When it comes to dreams I don’t usually remember them (nor do I give much credence to their symbolism). And if I do remember them it’s because they are so outrageous and weird (like my mother ACTUALLY having 16 heads or that I won a Lamborghini) that it’s simply hard to believe.

But this morning? This morning I had some dreams that stirred me to the core… that woke me with a start.

The first dream was about someone I talk to almost every day. And as I visited with her at her home, I found she had been working endlessly to re-arrange and remodel her entire house. Yet, she had not breathed a word of it to me when we would talk on a regular basis. Was it me? Was I not asking her what she had planned for the day? Was I too caught up in my own problems/excitement/drama to ask about what’s going on in her life? Or was she hiding something on purpose? If so, why would she do that? (These are earnest questions… I want to know the “WHY” – why would she hide this? I want to know the “WHY” so I can fix what needs to be fixed.)

The second dream was about a childhood friend who wouldn’t look me in the eyes. She was hiding her facial expression behind a book… literally. When she would talk to me she would hold a book up in front of her face. And later in the dream when I came around to talk to her about it, she was receiving comfort from a surprising source… someone who has been two-faced (very obviously acting/responding to one person a certain way while acting/responding differently to another person/group of people).

Not to mention, this third person has been outwardly un-authentic … telling me what she WANTS me to know, rather than being real with me… even if it means disagreeing with my take on things. (And whoever said we all have to agree with each other?! What a boring existence that would be!) She has a different answer for every person she talks to. She is simply a mirror of the person she is having a conversation with. Why? Does she not feel confident enough to have her own opinion? Does she want to fit in so badly that she just agrees with everyone?

But back to my thoughts on the 2nd friend… was she going to all of this trouble to hide something from me? Does she feel I will judge her? Does she feel I will belittle her? Why wouldn’t she come to me for comfort? Or have I offended her in a way that it hurts her to face me?

Did these dreams signify something in my life? Did they signify that my friends are hurting and that I need to pray for them, reach out to them? Or is it more of an internal thing? Do they signify that I have some work to do on myself so that I don’t cause these dramatic problems in my friendships?

Should these dreams even signify anything to me at all? Am I reading too much into the dreams spurred on by the spicy food I had for dinner last night?!

I sit here and ponder… praying for my hurting friends, any strained relationships, my own person. Through daily learning and an honest desire to better myself, I can be the best wife/friend/team-mate/co-worker I know how to be. It is my earnest desire that I can be honest/real/authentic with others and that they can be the same with me… whether we agree with each other or not, whether we see things from the same perspective or not, whether or not …

“Whether or not”… we can only be true to ourselves. Being true to ourselves we face ourselves and our relationships with authenticity.

And here is the “ah, ha!” moment…

As a Christian I fully believe this:
To be authentic it is imperative to maintain that God created us in HIS image. And HE LOVES US!

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! Ugliness and all… imperfections and all… even with all the crazy/weird things we think or do. So why do we hide our ugly parts, our inadequacies, our unsure footing? Why do we try to impress others… or even show each other up, attempt to be better than others? Is it because we don’t like ourselves? We don’t like who HE created us to be?

Let me say it again… God created us in HIS image! How He loves us…

How comforting to know He loves me … just the way I am.

Amazing song: How He Loves Us

Life is good…


Lord, please forgive me…

…I responded in anger.

Someone decided they would do our family a favor and tell us how we should operate. An attempt was made to rip each layer of our family apart… from our heritage to the great grandchildren. (What this individual doesn’t know is that this is just going to make us stronger. But that’s another blog post…)

And I digress, but I have to say it: WHO DOES THAT?!

I consider this type of behavior to be “below the belt”. It was an underhanded attempt to what? Knock our feet out from underneath us?! That’s just downright unsportsmanlike.

And what did I do?! I got angry. My heart turned black. It was ugly! I wanted to hop in the car and drive to his house (even though I’d have to drive through a few states to get there) and … um, I wanted to STEP ON HIS TOES.

OK – in all reality I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to respond in anger and maybe even slap him (I’ve never done that before… is it a relief to finally do it?!). The response in my heart was ugly… but it’s the truth… it’s how I felt.

And yes, I know I’m crazy for showing my ugly dark side. Here I sit and type… sending this ugliness out into the blog universe. And I’m doing my best to be authentic… to be real… to be genuine…

Lord, as I meditate on the first chapter of James, please correct my attitude, heal my stretching and heaving heart and protect me from bitterness.

I know you created me in your image… and I won’t beat myself up over this for too long. But I’m still learning how to honor you and your sacrifice, how to put aside my sinful nature and focus on your glory as mentioned in the eighth chapter of Romans.


Thank you for loving me anyway… I sit at your feet and worship your holiness…

My life flashed before my eyes…

It happened several weeks ago. The day was August 28, 2010…

Heading south on the 15 freeway, on the way to day #2 of a ridiculously fun weekend with a great group of girlfriends! It was early on Saturday morning… and there were few people on the freeway. I was in “still-waking-up” mode, sipping on my iced coffee and probably singing along to some tunes. My SUV was “flying” down the freeway (however I will not admit to my speed on the grounds that it might incriminate me).

And then … the truck in front of me changed lanes.

::: we’re going to take it in slow motion from here :::

As the driver hit a bump in the road the ladder in the back of his truck popped up off the rack and was airborne! I heard a crash, a scrape and the sound of metal crunching against metal.

And the driver kept going… no brake lights… no nothing (yes, the driver was a “HE” – how do I know?! because he was clueless of the problem happening behind him!)…

Still parallel to the ground, the ladder flew into the front grate of a work truck in the lane to my right… I had just passed the truck next to me, so it was slightly behind my right bumper.

It all happened so fast, but it looked like the ladder flipped, and then got run over by the truck. Immediately the driver hit the brakes and veered off to the shoulder of the freeway. How he didn’t hit someone else in the process was a miracle… thankfully few people were on the road so early in the morning.

In my mind, as I replayed what had just happened, I watched that ladder fly by my passenger window. It dawned on me that IF it had flown out while that truck was still directly in front of me it would have hit my vehicle at a higher elevation than it hit the truck next to/behind me. Could it have potentially gone through my front windshield?!

Thankfully, there are only a few times in my life that my livelihood has flashed before my eyes. But everytime that “flash” happens, well… I thank the Lord on High for not taking me home to Him yet. (Not that I’d complain if He did… selfish me just wants to stick around here a bit longer.)

I love my life. I love my work (on most days). I love my husband (except when he … well, enough said). I love how I’m finally meeting some of the goals I’ve had for a long, long time.

When it comes down to it, while I believe I would “be ready” when that day comes … this was yet another reminder that my days are numbered (as if the time the door flew off the minivan while I was waiting to cross a busy intersection downtown San Diego wasn’t enough… or the time I stopped on the side of the road to stop a man trying to choke his girlfriend, to death… or the time… well, you get the idea).

Am I living how I’m supposed to live? Will I leave behind the legacy meant for my life? What else does God intend for this life before He calls me to His side?

Are YOU well-behaved?!

Quote of the day: “Well behaved women rarely make history!” – Laurel Ulrich Thatcher

I’ve loved this quote for a very long time… and now it’s on a stamp! I’m in heaven! I ordered it immediately … and have been looking at it on the corner of my stamp desk! I finally found time to use it!

This is a card doing double duty… it’s also holding a bookmark for the unsuspecting recipient!

Let me tell you a secret… this was a tag from a shirt I bought at Target! Just slap some more card stock on the back, and voila! A beautiful bookmark!

You KNOW you want to make one too!


I woke up with a migraine. I wasn’t all too happy about it. This was the 3rd migraine in a week. This is sometimes a normal thing for women… and I don’t need to say anything further about that topic.

Migraines make me weepy. (Have YOU ever had a migraine?! You want to cry so you don’t pull your eyeballs out. You think maybe that crying will relieve the pressure. So you just keep crying. You think you’d really like it if you could order another head and attach it in place of the defective one. And at times you want to involuntarily bang your head against the nearest wall.)

So I bet you’re wondering what some spilled flour and a teaspoon has to do with a sappy migraine day. I’m glad you asked…

Not only was I weepy today… I was also homesick. I bake when I get homesick. Hence the teaspoon and spilled flour… that’s what my day looked like.

I made Mom’s Banana Bread and Berry Good Blueberry Muffins.

Sidenote: I also made the yummy Chile Relleno Quiche (which makes an appearance in our kitchen about every other week). This week is rather busy and this will make for a few quick breakfasts and snacks.

Now I’m chillin’ with my hubby… and still feeling homesick. The baking and cooking didn’t cure any of that.

But the migraine is gone.

And I’ve got breakfast ready for the next 13 days…

Stealing a glimpse…

From our driveway we can see the top half of the fireworks show from Downtown. We can also hear the Big Band …

There might be power lines in this view… but we don’t mind. We got to stay home in our pjs, we didn’t have to fight traffic and we could go outside when the fireworks started instead of sit around and wait for them to start. Talk about spoiled…

And for some Independence day quotes to inspire…

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. ~Author unknown, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler

Life is good…

Some time in the yard yesterday… and a few surprises…

I’m going to start this post with a pretty picture… you’ll thank me for it later!

Today I got to spend some time in my yard… which is unusual. I got out of work several hours early. Got home and did the “lovely chores”, took a nice nap and then moved to the back yard with a book and my camera.

Our yard is currently under construction (and it’s been that way for about 6 months). The grass is in (although it already has some brown spots – so we’re working on that). Some herbs and a Medallion Tea Rose are in the ground. The inherited calla lilies from my Gramma’s back yard are finally thriving. However the larger flower bed still isn’t completed – we need to fix the sprinklers first. Then we’ll put in 3 types of cannas, salvia leucantha, african iris, euphorbia, agapanthus, and some other pretty things whose names I’ve currently blanked on. These items are all currently in a safe spot of the yard awaiting their “new home”.

If you’ve ever seen our yard in any one of it’s renditions (there have been many over the past 10 years) or even in it’s most REPEATED and COMMON rendition (4-foot high weeds) then you’ll be as happy as I am when I say it’s FINALLY getting done right!

Oh how happy it makes me to go outside and spend time in our little piece of GREEN (instead of brown, dying weeds) … except when I round the corner and see this!

And yes, it scared the liver out of me!

Then I remembered I brought my camera outside with me (but I didn’t want to turn my back on this thing). Man, it was ugly! He was moving slowly, hadn’t bared his teeth at me yet and wasn’t playing dead from fear of me scaring him. So we were ok, for now…

I snapped off a few pics and he started moving out of the yard… he crawled behind the shed, up a 3 foot wall (HOW do that do that?!) and sat down under my car.

And I got a few more shots… and while I was looking through the lens I noticed… is that ? Really? This thing only has one eye?!

Then I was literally grossed out… and happy he/she was leaving the yard.

If you were wondering, NOW is when you thank me for that beautiful rose picture! Here, let’s look at it again!

OK – so back to the beauty of my half-done yard! (Oh, by the way – you’re welcome!)

Once I was convinced he/she was long gone, I was finally able to relax. I kicked up my feet and read for awhile. This IS the life…

I loved looking at my freshly planted pot of herbs: flat-leaf italian parsley, greek oregano, lemon thyme and cilantro. Mmm… makes me think of dinner cooking in the crockpot!

While we’re at it, let’s get another good look at that beautiful rose bud! Like I said earlier this is a Medallion Tea Rose. I fell in love with the variegated apricot colors and the mellow scent. And to my surprise, this hybrid rose was officially registered in the year I was born! It was meant to be…

Then I heard a familiar sound… the wild parrots that come back to the Old Escondido area every summer! I hadn’t yet caught a picture of these guys… but not for lack of trying! Every summer since I moved here (in 1999) they come for a visit. Almost every night (during the warm months) I hear them squaking as they fly over. I’m not sure where they go for the day (or night) – but it is rumored they take up residence in a tree just a few blocks away.

Ahh…. I caught them… well, on film at least. They were quick though – I almost didn’t get them!

And now for their close-up…

It was a nice day… started off with 12 miles on the bike, followed by a short day at work, I enjoyed the best breakfast burrito in town (thank you, Nicos!), soaked up a much-needed nap, and enjoyed God’s beauty in the yard-that-may-never-be-finished!

I’m one lucky girl!

Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

All about my sabbatical…

My to do list for sabbatical
– take a nap everyday
– type hand-written recipes into computer
– burn rest of the music cds to computer
– dust silk plants in house
– sort boxes of photos
– shred old documents
– enjoy some lunches with friends
– overall, get organized
– take some day trips for photography purposes

What I did…
– sorted through 10+ years of photos
– painted the bathroom
– cleaned out/painted the laundry room (top to bottom)
– took the long road to/from my errands
– went out on a few day trips for photo fun
– stayed up late, later than i’ve seen in years
– slept in late, later than i’ve seen in years

What I thought I would do… but didn’t…
– get a daily nap in
– exercise more regularly

What I lost…
– shredded 10+ years of old documents
– purged stuff from closets and under beds
– 8 large trash cans full of junk

What I gained…
– knowledge of many things (caught up on reading)
– desire to be at home more
– inspiration
– appreciation for routine

Did I spend the 6 weeks like I thought I would? No
Would I change any of it? Maybe just a few things
Do I wish I could have travelled somewhere? Sure … but being at home during the late winter/spring isn’t all that bad when you live in San Diego!

Am I the luckiest girl in the world?! Yes! My company gives me paid time off every 5 years and I get to use this time however I want to… on top of my regular vacation benefits. Such a great benefit.

I love my job. Seriously – I know full well that not most people can say that. I love how my strengths are put to work and my weaknesses are challenged. I love how it makes me grow as a person and a friend and an employee. I am far from perfect when it comes to how I do my job, handle conflict or work on a team – and for those things I’m grateful that I’m where I’m at. They give us room to grow and the opportunities to stretch our wings doing what we love to do.

Yes, I’m the luckiest girl in the world! I get to do what I love in so many areas of my life…

A quick rant…

For the record, I have no problem shopping at WalMart. But only before 8 am. I can’t stand it when it’s so busy that I can’t walk through the aisles. Why can’t I walk through the aisles? I’m glad you asked! Because of some dimwit who is so oblivious to how his/her actions are affecting other shoppers. Mainly because said dimwit’s shopping cart is completely blocking the aisle and his/her 3-8 children are running around like banchees… or the banchees are climbing the shelves and pulling puzzles down on to the ground and blocking the aisle. And I don’t shop there for everything… just a few things once a month or so.

OK – now that I got that off my chest… you can see why I shop at WalMart early in the morning, before the masses wake up.

Go ahead and start throwing your rocks. I know that quite a lot of people truly HATE WalMart (and I’m sure this blog post will garner some comments to remind us of a few of those reasons)… but it’s been good for my wallet. Call me a cheapskate, call me selfish, call me a sell-out, call me un-american – but I do not want to pay almost double for my shampoo or cleaning supplies. And the big box company has provided a lot of jobs for local people… for quite a few people whose smaller companies laid them off. WalMart has even posted some pretty successful numbers through this rough economy.

I am not the type of person to drive across town to get shampoo for $0.50 cheaper. But I am not going to buy it full price just because it’s at the store I’m currently at – unless of course I’m having a “shampoo emergency” and just don’t have time to wait for the monthly WalMart stop. But when I can save $15-20 on a few select items (shampoo, conditioner, light bulbs, tissue and toothpaste) you can guarantee I’m going to make a stop in to WalMart.

But, WalMart may have just convinced me to look elsewhere for my savings…

The first sign I read when walking into WalMart yesterday morning was a clothing line in the section for young men (ages 10-16), by “Jesse James”. The shirt display was right on the aisle, at the front of the section… as if to say “TAKE ME HOME TODAY!” Across the olive green t-shirt was scribbled “JESSE JAMES” with a grungy looking swirl and paint splatter on it. Very stylish! And a bit funny as well…

The news on dirt-bag Jesse James broke about two weeks ago, right?!

Just checking…

Yes, that’s the t-shirt I’d want my 13 year old son wearing (if I had a 13-yr old son)… I’m sure WalMart is going to sell out of those t-shirts real quick!

Good reminder, when we idolize people (aka humans) we will be disappointed…