great.
2. Don't kill the little birds,
Their plumage wings the air,
Their trill at early morn
Makes music ev'rywhere,
What tho' the cherries fall
Half eaten from the stem?
And berries disappear,
In garden, field and glen?
3. Still, like the widow's cruse,
There's always plenty left;
How sad a world were this,
Of little birds bereft!
Think of the good they do
In all the orchards round;
No hurtful insects thrive
Where robins most abound.
4. Don't kill the little birds,
That sing on bush and tree,
All thro' the summer days,
Their sweetest melody,
In this great world of ours,
If we can trust His Word,
There's food enough for all;
—Don't kill a single bird!"
"I suppose in every country in the world there are beautiful little birds with their beautiful plumage and their attractive songs."

"I remember that my predecessor, President Joseph Fielding Smith, was a protector of these feathered and other wild life creatures.

While President Smith at one time was in the Wasatch Mountain Area, he befriended the creatures from the hill and forest. He composed four little verses as follows, and opposite each he drew a little picture. Of the mountain squirrel first, he wrote:
This is little Chopper Squirrel
Up in the mountains high.
He begs us for some grains of corn,
With thanks he says goodbye.
And then the bat was next:
This is little Tommy Bat
Who flies around at night.
He eats the bugs and ‘skeeters’ too,
Which is a thing quite right.
Then he came to the deer:
This is little Bambi Deer
Who comes to the cabin homes.
She licks the salt we feed to her,
And on the mountain roams.
And then the birds:
This, our little feathered friend
Who sings for us all day.
When comes the winter and the cold,
He wisely flies away.

Now, I also would like to add some of my feelings concerning the unnecessary shedding of blood and destruction of life. I think that every soul should be impressed by the sentiments that have been expressed here by the prophets.

And not less with reference to the killing of innocent birds is the wildlife of our country that live upon the vermin that are indeed enemies to the farmer and to mankind. It is not only wicked to destroy them, it is a shame, in my opinion. I think that this principle should extend not only to the bird life but to the life of all animals. For that purpose I read the scripture where the Lord gave us all the animals. Seemingly, he thought it was important that all these animals be on the earth for our use and encouragement."

"President Joseph F. Smith said, “When I visited, a few years ago, the Yellowstone National Park, and saw in the streams and the beautiful lakes, birds swimming quite fearless of man, allowing passers-by to approach them as closely almost as tame birds, and apprehending no fear of them, and when I saw droves of beautiful deer [feeding] along the side of the road, as fearless of the presence of men as any domestic animal, it filled my heart with a degree of peace and joy that seemed to be almost a foretaste of that period hoped for when there shall be none to hurt and none to molest in all the land, especially among all the inhabitants of Zion. These same birds, if they were to visit other regions, inhabited by man, would, on account of their tameness, doubtless become more easily a prey to the gunner. The same may be said of those beautiful creatures—the deer and the antelope. If they should wander out of the park, beyond the protection that is established there for these animals, they would become, of course, an easy prey to those who were seeking their lives. I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men—and they still exist among us—who enjoy what is, to them, the ‘sport’ of hunting birds and slaying them by the hundreds, and who will come in after a day’s sport, boasting of how many harmless birds they have had the skill to slaughter, and day after day, during the season when it is lawful for men to hunt and kill (the birds having had a season of protection and not apprehending danger) go out by scores or hundreds, and you may hear their guns early in the morning on the day of the opening, as if great armies had met in battle; and the terrible work of slaughtering the innocent birds goes on.

“I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood.” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, pp. 265–66.)" I think I have my answer, here. Follow The Prophet and I will.
Last minute update...I found my answer to all the ugly bird noises and distractions. Dance with my Ipod and sing at the "top of my lungs." My exercising at the pool did a lot for my energy, but of course the exercise just does nothing for keeping me in tune, and that's funny! You think I could just harass the birds? Oh dear, I hope Fabio wasn't listening???

Tree-huggers unite. I all the rare birds and animals have come to our home for refuge. Don't worry, they'll be safe. We'll cuss each other, but I won't harm any. This is a wild life sanctuary. BTW, if you want to bird-watch the tons of birds, please ask permission, because I shoot trespassers. Ut-Oh! Long Post. Sorry.