Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year2006!

Happy New Year to everyone!
We went to two parties, one at Bob and Susan Engels' and then a later party at Nic and Kathryn Nelson's. Even so, we were home by 11:15. I talked with Andrea who is in Kansas when she called to wish me Happy New Year. And now we are waiting for the last minutes before January 1st, 2006.
Here's hoping our neighbors don't shoot off anything but fireworks...

Friday, December 30, 2005


This is an interesting essay. Flylady is not just for homemakers and women.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

This one's for Deb

Christmas has come and gone. All that stressing about everything and now no one is even talking about Christmas except, "What did you get?"
I got a gift certificate for Pier I from Mike. So I went last night and bought something and THEN realized I didn't have the cert with me.
I got a cd from Jeff and Deb which I've already listened to.
I got a gift card for Border's from Dan. I'm trying to decide what book I want to buy.
I got a potato masher from John. Now, before everyone asks why such a mundane gift from a spouse, let me state that I asked for it. I am tired of having just barely workable accessories and appliances in the kitchen and have started asking for "the world's best" so I will have quality items that won't break after a year. John is also going to let me choose my own Britta water filter so we can have tastier water.
The Feelys gave us a Taste of Tulare box with lots of yummies including very good Maverick's coffee which we enjoyed this morning. Feelys Sr gave us See's candy which is always a happy choice.
All in all, I was very pleased.

On another note, I have spent two days with Dan at his apartment helping him sort through his belongings to toss, give away, store and pack as he gets ready to go on active duty. Actually, I really don't mind doing the cleaning up and sorting and I am treasuring this time spent with my first born son, knowing that this time could be the last for a long time as he goes off and begins his career as an Army chaplain.

Friday, December 09, 2005

another survey

I got this one from Dan, too. I enjoyed reading his answers and it brought back my memories of the early years.

20 years ago I was: pregnant with Mary, living in Wheaton, IL and shivering with cold. My parents were visiting us for Christmas.

15 years ago I was: settling into life in the US, in Portland, getting ready for our first Christmas in the US in four years, wondering how God was going to provide work for John.

10 years ago I was: living in Hillsboro, OR, getting ready for Deb (from Biola) and Dan (from Army active duty) to come home for Christmas break.

5 years ago I was: still living in Hillsboro planning Christmas and waiting for Deb (from Talbot) and Mike (from Harvey Mudd) to come home.

1 year ago I was: working in homework club at Watts.

Yesterday I was: mad because someone forgot to tell me a meeting was canceled and I hung around for more than an hour waiting for the meeting; hosting the small group dinner and Bible study.

5 snacks I enjoy: Americanos, York mints, chocolate, potato chips, scones. And sixth--most kinds of fruit.

5 things I would do with a million dollars: pay off my kids' school bills, take a vacation in Europe with all of my family, buy John the car of his dreams, buy cars for me and all our kids, buy a house (oh wait, that would take all my money, buying a house in Southern CA).

5 places I would run away to: England, Italy, Papua, Portland, El Segundo.

5 things I would never wear: a bikini, gathered skirt, short shorts, stilletto heels, tacky Christmas sweater.

5 favorite tv programs: I don't watch much TV--I like Mystery Theatre on Sunday nights.

5 bad habits: wasting time on the computer, reading when I should be cleaning or working, stacking papers, correcting store employees' bad grammar on signs, eating too much chocolate.

5 biggest joys: Sunday mornings with my family at Starbuck's, walking along the beach, biking along the beach, traveling, hugs from my students, past and present.

5 favourite toys: my knitting needles, my spinning wheel, my bike, computer, scrapbook supplies.

5 fictional characters I would date: nobody. I'm happily married.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Deb says I should write more often. True. I've been thinking about topics to write about but I don't always come up with the words.

Here in Los Angeles, the pending Williams execution is a hot topic. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I'll just say that one of the self alleged founders of The Crips Gang is on death row and scheduled to be executed for 4 murders next Tuesday. The op pages of the LA Times are full of opinions. It seems that "Tookie" has written books on non violence and has decided that violence is not the route to go, twenty years too late. Now everyone including NAACP thinks the governor should commute his death sentence to life in prison.

What do I think? He murdered four people and bragged about it. But now he says he's innocent. He led the gang that terrorizes MY neighborhood.

I like what Ted Hayes said in the Sunday LA Times:

"I propose that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, rather than unequivocally deciding save Stanley Tookie Williams or send the convicted murderer to his death next week, instead conditionally postpone his execution.
The Governor should then immedicately convene a summit, including not only clergy, grass-roots leaders and elected representatives such as Maxine Waters and Diane Watson, but also current and former Bloods and Crips. The Deal: He will spare Willliams' life, but only as long as these leaders can keep young black men from killing each other. In other words, for every 30 days of peace, Tookie receives a stay of execution. Should there be any gang-related killings in LA, Tookie's fate will be sealed--not by the governor but by the young men who have been clamoring that Williams be spared and the leaders who say they are determined to save black lives. (And those leaders should be the ones to set the murder-acceptability levels--at zero tolerance or massacre levels; let it be up to them.) This is an opportunity to (1) empower young blacks to play a role in saving one of their own; (2) educate them on the role of nonviolent solutions to societal problems; (3) let African American leaders step up and do what they're always talking about--saving children and healing the brokenness in our community."

And if Williams is executed, what will happen on the streets of my neighborhood?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


People are not responsible for their own addictions. I know. I have personal knowledge of this.

A few weeks ago, my friend Mary Armstrong sent me a cute Noah's Ark game via email. I played it a few times, and then Mia saw me and said, " Maybe you'd like this game," and showed me how to get on to Yahoo's games to play a different Noah's Ark there. And then one thing led to another and I learned to play Bejeweled 2. My current record on Bejeweled 2 is 20,267. On Noah's Ark, I have made it to Level 24 with a score of 107,106. The latter score was achieved while talking on the phone with Kathryn late one evening.

However. It is not my fault that I spend too much time playing games on the computer. It's probably Mia's fault or maybe Mary's for sending me that first game.

John has taken great pleasure in watching me play, not because he's happy I enjoy what I'm doing, but because he feels vindicated for all the times I ragged on him about playing games and doing jigsaw puzzles.

But it's still not my fault.

On another note...

I've now seen everything:

In our neighborhood, marginally employed men will approach you at the gas station to offer to pump your gas for you for a token fee. Or they'll wash your windshields for you without your asking and then expect a tip for the service. The biggest problem with the windshield washing is that your windows usually end up dirtier than before they were washed. Now I know why. Tonight, on our way to the store after voting at the local elementary school, I saw a windshield washer guy rinsing his squeegee in the water running in the gutter in front of the Arco station. Those squeegees are never getting anywhere near my windshields again.

Monday, November 07, 2005

a stolen quiz

In the absence of any inspiration to write original thoughts, I've stolen Deb's latest quiz.

1. What is your occupation?reading teacher/missionary
2. What color is your underwear? pink, beige,blue, white
3. What are you listening to right now? The tv is on in the background and John is watching Columbo.
4. What was the last thing you ate? salmon
5. Do you wish on stars? If I ever see stars here in the inner city where it is too light to see stars, I gaze in rapture at their majesty; don't wish on them. Just wish for them.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Like Deb, lapis lazuli; or cobalt blue
7. How is the weather right now? cool and probably damp b/c it's evening and we're about 10-15 mi from the ocean.
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Andrea
9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? My daughter? Absolutely!
10. How old are you today? 55
11. Favorite drink? I love Americanos, hot and cold; hot chocolate; and as the holidays approach, I'm craving egg nog.
12. Favorite sport to watch? basketball.
13. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes,blonder. The first time, Julene and I lightened our hair together.
14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Glasses.
15. What store have you visited most recently? Starbuck's. Before that, excluding restaurants and grocery stores, Christie, a card/stationery store in Manhattan Beach to look for Christmas cards.
16. Favorite month? I love September in Oregon, October-December in Los Angeles.
17. Favorite food? Mmmm, so many. raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, maple oat nut scones from Starbuck's, salmon, green beans, chocolate!
18. What was the last movie you watched? Horatio Hornblower, The Mutiny.
19. Favorite day of the year? Not sure, but I like Thursdays b/c the papers have home and garden sections on Thursdays. Maybe Thanksgiving.
20. What do you do to vent anger? Yell at stupid drivers. Glower.
21. Fall or Spring?Both!
22. Hugs or kisses? Hugs maybe. Depends on who.
23. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry. Eat more blueberries and support the Gerry Ranch!
24. Do you want your friends to email you back? Feel free to comment.
25. Who is most likely to respond? Who reads my blog?
26. Who is least likely to respond? Who knows?
27. Living arrangements?Living in a big townhouse in the inner city of Los Angeles owned by the mission; roomies are John and Angel and sometimes Mia.
28. When was the last time you cried? Last Sunday.
29. What is on the floor of your closet? Brown as in brown carpet. Oh, stuff: shoes, bag.
30. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Of course my brother Jim. Non family who I keep in contact with, maybe Eileen Houck Baum although we only send Christmas cards now. Other than that, Julene but she's also family.
31. What did you do last night? Hung out at home with John and Mary, Tim and Andrea and watched old MASH episodes.
32. Favorite smell? wood smoke; ocean breeze; coffee in the morning; skunk; roses; and last but not least, lavender.
33. What inspires you? Beautiful days at the beach, beautiful music; beautiful buildings.
34. What are you afraid of? Lack of love of my husband and family; out of control airplanes.
35. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Yes.
36. Favorite car? I want a hybrid! Or aMustang! Hummers used to be sooo cool but now everyone has one and they're gas hogs and stupid to own in the city or suburbs.
37. Favorite dog breed? I don't much like dogs.
38. Number of keys on your key ring? Which key ring? I have three. And each ring has several keys.
39. How many years at your current job? 2.5 as a missionary; 2 mos as a reading teacher.
40. Favorite day of the week? Thursdays are good, see above, number 19; and I like Sundays b/c I see my family and go to church and have coffee in the mornings with them.
41. How many provinces have you lived in? Indonesia: 2. US: 5 states.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

a quiet week

It seems that our neighborhood has been having a quiet week. At least, I haven't noticed any unusual activity in the hood. This evening driving home from Watts about 9pm, we noticed a couple of LACoSheriff car driving quickly in a purposeful manner and several cars driving more quickly than usual on side streets, so we wondered if something was coming down in the Imperial Courts area.
On one hand I am pleased when things are quiet here in Pueblo. I can rest better with a lower stress level. On the other hand, I wonder what's happening that I don't hear about. Since our street is off the main residential area we don't always know what's happening. The only things of interest on our street today were the neighbor pastor coming over to ask what the code is for the new gate lock and I had to call the neighbor who put it on to ask him; a shirtless older man walked by our gate as I was relocking it when we came home and he said, "Buenos noches, senora." and I replied, "Good evening," in English. The interesting parts about the latter are just that he was shirtless and it is a little cold (why?) and that I responded in English which I usually don't. I think he made me nervous for some reason.
I have to say that I had a wonderful time in Oregon even though the occasion of my visit wasn't joyful except in the sense that my uncle is now happily fully healthy and with Jesus and his wife. I love visiting Oregon and staying with Jim and Julene, who spoiled me with lovely food and a visit to Bonneville Hot Springs Resort. Who wouldn't want to go to Oregon and be treated like a princess?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Intelligent Design and Mortality

I am enjoying my Precepts class in Genesis. As part of discussing Gen. 1, the teacher has been presenting a lot of material about intelligent design and the philosophy of various scholars, both evolutionary and creationist. I'm pleased that I have been able to follow and understand even a part of the discussions and videos. I have been struck by the scientific research and thought of the authors of The Privileged Planet. Can't remember their names. But I have learned a lot in the three weeks of class. In particular, I have been thinking a lot about just how awesome is the Creator God of the universe.

On another note, I heard tonight that my uncle passed away yesterday morning. While I was not particularly close to him, I really like my cousins. And since our Trigg side of the family is very funeral-oriented (meaning everyone in the family thinks it's important for family to attend), I will be flying to Oregon to attend the funeral. It's also a great excuse to go visit my favorite brother.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Will the shootings ever stop?

I found out at small group tonight that there were two murders in Watts last weekend. Evidently the incident was on the news but I missed it. It hits home to me though because the shootings took place in the PJW parking lot closest to the Watts center. That is the parking lot where Jose, Jesua, and Jeder (Heather) and KeJuan live. Four little ones 7 years old or younger. Two people were shot and murdered in view of their front doors. And over what? A car?

God, protect these little ones!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My Cottage in the City

ok, here I am, starting a blog! Hello, all you people out there who care and will read what I'm up to in the inner city.