Monday, November 30, 2009

On this last day of November

I want to give thanks to my blog friends for all their support and prayers over the past year.  Your words of encouragement have meant so much.  God has used you in my life for good.  Thank you!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Walk in the Park

Today I enjoyed spending time with my youngest son, Brandon.  We went to a park in Irvine that has a lake.

We walked down long winding walking paths.

Till we were down by the lake.

It was a beautiful autumn day.  The air was nippy with a light wind.  Rain clouds passed by overhead.

We sat on a bench and talked, enjoying our time together and the lake.

Ducks floated by on the water.

After our time enjoying the park we walked over to a small French cafe for some hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant.

On the way home I stopped to take a picture of some autumn trees near our home and collect some colorful fallen leaves.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hiking with my Son

Today I spent some time alone with my oldest son.  The teen years are challenging and a good way to get through is to spend time together.  I decided to take him hiking.

It was good to get out in nature and enjoy the scenery.  We had some issues to work out and thankfully the Lord blessed our time.

Being a mom is a tough job, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a parent to my sons.  After our hike and a soul searching discussion, we enjoyed a grand lunch at Nordstrom Cafe.  The cafe is never very crowded, has delicious food and wonderful view of the hills.  We had a lovely time together and came back home refreshed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Finley archives
Thanksgiving Day 2003
Wishing everyone a blessed day!

Moving On

I am sitting at my computer in my Little Blue Cottage knowing that I only have two more months to live here.  Yes, our counter offer was accepted and signed Tuesday morning.  In the afternoon, Mark had the pleasure of meeting the sweet family that is buying our house.  They are a young couple with a little boy.  The husband is a veteran.  Mark said that they are very happy with the house and that they stayed visiting for quite some time.  While they were visiting I was having lunch with a girlfriend.  She and I met when I moved into the Little Blue Cottage 18 years ago.  She was my neighbor across the street.  We used to watch each others homes and pets while we were away on trips.  I sometimes babysat her girls and her girls babysat my boys.  As I remember all my many years of blessing here at the cottage, I pray that the new little family will be blessed as we have been.

My PT appointment went very well.  She hit all the major spots today.  We are getting closer to what may be going on in there.  She has discovered that I have some scar tissue around my diaphragm on the right that is causing the pulling or pressure I feel on that side of my ribcage.  She did some deep tissue massage there and it hurt like mad.  Then she did some lifting of the tissue and I realized that I could breath more freely.  I do not like to think about the mess inside my body, I just try to focus on the Lord.  My PT is not sure about the left side yet, but is confident that there are some things adhesed together.  She is going to try and break this tissue up so as to free up organs to function better.

In the evening I joined my men at a scouting event.  They were all so happy I came.  We went bowling!  It was a great way to end our day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More Wow!

Tonight as I sit and type this post, I can hear my wind chime ringing.  The Santa Ana Winds are kicking up again.  It certainly has been very dry here in Southern California.

Well, we had two buyers look at our house today, one in the morning and one in the evening.  In the afternoon our agent came by and informed us that we had another offer.  This one was also over our asking price.  I am overwhelmed by the Lord's kindness to us!  Today Mark and I countered one of the offers.  I am nervous.  Once we settle the offer, there will be a home inspection to get through and the appraisal. It is nerve racking because each little piece feels like a domino and if any piece wavers, it could fall and knock all the other dominos down with it.  The Lord knows and all is in HIS control.

I have been in pain since last week.  The past few days I have been in a lot of discomfort.  Tomorrow I am seeing my PT so I will let her know.  Also, I got a call from my GP.  She let me know that my bone scan results came back.  I still have osteopenia.  Having a complete hysterectomy at age 37 and not taking estrogen replacement does that.  The good news is that osteopenia does not always lead to osteoporosis.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Yes, that is about all we could say to the offers we received.  Both buyers like the house so much that they are offering $10,000 to $20,000 above our asking price!  Both Mark and I never expected anything like this.  And our house has only been listed 3 days!  We are taking time to think the offers over.  There is still a lot that has to be gone through yet, the biggest one is the appraisal of the house. Thank you everyone for your prayers!

The other thing that has my head spinning is with these two offers, we are looking at moving sooner than I expected.  We could possibly be looking at the month of January 2010.  The Lord knows and has it all under HIS control of course.  I leave it all to Him.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Family Day Trip Plus

Today we decided to take our annual trip up to Oak Glen to enjoy a day in the country.  At first our teenage boys were not so keen on the idea, but once they got up there they enjoyed themselves tremendously.  It was good to get away from all the stress that we have been feeling at home and enjoy ourselves out in nature and eat some delicious food.

Here are all my men in their cool shades.

The shades of autumn were gorgeous.

Once home it was back to stressville.  Later in the evening we got a call from our realtor who told us we have two offers on the house that are worth considering.  We had one earlier in the week that did not work.  So that makes three offers in one week!  We will be meeting with our realtor tomorrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A November Walk in the Park

Today was a busy day.  After Mark and the boys went off to school and work, I got myself ready for my day.  First on my agenda was making the house tidy in case realtors decided to drop by.  Then I went off to the lab to get my blood panel done.  Today was not a good day for that.  I got stuck 4 times before they got enough blood out of me.  After that I grabbed a bite to eat at Starbucks and went over to Mark's office.  We chatted for a bit and then I was off to my physcial therapy appointment.  After that I jumped in the car and went to pick the boys up from school.  They only had a half day today.  On half days I also pick up their friend and let him stay at my house till his mom gets off work.  When we got home we noticed two realtors had stopped by and after a few hours of being home we got a call that a 3rd realtor was coming.  It was time for the boys' friend to go home so I dropped him off along with Brandon who had been invited to stay and hang out.  Since it was just Eric and me, I decided to go to the park.  I brought my camera along and took pictures.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chit Chat and More Thanks

The past few days have been busy and on top of that, I did not feel like posting.  Probably because I have been a little bit sick with a cold.  Tuesday I got my bone scan done and was so glad to get that checked off my list.  All that is left is a blood test and mammogram.  I meant to do the blood test twice this week, but keep forgetting.  By the time I remember I have already eaten breakfast.  The blood has to be done first thing in the morning before eating breakfast.  I will try again tomorrow.

Wednesday was Mark's birthday and I was busy all day trying to make it special for him.  Today I cleaned the house real good for a meeting with our realtor (more about that below).  Then tonight was 1st quarter report card night at the high school.  We picked up report cards for both our boys and then got to speak with some of their teachers.  Brandon is doing well at school and we are proud of him.  Eric is doing well in certain classes, but in two of his classes he is not doing well at all.  It does not have anything to do with capabilities, Eric tends to be on the gifted side.  The problem is that he is not motivated and there seems to be nothing to motivate him.  It is a very hard spot for a parent to be in with their child.

Today I met with our realtor.  He said that the couple that came through last Friday really liked our house.  They liked it so much that they wanted to make an offer, however it was a low offer.  So we decided to list the house and see what happens.  God will get us to Colorado, just that sometimes I would like to know how it is all going to work out.

I still feel very sad about my losing my bunny rabbit.  This past Tuesday marked one week since she passed. Even now just writing about it brings tears to my eyes.  I feel I did not get enough time with her.  Her death was so sudden.  Then tonight I read at Tickleberry Farm this quote...

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than houses. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who nevertheless, set aside a day of Thanksgiving."  H.U. Westermayer

This made me realize that instead of asking "why", I should be thanking God for the time I had with the bunny.  So,  I have begun to whisper, "Lord, thank you for the time I had with Bun."  Hopefully it will be the ointment to heal my broken heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving in Action

When the boys come home from camping with the scouts, they usually bring home leftover food items.  Such as a jug of milk, 10 lb. bag of potatoes, a jar of peanut butter, chorizo, etc.  Oh, and last week, Mark brought home a bag of delicious tangerines from a friend at work.  This got me thinking about my blog friend Outdoor Mom who writes about free food she gets at her house.  Really it is a blessing from the Lord, a tangible way to see that He is indeed providing for us.  It is a cause for thanksgiving.

Now not everything that we get is "organic", but recently I read in 1 Timothy 4:4-5 "For everything God made is good, and we may eat it gladly if we are thankful for it, and if we ask God to bless it, for it is made good by the Word of God and prayer."  So this verse convinced me that everything I eat need not be entirely organic.  If God brings it may way and I am thankful for it and ask His blessing on the food, it is good to eat.

So I took the potatoes and milk the Lord provided and started making a pot of potato soup.

Then I used the peanut butter and made up a batch of peanut butter cookies, which I gave the boys as a snack when I picked them up from school.

We prayed over our meal and we are most certainly thankful for the Lord's blessing.  Hmm, next I will have to come up with a way to enjoy that chorizo.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Wonderful Surprise

This afternoon I decided to visit my favorite antique shop called Country Roads.  Amazingly I brought my camera along.  Originally I was going to go on a hike, but with the Santa Ana winds blowing I decided against it.  Going to Country Roads makes me remember my blog friend Candy who visited Country Roads last year on a holiday with her family.  Anyway, when I arrived the parking lot was full.  Hm, I wondered what was going on.  I had to go around the corner and park in front of Lemon St. Flats.

These quaint little apartments look like a picture from Europe.  I walked over to Country Roads and it seemed busier than normal for a Sunday afternoon.  Then I noticed this sign once I stepped in the entrance.

I stood in front of the sign and noticing the time I thought Rachel had surely come and gone.  But I was wrong.  As I walked through the store I finally came to the place where Rachel was signing her books.  I saw her very clearly.  There was a counter blocking the usual opening, I was not very far from her.  There was a huge mirror in back of her and I could see my reflection.  I went around to the door where you could line up to buy a book and have it signed.  I was much too shy to go up, plus I really do not have the money to spend on her book right now.  So I settled for these pictures.

I also took time to enjoy the store as well.



 After enjoying my afternoon I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items and then came home to my kitty who was sitting on the couch waiting for me.  I call Princess my Shabby Chic kitty.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Lord Knows

Okay, the Lord knows me.  He knows me better than I know myself!  Why do I doubt?  It seems so silly to doubt the Lord, but that is what my flesh does.

This morning I woke up feeling exhausted even after a good night's rest.  The events of the week really have taken a toll on me.  The Lord knew and He planned a fantastic day of rest for me.  It was a beautiful crisp fall day today. The chill in the air made me want to take a nice warm bubble bath in the morning.  Later I had a chat with my best girlfriend.  In the afternoon I drove over to a shopping center that is in between two small lakes.  As I wandered through the outdoor mall I came to an opening where I could see colorful fall leaves against a blue sky and the lake beyond.  I did not have my camera so a missed photo op there. 

I have been asking the Lord to speak to me.  He has, but when I wandered into a bookstore I received confirmation.  I found a book by Anne Graham Lotz titled "Why?"  I could see that the Lord has a sense of humor.  Practically all I have been saying to Him is "why" and so He sends me a book with that title.  Another thought that the Lord has placed in my head is thoughts of Joseph.  First he was thrown into a pit by his brothers.  I really started to think about that last night.  Joseph kept calling to his brothers from that pit and they had no mercy.  How would I feel?  Unloved, that is how I would feel.  Can you imagine how he felt when they sold him as a slave?

I think of Joseph among strangers in a strange land.  He never let go of the Lord, even in adversity.  And then the dream God gave him finally came true.  And when that dream came true, God made it even better with the reconciliation with his family.  But it all happened in God's timing.  The trials and tribulations that Joseph endured made his connection to the Lord stronger.  Yes, I want to be like Joseph.  And while in the bookstore reading various books I even came across this message about Joseph confirming what the Lord had already laid on my heart.

After purchasing some books, I stopped at a French bakery to oogle at the goodies.  I left, put the books in my car and then noticed a bridge that led to a park.  The sun was setting as I crossed the bridge that a small stream meandered under.  Paths wound through the green grass of the park and beyond was the other small lake.  As I walked through the park, a chilly wind blew and I zipped up my sweather and brought the collar close to my neck.  I viewed the expanse of green grass and whispered to myself that Bun would like this park.  As I kept walking it seemed I was walking into the setting sun.  Another bridge lie ahead and as I went across it, the tops of the golden trees peeking over the bridge made me feel close to heaven.

On the way home I stopped at Panera Bread and bought myself a cheese danish.  I do not know why, but it seems like a good thing to have with a warm cup of tea on a chilly fall day.  Once home my kitties greeted me; I thank God for His ever present love and care.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Our First Showing

Tonight we were blessed with our first showing of the house.  We were not sure that the showing was going to happen at first because the clients were late.  Mark and the boys left for camp so I was here alone to let everyone in.  Our house is not listed yet so no one has access to the key.  They did not take long and now I am here alone with two kitties.

The couple (very nice) stepped in and the wife sighed like she liked it.  Yes!  I was glad Mark took the day off as promised, we got so much accomplished.  When we were done in the afternoon, I sat down in the recliner and fell asleep.  I haven't been sleeping much at night because of grieving so naps are needed.

I did not make any plans for myself since I have been so busy working on the house and just trying to keep up with daily life.  I know that the Lord arranged this time for me.  There was no getting out of it.  I tried to get someone to stay home with me, but was unsuccessful.  Also, I invited a friend to lunch, but she was busy.  I have not been looking forward to time alone because of grief.  Yes, I have grief over what happened with my sweet Bun, but mixed in is grief over what is happening to us.  Selling our home, leaving family & friends and the state I have lived in all my life.  These are not easy things to do.  I am thankful that my husband did not get laid off, but at the same time I wonder why.  Why is this happening to us?  Then that annoying saying chimes in "Why not you?" Grr.  Or, "There are others who have it much worse."  These thoughts are to drive me to thanksgiving; why isn't it working?  I eek out maybe a little thanksgiving, but it isn't much.  I guess I am the stubborn rebellious type. sigh  Mark told me that he has been praying and he feels that we are really going to like it in Colorado.  And bratty me responded "Well, it better be super cool because I feel I am giving up a lot."  Awful aren't I?

I know that I have surrendering to do.  That song "I Surrender All" starts playing in my head.  All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.  I think I am going to be spending my weekend working on that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cottage November

This was Thursday's evening sky.

Autumn flowers around the cottage.

Today was a busy day.  I was up early and left the house by 7 a.m.  My PT appointment went well. Afterward I did some grocery shopping.  I almost started crying because I always buy veggies for Bun, but she isn't here anymore.  Thankfully, while I was shopping Mark called me to ask how my PT appointment went.  That helped me not cry in the store.

I went home and put the groceries away and then I was off to my doctor appointment.  I need to get a blood work, a mammogram & a bone scan done.  I will have to set that up next week.  Then I met Mark for lunch.  We go to a little French cafe.  The manager knows us because we have been going there for years now.  Today he wasn't there when we first arrived, but when he came back from a delivery he came over to our table and said "Hello, friends!"  He is so very sweet.

After lunch I did a bit of shopping, but I just felt too sad to enjoy it.  After that I went to pick up the boys from school.  Once Mark got home from work we all started working on the house.  We moved some furniture around in the boys room and the guest room.  We also moved more things out of the house and into the garage.  It gave all of us a sad feeling.  Friday Mark is taking a day off from work to help me finish cleaning up the house.  Thank God!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You and Staging Pictures

 Thank you to those who posted regarding my sweet Bun.  Your sympathies mean so much!!  Losing her makes everything seem unbearable right now.  She was so very sweet and loving.  Whenever I came in the backyard she would come running to me and circle my feet.  She was always so happy to see me and of course I her.  She would always shower me with kisses.  Having to let go of that is very hard. Thankfully, the boys being home and us working hard to get our house ready for showing was a great distraction.  Except in the late afternoon, when I visited Bun's hutch, it hurt really bad.  I just cannot do anything with her hutch right now.

I am posting some pictures of the house.  There is so much to do yet, but we are making progress. Tomorrow I will not be able to work on the house because I have to be at a physical therapy appointment at 7:45 a.m.  I may be able to stop at home for a few hours, but will have to leave again for another doctor appointment.  Planning on having lunch with Mark after that, then run over and pick the boys up from school.  We all will have to be working on the house in the evening and the guys will need to be packing their gear for camp too.  At least I have Friday to put the finishing touches on everything before our realtor comes.

This is a new chair I bought at World Market a week ago.  I got it $10 off the sale price because I bought the floor model, the last one they had.

Here is my dining room with a new rug.  After the picture I changed the plates on the wall to my Friendly Village ones.  It just makes it look a little more autumnish.

Here is the powder room with the new white baseboard and no wallpaper border.  It looks so fresh and clean.

 Just little touches here and there have been made which I hope will help.  Put up the soap dish on the wall all by myself.  A new switch plate helps make things look clean.


Here is the master bedroom all freshly painted and staged.  We haven't put anything on the walls, I .  With the new paint job and a little less furniture this room feel very spacious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I do not have a better title for this post.  This morning I got up and started working on getting projects completed around the house.  The cats wanted to go out in the backyard so I went into the yard with them.  While out there I checked on dear sweet Bun (our rabbit).  I noticed she was not feeling well, so I took her out of her cage and petted her for awhile.  Then I put her back in her cage.  I went to go do something and came back to check on her and she was flopped on her side and convulsing.  Afterward she was limp.  She had this look in her eye that I will never forget.  I knew she was dying and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I rushed her to our vet, but she died there, her heart stopped.  I feel like this is the straw that has broken me.  You can scroll down the page and see her picture on the sidebar.

In the evening Mark came home from work and told us that someone wants to see our house.  They are coming on Friday at 5 p.m.  I will be here alone because my men will be going camping.  Our agent said that it is one of our neighbors that wants to see the house, they are looking for a home for their parents.  Our house is not even listed yet, so it is nice that someone is already interested.

The painting in the powder room is done.  The bedroom is almost done (we still need to paint inside the closet).  We are starting to move things back in the bedroom.  The boys have Wednesday off from school so we will continue to work on the house.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Today the Lord blessed me with the company of a very sweet Christian lady.  I met her through homeschooling.  Last year her doctor discovered cancer cells in her uterus and she had them frozen.  She was doing well, but then during the summer this year she had a complete hysterectomy because the cancer came back.  We enjoyed much conversation over lunch.  When it was time to go we hugged and she said that she had fun.  I am so glad she did.  As I walked away I found myself wishing I could be more like her.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Everyday, I try to do a little bit of work on the house.  As I was painting in the powder room Saturday morning, I noticed someone out front looking at our for sale sign.  After that person went on by, the boys said they saw another person looking at our house. I am glad that people are interested.

The work is going slow. Mark does not have a good attitude about doing the work. He did some painting Saturday morning also, we broke for lunch and afterward I took a short nap.  In the afternoon I did more painting while Mark watched football.  I went to check on his job, it needed a 2nd coat to look right. He flat out said he wasn't going to do it.  So rather than get angry, I picked up a paint brush and started painting while he and the boys went to the archery range.  By the time they got back I had the 2nd coat finished and then some.  After all that I made dinner and did some laundry.  Thankfully, Mark helped me with dinner.  While working in the kitchen together he said that he thought about me while at the archery range and knows that he is very blessed.

The other day I was thinking how the Lord directed us to put the boys in public school.  Now I know why.  There is no way that I could be home schooling the boys right now with all that is going on and is going to go on. Plus having them in public school has made it easier for me to schedule my PT appointments.  As for the boys, some aspects of public school have been good for them.  Like PE, they are both loving all the sports.  Then other aspects not so good, such as the morality stuff.  Right now my oldest son is more intent on having a girlfriend than studying.  For awhile he was hooked up with a gal and they were talking on the phone for hours.  Then all the sudden they split up and he reconnected with his girlfriend from elementary school.  So now she calls our house several times a day. Mark and I have counseled Eric, but being a headstrong individual, our counsel is met with rolling eyes. His reasoning is that if other kids can be in relationships why can't he? At least our son is obedient in that he does not go off behind our backs.  Praise God!

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Beauty

This the evening sky I enjoyed on Thursday.

Autumn leaves on our birch.

My yellow rose in full bloom.

Some times when I dwell on my upcoming future I can barely tolerate the tumultuous emotions welling up inside me.  My face is lightly touched with dew as fear of separation consumes my soul.  Yet in this storm my Lord speaks kindly to me, reminding me that He will take care of me.  This morning I was given a verse to hold to my heart.  Luke 22:41-42:  He walked away, perhaps a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed this prayer:  "Father, if you are willing, please take away this cup of horror from me.  But, I want your will not mine."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Power of Thanksgiving

Its November, and naturally my thoughts rest on the holiday of Thanksgiving that takes place this month.  I have noticed that the holiday of Thanksgiving does not get much attention.  Where I live, retailers start putting out the Christmas gear just before Halloween arrives.  Sort makes me wonder about Christmas.  With this in mind, spiritually speaking, there must be something really powerful about Thanksgiving.

This morning I went to my PT appointment.  My PT was running late so I got to sit in the waiting room a half hour before being called back.  I did not mind because I felt hugely stressed and I needed time to unwind a bit.  I picked up a magazine and began to comb through the pages. I landed on a great article which I felt was just for me.  The article talked about many of things that I am dealing with in my life right now.  It was encouraging me to let go and not worry.  They also talked about a study that was done with people that were depressed.  The patients had to log into a website and list 3 things that they were thankful for each day.  They said after weeks of doing this many of the patients were no longer depressed. 

In Psalm 92:1-2, it says "IT IS GOOD to say, "Thank you" to the Lord, to sing praises to the God who is above all gods.  Every morning tell him "Thank you for your kindness," and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness."

Today at my PT appointment part of my job was to lie down and relax as some soothing music played. All the sudden I found tears streaming down my face.  Bottled up emotions rose to the surface and were released.  Afterward, I was given a prescription, not of drugs, but of how to spend my time.  I need to spend 20 minutes everyday, completely relaxing.  To me this means I need to spend 20 minutes of each day with the Lord, just sitting at His feet.  I need to think on His blessings and rejoice in His faithfulness.  What a perfect month to begin my voyage into the power of thanksgiving.

Two of my blogger friends have spoken about being thankful on their sites.  Check out Rachel who is going to try and write one thing she is thankful for everyday.  And my friend Outdoor Mom  who talks about the power and importance of having an attitude of thanksgiving.

Oh, by the way, its official, the Little Blue Cottage is up for sale.  The boys and I came home after picking them up from school to see this...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Looking for Beauty

Today I looked for beauty, this is what I found.
Our birch tree at dusk.

The table and glass birds belonged to my Grandmother.
The milky glass vase belonged to my mother.

With the house all tore up from painting, this is my little bit of heaven. A Gold Glow rose next to my bed.

This is a beautiful sight! Kilz all done and one coat of light blue paint on the walls in the powder room.