Friday, March 25, 2011

What the Pickin' Heck was Coke Thinking In Southern Rural Utah?

I stood in the late 50's diner in Richfield, Utah and had my camera ready to take a picture of the lady that had taken our order at the counter. I didn't want her to see me take a picture of her. No, I wasn't going to post her on my blog. She had this standie-up hair just like the first season of Kate Gosselin's first few episodes of "Kate Plus Eight" on Reality TV.

Everyone in Richfield has this hairdo....Oh, I know there are some of you that don't have this hairdo. Tell me there has to be someone that has their own style. Oh DANG! There are even a bunch of Salina women that have this hairdo, too. Why is this Prairie Chicken Style so popular? It's crooked hair with feathers in the back are not pretty. We laughed because we couldn't even find one lady in the Richfield Walmart that didn't have this hairdo.
Okay...Change Gears
 My reason for taking the picture was to send my son, Dustin, a girl's picture from Utah. "Here's a girl friend for ya', Dustin!" He would've loved it. Not. California Beach Guys don't go for funny hair-dos like this. All hair-sprayed and heavy duty gel-spiky! I really didn't take the picture because I saw something that just made me gasp, "No, Steve...look!" I don't like Coca Cola and I'm thinking this advertising campaign probably was somewhat successful. If I saw 4-H on a Coke bottle, honestly I may have drank it as a kid, thinking "that kind" of Coke was probably okay for me. Quote from the 4-H Internet Home Page:  "National 4-H Curriculum focuses on 4-H’s three primary mission mandates: science, healthy living, and citizenship."

I saw this memorabilia collection of the 1960's on this shelf above my head and there was a bottle of 4-H. My kids were all 4-H members and we didn't remember a 4-H drink for us. I was in 4-H throughout the 60's and  never saw a bottle like that. Steve looked closer at it with our new camera and we thought it was crazy. Really crazy. It was Coca Cola or Coke.  Mormons or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints didn't drink Coke or Pepsi in Utah. More do now and occasionally most members have a Coke or Pepsi but, back then, it was "taboo" like coffee and tea. We just limit it now, because of all the caffeine in the drinks. I guess Mountain Dew is especially filled with caffeine and probably right now on the "taboo list" I know if we were to deny caffeine completely there wouldn't even be regular aspirin in our lives and even chocolate would be on the "bad" list. Was the Coke Company back in the 1960's using the 4-H logo to lure the young people in the rural area of Utah, to make something they avoided "look okay" because it didn't look like Coke? Maybe advertisers thought that it could trick them to think it wasn't "really" Coke because it said 4-H on the label. I'm anxious to know the answer to this. How deceitful? Really? Makes me upset that a huge company was trying to make our dear young members of the Church think Coke was okay because it had a different name.
4-H is sponsored by each state's university system called the cooperative extension service and other government agencies, to help children and young adults to "to make the best better" and the "Head" "Heart" "Hands" and "Health" are the four leaves to clover logo. The club teaches good  citizenship, leadership, specific skills in areas of children and young adults interest and caring leaders (yes, usually parents) to teach the projects. All are volunteer leaders in these projects. And all in 4-H is not fun, it's the responsibility with the fun to have a journal or project book to record all work, leadership, and goals that are set by the member of 4-H. Yes, it's fun and all my grown kids will tell you that it was wonderful, but the paper work was sometimes intense even for a 5 year old. A pattern of doing the project paperwork helped teach all my children to do better in school, their chosen employment, and how they each raise their own children. 4-H is now in many, many countries and I love 4-H, and I loved being a leader. I have over 35 years in 4-H with my own membership and then with my own children. I do love F.F.A. as well, another great organization.
Each time 4-Her's get together in their general once-a-month meeting, they have to recite their 4-H motto. What does Coke have to do with "Health" in 4-H? I have to say, "Granted, Coke is all over the United States, except Utah, was considered just a treat for kids."  I know that even where my daughter Bree lives if a waitress asked you if you want a soda pop, she asks if you want a Coke. It's after that you decide what kind of soda pop you'd like. I suppose Coke couldn't stand to think that there was on state in the U.S. that wasn't partaking of the "greatest soda-pop" of  America. Coke had to stoop-down miserably and used the great 4-H club to promote their product. No one probably "batted an'eye" in 4-H because Coca Cola is like "apple pie" in America. So is there a 4-H cigarette? If there's one, I might faint.

I pledge
My "head" to clear thinking,
My "heart" to greater loyalty,
My "hands" to larger service, and
My "health" to better living,
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.

What started-out as something fun for my son, ended with me thinking how many things have "taken on" in advertising to have a look of good, to make us think it's okay, or even maybe good for us to take in our bodies. Oh, even fashion. Thinking more...the adversary has gotten a'hold of almost all things and is trying to make wrong to look right and okay for us. The 4-H bottle was old, easy to spot, and immediately a great lesson for me to see. There's black and white, and then there's gray. Sometimes even gray looks so pale that it's very close to white. I'm just going to wear my "righteous" glasses full-time. Sounds good to me, lesson learned. Okay, now I need to "get over it"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frozen Yogurt Recipe--My name is Susan and Yes, I'm Addicted.

Yogurt is my passion. I have been obsessed with regular yogurt since I started milking goats and making my own home-made yogurt. Yes, Steve and I were of those thousands of newlyweds that received a yogurt-maker for a wedding gift. It wasn't used much until we started getting our own milk from the goats. We had to make good use of the milk. Why were we raising goats? It made no sense to feed one cat and two dogs with our precious goat milk. My children are still grossed-out from the time they were eating "Fruity Pebbles" for breakfast and one of the older, teenage ones, happened to look at the expiration date on the plastic gallon of milk. It said something like, Use before: July 4" A couple of them laid themselves out-flat on the kitchen floor and kicked their feet. Another one yelled at me, "I'm never, ever, going to trust YOU again!" Join the club.

Aht! No Fighting

I started a new use goat's milk by making cheese and yogurt. My gallons of milk just disappeared. Cheese was a favorite. I made Monterrey Jack with coriander and onion, with dill, sun-dried tomatoes, or peppers. I also won four blue ribbons at the county fair. But, my greatest creation was my yogurt. I used a friend's recipe and then tweaked it just a'little and then poured it into a bowl to set. I then mixed my apricot preserves in it and reset it all in a quart jar. I won first place and placed over the best goat yogurt-maker in the county. I thought it was a quirk and so I entered again the next year and won again and was even featured in the county newspaper, actually...that was embarrassing. Goat Woman? ummmm, I guess. After all of that, I never needed to put my cheese and yogurt in the county fair again. I knew I hit the "mother-lode" I struck gold! That thought really makes me smile still...because even though I could never sell my cheese or yogurt in California, my children love my cheese. That's gold to me.

I still make yogurt, but I do buy it, even though my goats will be freshening in just a couple of weeks. I'm dieting and full-fat goat milk with the FAT, just isn't kosher with a diet. The best part my big yogurt obsession experience is that I am overwhelmed with my super-deluxe, wiz-bang, magnificent, yogurt-freezing machine.

It took me a couple a'weeks to figure-out the exact recipe that was going to taste and have the same texture of my favorite yogurt shop. My yogurt recipe didn't quite make the "Pink Berry" taste comparison. So, I decided to use their stuff. Well, not "Pink Berry" exactly, because it's not available. I looked. But there are tons of resources to get yogurt powder all over the Internet. Yogurt powder will even make the yogurt more soft-freeze and not icy. A little "guar-gum" powder in each batch will help, too. I think I'm going to try a little of the carrageenan later. Honestly, I don't need to--I love my yogurt, now. Both of these are stabilizers, guar-gum and carrageenan, help to keep the yogurt from having too much of the whey freeze with the ice in it. I've used the other gelatin and it's okay, but just a bit more difficult to make smooth while I'm mixing it in the bowl. Gelatin's probably good for my hair and nails, so I could maybe add just a little bit. Corn starch! Oh, forget it. Regular yogurt with a small amount of corn starch will set it and makes regular yogurt just like Yoplait Custard Style. Now for frozen yogurt, No way. It makes for very, very bland frozen yogurt.

My husband doesn't like the "tart flavor" so I use vanilla, non-fat yogurt and I put chocolate syrup in it for the chocolate taste plus the other ingredients. I do add sprinkles, nuts, or even chopped Oreo cookies as the swirly yogurt or ice cream comes out of the dispenser. Oh, important: If you are using a dispenser-type yogurt maker and adding fruit or preserves that will clog the outlet and also gets hung-up on the turning paddles. Add the goodies have to be added after the swirly comes out.

This is from Tutti Fruitti Yogurt and my yogurt is BETTER!
I mix the nonfat yogurt with a whisk and remember to not use a blender or mixer. Both of these appliances put air in the yogurt and air gives the frozen yogurt a funny texture. Then, if I have the Kefir drink, I mix these together first. I then add the sugar substitute and whisk, and then the jelly and/or syrup are mixed-in. Following the sugars is the yogurt powder and guar-gum this the tricky-part. It should be sprinkled and whisked-in at the same time. Those two ingredients will make small lumps if they aren't blended well with the whisk. I use sugar-shaker cans that look like big salt shakers. Both are labeled because if you use too much guar-gum it will make the yogurt a lot slimy. I can put my left-overs in the freezer and take it out in the morning, put the yogurt in the microwave defrost setting for just a little bit, and it's perfect. My yogurt is just like it came-out of the machine without doing the mixing again. It's freezable.

I should write a review on the Cuisinart ice-cream-maker because the soft-serve product even looks like the shop-made, with the top swirly-look dessert dispenser. This saves so much time and money than going out and buying the expensive yogurt at the local frozen yogurt shop. The mint flavored yogurt with the green color is perfect with added little mint leaf on top, is perfect for a party, dinner guests, or company.

Surprise, Steve got the machine for me on sale for just over $50.00 at Fry's--the extra container retail price is $35.00. Wow.

This recipe works in my old-fashioned crushed ice and salt ice cream maker. But, I've killed so much of my nice lawn with the salt water that leaks out of the maker or I've ruined a whole batch with a little salt getting into my yogurt or ice cream. Okay, the only draw-back with my new one. is freezing the container 24 hours before making-up some yogurt and it does take-up room. I have used it after only 12 hours, but the time to freeze and be ready to eat, just takes a lot longer. I'm thinking I'm going to get another freezer container so I can make two different flavors in one evening. Be sure and have a kid around because the paddle gathers quite a bit of frozen yogurt. Reminds me of licking the beaters on my mother's Kitchen Aid Mixer.

Oh, I'm hooked on frozen yogurt. The happy-side effect, I'm losing weight. How great is that? Yay! "Skinny Me!"
 ***NEW RECIPE!***
  •  2 cups regular yogurt non-sweetened or flavored
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of tart yogurt powder (I bought this pkj. from Alpha Freez)
  • 1 cup of 7-up sugar-free for me, but if you want it really sweet...go for regular and either flat or carbonated.
  • 2 teaspoons of Mio Liquid Water Enhancer. My flavor was Pomegranate Flavor.  (Crystal Light water enhancer is good too, but it seems too strong so maybe experiment with half of a packet, first)
There's lots of different flavors of water enhancers.
I think I've got a lot of tasting to do.

Hard to Take Pictures without Melting A Little

 ***Note: As of May 17, 2011, I've lost 18 pounds. Only one meal of frozen yogurt a day. The best is that my whole digestive system is more healthy. Not one infection and no low blood sugar. The added plus is that my heart medications always made my stomach hurt just a little. Yogurt before the medication saves me.
Oh, it's good. The best yet. I use the cherry/pomegranate, but there's tons of flavors. If you use more than one, it'll be too much. I'm so happy I finally found-out how to make it just like I like and it's perfect.

St. Patrick's and St. Baldrick's Day--Again?

There Goes The Cool Crew-Cut- Steve Center Back
 "Members of the Santa Paula Fire and Police departments learned when they gave their all - at least all on their heads - at Sunday’s St. Baldrick’s Foundation Conquer Kids Cancer Shave Off." The day was changed to Sunday to have more participants, but it's the St. Patrick's Day giving and so many came to support the cause.
Notice The Ugly LABEL "Get Over It" Above The Door
My husband and son were both on duty on Sunday. My boys are Captains and were missing the camaraderie that goes with the "fun" of going bald for a cause. Peggy Kelly, our favorite newspaper writer at the Santa Paula Times Weekly Newspaper, wrote about St. Baldrick's Day Fundraising Event, "Santa Paula Fire Department Capt. Steve Lazenby said although there were firefighters participating at the event in Ventura, others, “about five or six of us that couldn’t go, had our heads shaved anyway” at Station 81. Handling the shears was SPFD Engineer Carlos Arana: “He did not allow his head to be shaved, but he did do us,” an act Lazenby said was to show support for St. Baldrick’s in “solidarity” with firefighters at the event.

The Santa Paula Firefighters Association donated $500, and Firefighter Reserve Arturo Casillas raised “$1,270 by himself, and even he couldn’t go, had other obligations,” but came by the station to have his head shaved. Lazenby said he looks forward to participating again next year: 'It irritates my wife enough that I’ll do it!'" Okay, Yes, I need to get over it. It's taking longer each time he shaves his head for my dear husband's hair to grow back. Or....just a thought, ummm... just came to me. Does he shave it a little more after the event?

My older daughter even did that!  Yes, she's a lot like her dad. She went "Bald For Books" and filled the brand new Monte Vista Library by sacrificing all her hair. "The nut doesn't fall far from the tree!" 
 Tressa raised a lot of money. The Sespe Sun, Fillmore's newspaper really covered the event. They said, "Teacher Tressa Saviers and husband Santa Paula Police LT. M. Saviers are together just before her hair is shaved after the students at Mountain Vista School for raising and exceeding their $8,000 goal which will go for books for the school's library.  At last count the amount raised will top $18,000." And yes, she raised even more when the new housing development kicked-in, also.

And There It Goes!
"Tressa Saviers really gets a hair cut in the quad at the Mountain Vista Elementary School.  As her hair was cut the students cheered her on" Yes, she went bald for a worthy and sweet cause, just like her dad does.
"If I'm bald, you are going there, too."
 This was just after the "Big Shave" and he just wasn't "OVER IT" Soooo, he got the clippers and started in on the Finnsheep. So much for my beautiful and coveted, long fiber stands to spin this year. I need a  new hobby? I guess some felting and I really need to figure this all out. Now where is Martha Stewart? I think I quit watching the show when she offered to "reuse" goat dropping by stringing them and using gold spray paint made enough garland to swag her whole barn.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Popcorn Popping On Our Apricot Trees...Oh Yes They Are!

Oh, today I saw how beautiful everything was at home and couldn't resist a chance to learn more about taking some macro shots that I love. Flowers framed with a slight blur and focused tightly to see wonderful detail must make me want to study each one and separate the colors. All of our sweet little buds are truly announcing spring.

My Children's favorite song from church is "Popcorn Popping On the Apricot Tree"
and my favorite song to teach while I was Primary Chorister for over 25 years.

I looked out the window, and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise,
Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat,
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn’t really so, but it seemed to be
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Improvise actions as suggested by the words.
Words: Georgia W. Bello, b. 1924. © 1957 IRI
Music: Georgia W. Bello, b. 1924; arr. by Betty Lou Cooney, b. 1924. © 1957, 1989 IRI

Do you see a Dove in this picture?
I am so happy to be able to have captured these photos. I had some time and they aren't perfect. I'm still learning, but I am so glad I did take the pictures to remind us all of our beautiful springs that we have here in Santa Paula. We have some mighty brown and gray summers and with the extra rain and snow this year it's going to be, okay...I'm going to say it, "Epic" That word is becoming somewhat similar to "awesome" too bad, because both have lost a lot by the overuse.

Our lemon tree are packed with blossoms and they smell wonderful and really look like we have decorated them, it is nature and so incredible.

Our Salt Pines are blossoming with a lavender flower that's lacy and delicate.

 This makes our old bunk house (aka tack room) look like a beautiful garden ornament.


Our pink peach tree blossoms and our lovely Satsuma Plum, white and fragrant.

I just took more pictures and then Steve also found and took photographs of our flowers blooming everywhere. My family, "Guess where each of these blossoms are making our ranch a lovely garden without any of our help this year?"

Our first rose of spring, Iceberg

There is a kitty in this picture working "lawn duty" for gophers.
Steve was so happy to be outside in the yard that he has begun to experiment with his hydroponic designs that he has been thinking about for years. Our problems with bunnies and squirrels have always been hard to overcome with our garden efforts and of course even the goats and sheep. Where do loose animals run? Yes, our most tender and tasty garden plants. Roses call to my goats and the strawberries are even more tempting, even to the horses. I think he had fun and genuinely had the satisfaction of a great job done. That's just how I feel looking at a dozen sparkling, tall, canning jars of "Christmas red" tomatoes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coveting an Oscar

Me, Center Right With My Swim Group-Pool Hall Girls
This party was completely out-of-character for me. The Oscars on television, was on Sunday night. I attended an Oscar Party. I was invited by my close friends that I swim with three times a week for two hours a session. We talk a lot, we laugh a lot, and we plan stuff to be together on our days that we don't exercise. The one that hosted the Oscar Party, really does look like a movie star. She came to Kiely's wedding reception and so many people asked me if she was on television or in the movies. Yes, she is glamorous and exactly the same age that I am. My other friend, Janey from Arkansas helped her, she's cute and has a darling and crazy-fun personality.  They bought so much to make it a really fun theme party.  It was the Sabbath and my whole family had the feeling that I really shouldn't go. I wasn't missing a Fireside or any Church activity. My whole rationalization about going was that I really want to be her friend. She is a member of the Church, but the Church has lost track of her after she was baptized and moved from Utah to Texas when she was young. She's proud of her Scandinavian heritage and we "talk church" all the time. Was going to her party change the way she felt about my devotion to keeping Sunday a day of rest? I pray for her to go back to Church

I wrestled with the rationalizations that I why I needed to go. I would be the only one that wasn't going to drink alcohol at all. I brought my own soda pop. I needed to be a designated driver for three of my friends that live in Santa Paula.

Steve was working at his "fire-duty" and I had to stop and show him my outfit. We were going to vote for the person that showed-up with the fanciest clothes and we would vote and the winner would get "an Oscar"  Fancy clothes are not me, but I was for sure going to "dress-up" and dressing weird is completely me.

What a surprise when I entered my friend's house and saw the biggest TV I had ever seen in my whole life. We walked the red carpet into her house and I'm glad now, I didn't wear the spurs that I had laid-out. I think I would've damaged her staircase. So...ya' wanna' know how I dressed? I went all-out and even brought my cowboy band-aids in my saddle-blanket purse and also my peppermint mints that are called "Bite The Bullet." I did show everyone I even brought bullets, but they were candy.
 Have you guessed yet? Yes, I completely dressed like a cross between Rooster Cogburn and Mattie.

Yes, the stars of the nominated movie, True Grit. I even had an eye-patch and oddly enough it was made and brought-out with my daughter and her family when they where traveling to California from Fort Smith, Arkansas. There were having a pirate adventure. How could I not use the eye-patch and it was fancy-do. My daughter, Bree, made it from gold/green brocade fabric. It was a baroque accessory that really made my costume and was very formal. I did straighten-out my cowboy hat so it was flat, like, Lil' Sister, Mattie's hat.  I wore a gold or light-brown denim Levi jacket and Levi skirt and of course a cowgirl shirt with rhinestones. I had on my best Ararit cowboy boots but forgot my big gloves, darn it. My most favorite accoutrement was the turquoise and stone inlaid Bolo-tie that center was 4 inch, big buffalo. My earrings matched with Indian Head gold nickels that on one side had a cutout Native American and the other with a Buffalo. The earring dangled with gold feathers and really gave my whole outfit "the Annie Oakley look". I didn't win the Oscar. Does one get it for acting like themselves? That's not acting, but it was so fun.
I did see the True Grit movie, but all the rest were all cartoon movies. I couldn't even comment on any of the movies or even the actors or actresses in the movies. We all missed the real red-carpet interviews, so we were spared the fashion show. I thought the Oscar show would be different. It was low-key and pretty. Pretty? The stage was really wonderful and couldn't have been more richer or intricate. The topics about the movies DID come-up, but all of us talked about what our husbands were doing while we are all at the party, how we raised our children, and then to fancy furniture. The home was full of antiques that all were previously owned by her ancestors and they all were beautiful heirlooms.
 My friends that swim with me go to the movies often. I love to see movies with them because it's a chance to go to see a "Chick-flick" that my husband hates watching. Steve won't even go to see any of the Twilight Saga movies with me. But, many times I'm asked to go with all my friends to the movies, I can't go see them. I always look at the ratings. It seemed almost all the movies that were nominated, had a rating that I didn't want to upset me and put images or language in my head. It seems every time I declined, I would be faced with the argument that the movie was okay, it didn't have anything that would upset me. I heard the argument of adult themes, whatever they are... or mild violence, background scenes, or just even mild language. Do I want any of even that?

 Always, always, it's more and I'm so glad that I declined each time I didn't go with them. And I'm grateful I didn't make an excuse. Well, I did, but I didn't once lie. I didn't say I was busy, sick, or had something else planned. I just plain flat-out said that I couldn't go because I felt that I would be seeing something that didn't adhere to my firm stance on "Standing For Something" that's a famous quote by President Gordon B. Hinkley. I made sure that all knew that I couldn't compromise my standards and ideals. I couldn't break the pledge to refrain from movies with objectionable content. I say the 13th Article of Faith, everyday to give me strength and help me to remember. The 13th Article of Faith reminds me of a lot of ideals I want to develop in my life.
I suppose the movie rating are why Steve and I always see cartoons. Rarely do we ever watch a movie and I'm so tired of them. I did watch the movie Secretariat with my mother recently while she slept. She rented the movie and I was so moved by it. It had horses and celebrated one of the most fantastic horses in history. It was like I was reading an acclaimed and great book and was so exciting.  No way I could sleep, this was a really entertaining movie.

Now, each time any of the movies were presented or a clip was shown, at the Oscar night awards. I heard from my friends, "Oh, Susan, I'm glad you didn't see that movie" "We all had to hide our eyes!" "I'm so glad I didn't see those movies and they also said, "I'm glad we didn't talk you into going!"

I'm so blessed to have guidelines and  ratings from the movie industry and saves me having to make the decision of walking-out and wasting money on movies that are not of any merit, value, or entertaining. I just want to see and experience "purely" enjoyable movies that I can leave with friends or family and feel like we've shared a pleasant distraction.

My friends remember now for me, if any movie is acceptable to see and now choose movies so I can go. I even heard from them that they all hate it when they see a movie, and even a couple of scenes, in a "could-be-good" movie make them feel creepy.

I'm not at all thinking I'm better or have better judgment than anyone else. My straight forward message was not from me, it is from the counsel that I've received from attending church and adhering to the principles of virtue. It has changed all of us for good.

It made me laugh when my friends, that have seen so many movies, were rooting for True
Grit to win at least, something. They wanted it for me, the only movie that I saw that was nominated. Oh, except a couple of the cartoon movies. I want to say that True Grit for me was a must see, because I really loved the first one. I loved John Wayne and the movie was filmed in Ridgway, Colorado.
 My ancestors homesteaded there and so many of my family was raised right there where the movie was shot. Of course, not anything like Fort Smith, Arkansas. Now, I have family in Arkansas and know the places that were mentioned in the movie. I had this idea that it was a fictional, but an historical account of the real cowboy days of the mid-west. Yes, it had troubling scenes, but it was the "West".

My friends had another movie picked just for me. It's going to be the new Jane Eyre with Christian values and I would be able to go. I couldn't go because of my commitment to help with my mother's recovery, but so happy because they really are going, and hopefully be happy that they chose a real classic and have no regrets. My friends will say to me. You have to go see it, it was great.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

While We Were Sleeping-Japan Cries. Are We Prepared?

I heard the familiar Earthquake Detector App on my Android Phone next to my head Thursday night. The Earthquake Detector gives me a familiar buzz and  I hear it constantly, but I look at it often because of a swarm of earthquakes in Arkansas. Arkansas is beautiful, the French/Sioux word for "downstream" home of Mockingbirds, Apple Blossoms, and Dogwoods. My Bree, my daughter and family, thought when they were moving to Arkansas, the earthquakes we a "thing-of-the-past" and the only worry was going to be the tornadoes and with most residents they are of little worry. Please don't encourage Bree to be complacent with the "crazy weather" warnings. But, the earthquakes worry were gone. But, now it's different.
The Old Mill near my daughter's home in Arkansas
Something changed in Arkansas, right near where Bree lives there have been more than 700 quakes in only six months. So, I monitor the quakes. I suppose I couldn't do anything, but I still look.

The buzz on Thursday night had awakened me again and I turned on my phone and put my glasses on to focus on what Arkansas was doing again. I had been noticing that off the coast of Honshu, Japan there had been a lot of quakes, just as Hawaii has been having near Kona. I have noticed that quakes lots of the time,  come in swarms. The first earthquake is not necessarily the strongest. I saw that it was, somewhere off the coast of Honshu. I thought, "No, not 8+" I went to sleep thinking that my Earthquake Detector App was wrong.
The next morning we were off to get our day going and Steve and I had a day off together. I was almost alone at my exercise class and there wasn't much said about the quake, but we did talk about strange tsunamis. Steve and I went for yogurt and then later out to eat just a bite, for an early dinner at Wood Ranch and then out to a friend's house in Wheeler Canyon. She is Japanese, we talked of the Huntington Gardens in San Marino and that the beautiful Formosan Cherry Blossoms in the Japanese Grotto that are now blooming. I had looked at the Huntington's events, as the Japanese Taiko Drummers were going to have a performance and the Bonsai Show was due at the end of the month.

 Steve took so many pictures of my friend and I looking at all of her glorious gardens

Yes, Steve did get some information on an expected Tsunami in the Ventura Harbor.
Water and Sand were pulled-out of the harbor during the Tsunami
 My Steve took the information in without saying much about it. And me? I still thought it wasn't as strong as originally listed on my phone, farther out in the ocean and maybe very deep, or the information could have been an early take on the size and the magnitude would change. I had no idea that the change would be more intense than even what I had seen on the phone app.

 My friend's garden pictures are posted here, my prayers, love, and thoughts are with all to the people of Japan and those there to help in the relief effort.

I find that I have an abundance of gratitude for our blessings and we are saying our prayers for the victims and those that are in such terrible sorrow. Prayers sent for so many. Oh... Sendai, Japan, I hope and pray for your dear ones and your beautiful town is restored.
I find that my reflection this evening is for our family to be even more diligent and to be prepared for all kinds of crisis' and disasters. My more prepared is going to be going to more of Steve's emergency events and for me to practice of what he preaches. I want to have more emergency supplies and really we do have a lot, more is better. because as Christians we need to have enough for all of those that need us and our supplies. I will never forget the older man who came to our Emergency Event and said to me at my emergency display booth while looking over all of our supplies. He asked, "Where is your PDW?" And I thought.. "Oh, acronym for my 'Personal Digital Assistant' (A Palm) Why did he need to see my phone?" When he said, "Where's your gun?" I showed him my Scriptures and he said that won't save you. I think I may have giggled out-loud.
 Interestingly, my husband's CERT class attendance rose to an unbelievable size. He expected about fifteen persons and now is teaching in one class about fifty. Many said it was the recent quake and other following great problems that spurred them to join. Steve loves lots to come to class. He doesn't receive more money or commission on the numbers of people, but it helps to teach teamwork and wonderful teaching moments with the drills. Sometime I think he is a modern-day Noah.
Santa Paula to the Sea