Friday, August 29, 2014

Fresh On Friday ~ Encouragement

So many I know are looking forward to the holiday weekend, three days can often feel like
a week or the unfortunate feel of just a day....
Encouraging you today to use this weekend to relax and actually feel rested when you return
to the grind.

Action packed schedules often send us back to work exhausted, needing another weekend to recover!
Everyone loses when we're constantly running and doing....patience wears thin much quicker, you begin to feel overwhelmed by it all. A sense of no time for yourself?

I'm encouraging you to take the time to not miss out on what is before it a spouse, children or just the opportunity to read that book you never have time for.

Many times Buster and I have not committed to anything for a few weeks just to have some down time, some alone time. We love our friends and always have great fun...but sometimes we owe it to each other to say no to the invites. A reconnection of sorts!

We've had a crazy busy summer and as it nears it's end I'm seeing it all as a blur. For us it's time to slow down and refocus.  It wouldn't be so bad if the weather made a change either.  I want so badly to put on my jeans and a sweater!

Enjoy this weekend and whatever you do be safe!

Down time, not missing what's before you, it's what echos from my heart today......

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Little Something on Clean Windows ~

Clean Windows ~

Wouldn't it be great if we could clean up our lives like we can a window.?

All that stuff that collects on the window, in the tracks, the stuff that starts to get in the way of us seeing things clearly....
Often times all we can see is the crud.
No blue skies...
...and just how did it all pile up so quickly, or has it just been that long since we paid attention to the stuff that's gathered an now impairs our vision?

I had all my windows cleaned yesterday.
I'm still looking through them as if all there is to see, is new again.
It's all much brighter, colorful ....... calming in fact.

Why do we let the crud collect?
We sometimes ignore it, with thoughts that perhaps it will go away...
It doesn't.
We sometimes wait for someone else to get rid of it...
we wait, sometimes for long periods of time.
While we wait, it continues to collect, so much crud it's now on the inside.
Blocking the Sonshine and all there is outside ourselves and in our hearts.
The crud, it clouds relationships with our spouses, our friends, families and our co workers...

Learning to nip the crud in the bud, perhaps that's the route to take.
Learning to stay on top of it, not allowing  it to cloud our vision or tear at our hearts.
You say you're tired of nipping? Making things good again.
Some are nippers, some are not.
Be the one, because, love.....

It's really a love thing.
God let's us start new everyday, regardless of the crud of yesterday...
Countless do overs He allows.....because, love.
He forgives and forgets the crud...because, love.
It's what He wants us to do, love.
Grace, its received and therefore you have it to give.

Just Love.

I want my heart and soul clean, clean as my windows.
Free of the to look at the good, it's out there!
Love, free of the crud.

Amazing the perspective some clean windows provide.

  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

 Simple stuff ?...well, not always.  A little fish named Dory advised we, "Just keep swimming."

Any windows that need cleaning ?
Because,'s what echos from my heart today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge ~ As August's End Approaches

1. As August draws to a close, share what's been your favorite weekend of the entire summer?

Without a doubt it was my 40 High School reunion weekend. Such great memories (expect the part of leaving my bag of tricks at home). I can't wait until the next get together! Buster and I's trip to San Luis Obispo was pretty awesome as well. I've never liked having to pick favorites of anything....except ice cream.

2. Labor Day is marked in the US of A on Monday, September 1st.  What paying job have you held that you've loved the most? Liked the least?

For me that job would be one in the same...I worked for a company that managed private homeowner associations, I managed 8 communities. I loved it because I made the best friends/family ever there in my co workers. These are the same women I am in book club with today and my dinner group. I learned so much in the job as far as dealing with VERY difficult people. I liked it least because it wasn't unusual to be cussed at, hung up on etc....daily or weekly. At one time I was convinced all the angry mean people lived in homeowner associations :-)  However I made some life long friends that were on a couple of the boards of directors of my communities and homeowners that lived in them. The best thing I learned was how to respond in a professional way, yet put the mean people in their place at the same time, it made me smile.....

3. Does the new school year start before or after Labor Day where you live? When do you think it should begin? There is much discussion now about older students having later start times to their school day...your thoughts?
I always found it odd that some would start a day or two before labor day then be off for the holiday weekend? I think the start times have always well FOREVER why mess with it. I would hate to see them getting home later and that leading to family dinners being messed with any further. I hate to see families not sitting down as family for that mealtime. I think its the most important time of day to share with each other about each others day.   My Father worked three jobs and he always made sure to be with us at dinner, always! Keep the school start time the same and  hope parents will ensure their kids get to bed at a reasonable time so they are rested.  I feel so bad for kids who have no set bedtime and are not alert while in the classroom. Speaking of the classroom my Sweet Beans loves pre-school!

4. What's something you've worked at recently that could be deemed a 'labor of love'.
 I've been writing a piece since 2008... self doubt continues to stop me in my tracks.  Then I enter a period of complete confidence and there is no stopping me.  I just need to finish it for the sake of finishing it! 
Everyday I hope to make my husband and grand daughters my labor of love :-)

5.Which of the following work idioms can you most relate to right now...'A woman's work is never done.', 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' 'Many hands make light work.'

A woman's work is never done to be sure.  If it is, it's done for about an hour and it seems to start appearing all over again.  I don't mind it at all, I just don't have the energy to keep up like I used to. It really frustrates me when things pile up...I've been so  used to always have everything in its place. I find sometimes it helps to just decided to tackle one mess at a time and get it done.

6. Crab or lobster or thanks, but no thanks? Favorite way to have your choice prepared?
I will take either thank you.  I was just told if you put a splash of vinegar in the butter it really cuts down on the richness without a change in flavor.. I love them both dipped in butter, in Paula Dean fashion, real butter!

7. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, 'Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Which of the three do you consider to be the most important? Share one of your own 'rules of work'.
For me personally I have found that in the difficulties come the opportunities for growth. I'm thankful I learn lessons from my difficulties.  I truly believe God knows it's how I learn best. Many times I am thankful in advance for the difficulty because I know something awesome will come out of it. 
 My "rule of work" is this:

8. With all that is going on in the world I don't know how people manage without a spiritual life. I've learned I'm not big enough or strong enough to do it on my own, and really, why would I when I know this great big God that wants to carry me through :-)  There is always the occasional "I don't see how" to something.  It's then I remind myself, but God! Where I am weak He is strong.....My first choice.

August has been a busy month, ready to turn the page to whatever September holds, it's what echos from my heart today.

Monday, August 25, 2014

40 Years ~ Post High School

noun: reunion; plural noun: reunions; noun: re-union; plural noun: re-unions
  1. an instance of two or more people coming together again after a period of separation.

    • a social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time.
      "a school reunion"
    • the act or process of being brought together again as a unified whole.

Redondo Beach
How very fortunate that I was actually raised on the Pacific Coast.  I found myself thinking as I took in the view from my hotel balcony, what a gift it was to have been raised here in this beautiful place.
I know I never fully appreciated all that was at my finger tips all those years ago. 
Since graduation in 1974 I have attended three reunions this was my fourth.  I was a little apprehensive for this the 40th reunion. It wasn't apprehension due to the fact gravity has full on taken hold of this body, or years of California sun aging my skin. 
In elementary school I made some life long friends, but it was there I realized and learned what the word click meant. I didn't like the division of my classmates, the chosing of teams, both things that created hurt feelings......things that made some feel less than.
So when I entered my High School Years I made a point to not be a part of any one group. I never wanted anyone to think that I thought myself above them, better than, or off limits.  It was important to me that I approach these relationships as a "unified whole" of students and not one group. Let's be clear, I'm not suggesting that anyone that hung around anyone particular group was in any way wrong in doing so.  It was just the thought in my head of being out there exposed to more friendships.
Ironically this is what had me apprehensive about the reunion. I realized what I had done all those years ago was prevented myself from building any deep friendships.  I think of many as my friends, but none were given that chance to grow very deep.  My attempt to avoid limiting myself by not being a part of any one group kind of kept that from happening.  So where some were entering this event with close friends I found myself nervous in this sea of classmates.
I shared a hotel room with my Friend Kathy, we've know each other since our Girl Scout days. Though she has always been a special and long lasting friend, we knew hanging out together this weekend was bound to take us to a deeper level of friendship, and it did!
My weekend began with me realizing upon my exiting the freeway in Redondo Beach that I had left my toiletry bag some ninety odd miles away at home!  Toiletries, make up, flat bag of tricks!!!!  I checked in to my hotel, had a quick lunch with my sister Deanna and high tailed it to the mall.  I was pressed for time,  it was 2:30 and the first event started at 4:30 for happy hour.  Of course in my rush I couldn't find most of the products I typically used. They had my make up but not my exact shades, and there were the many moments of realizing one thing was leading to another.  Such as I've settled on what would hopefully be close enough on the make up to....uggh,  I also had to buy makeup brushes to apply it!! This madness went on way too long with an adorable sales girl who ran around the Ulta store at full speed for me.  She hugged me when I thanked her, and told me to track her down if I ever needed a personal assistant ! 
 (Well obviously I needed one)
Yes I photographed my purchases....

So with about 45 minutes to spare showered and ready for happy hour!
Terry Flynn and Jim Schumaker....telling stories :-)

The above gentleman is Bob Fino and I always most look forward to seeing him. He was just the nicest guy in High School and he had the ability to always make me laugh. I'm always so comfortable in his presence, it just feels so familiar :-) I think he likely married one of the sweetest gals from our class.  Esther and Bob are my favorite R.U.H.S. couple and continue to look like that young couple from back then..happy!
Laurie Birmingham center, you are an amazing woman and so many of us thrilled you made the trip to be with us all when it may have been easier on you to not! Carry on Warrior!!
My bud Tracy (Maynard) and I ended the evening picking up Kathy at the airport. Without Tracy so much with our class would never take place, she put in so much hard work.  She was my bud all four years and she will always have a special place in my heart.
Below is (left to right) Tracy, Kathy and myself.
Just love these two....

Saturday was our big event! We included the class of 73 to join our class and I'm so glad we did.

Tom Clark, Keith Chandler, Lindy and Bonny.


Bob Fino, Esther Fino, Karen Larimore, Jerry and Linda Goddard.

The one and only Kim Page, so happy to hug her !

Clarie, Kim, Karen, Wynn, Jim Jones, Claudia, Gregg up to no good it appears....

Penny, Lindy, Keith and Bonny ....still got it :-)
Beautiful as always Nancy and hubby .....

Eric and his bride to be Catherine.....they married the following day !!
  Love this photo with Wendy and Teresa

Wendy and Teresa with Sammy Sea Hawk our Mascot ...
Kathy and I sporting our school colors back at the Hotel....too fun!

So here's the deal....turns out many felt as I did on this special night, unsure they would know/remember classmates. That was comforting for this old sea hawk to hear.
So it turns out as the last definition states,
 this reunion was just that:

  • the act or process of being brought together again as a unified whole.

    How awesome is that?
    I'm so looking forward to those I will  now attempt to get to know on a more personal, deeper level that will carry us into our next gathering.
    These folks represent more than High School, they are like being home again......
    Never to late to grow's what echos from my heart today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Not the Typical Wednesday Blog !

The Hodgepodge is on vacation this week so I thought it would be a good morning for a Daybook. 
Borrowed from my friend CiCi ......


Outside my window... I woke to the sound of some very loud thunder. Lots of beautiful clouds out there!

I am is Ellery Grace's first birthday and wondering just exactly where this year went?  She is so much fun!

Soon we'll have that One year photo from her party!!

I am thankful... for so much, but today I'm especially thankful that Pastor Mike received word that his bone marrow donor has finish all his testing and we now move forward to the preparations for the actual transplant. God has already answered so many prayers yet I would love it if you would continue to pray for all things to go well in the actual procedure and  recovery period.  Thankful for you who pray!!

In the kitchen...nothing exciting happening there (sorry Buster)....

I am wearing...p.j.s because I can.......

I am creating... nothing but I do think about creating :-)

I am going... to my 40th class reunion this weekend, super excited.
Speaking of where did the time go, huh?

I am wondering...if I will recognize many classmates? Thankful for name tags
written in big print with a marker size tip!

I am reading...
Carry on, Warrior by, Glennon Doyle Melton

I am hoping...We get some much needed rain out of the sky today!

I am looking forward to... reconnecting with classmates, and making connections
with those I didn't know well in school.

Around the house...I'm forever looking at walls wishing we could paint.

I am pondering...what to pack for the weekend. Other than a pound shedding outfit or two, a make up artist and hairdresser?????
Nah!  Beach attire(which can still be pound shedding) pretty relaxed weekend planned. Perfect!!

A favorite quote for today...
Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, 
and dividing our grief. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Friendships old and new echo from my heart today....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Minute ~ ..And So It Begins ....

This is me holding my Sweet Beans AKA Khloe who is just days old.

How did we reach this day so fast?
Day one of pre-school !!!
I'm nervous for me her
I hope I she does okay.
I hope I she doesn't cry when we leave her.

 I caught this video of them arriving ....

She looked so grown up to this Namaw...
She was clearly very excited about this big day!

Namaw was a lot little nervous and camera was on the wrong setting for some shots...

Little miss independent...

Beans and Miss Shelley


We all said our good byes and left Sweet Bean's sitting with the Director Miss Lupe
Much like her Daddy before her, she was oblivious to us all leaving with pangs in our hearts....
I She didn't cry.....

Today is full of change...myself and Miss Ellery Grace will be
hanging out together and
picking big sister up before we know it!

Is it 11:30 yet?????????

A new beginning echos from my heart today....

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fresh On Friday ~ Encourage

Yet another Friday ~

My thoughts this morning are scattered but focused.
Scattered in the sense so much is happening around me, focused because we need to be!
So much going on in the world and so many in need of prayer.

The fact that (fill in the blank) in this case, Christians are being driven from their homes if they don't convert to Islam, some shot, some beheaded for their faith. Imagine, in a moment you are driven from your home with nothing but the clothes on your back.  Your new residence is atop a rock mountain, no food or water.   The mountain that followed seeing a child being beheaded, throats slashed, or shot for one's faith? 
How surreal must this be? Fear mixed with every ounce of faith one can muster, just getting through the next moment.....this is their reality.

This isn't a best selling book, this isn't a movie, this is real life.
One word, genocide. It happened to the Jews and it's happening again.
I can recall after learning of the Holocaust, thinking how did this happen? Why was it allowed to continue?
Why didn't, oh I don't know, the world step in and stop it??
I can also recall thinking, this could never happen again....
Yet here we are.

We have an American Pastor in a prison cell in Iran, he's been their for two years now because of his faith.
He has a wife and two small children.
We even know his name, Pastor Saeed, he is 34 years old. (Google his name and read about it)
He has been ill, and he has been tortured.
Why are our leaders not doing all they can to get him out?
This blogger has to wonder.....

Tonight at 7 P.M. eastern time on  "On the Record" Gretta Van Susteren  is airing a live special on Fox about this genocide...I hope you will seriously consider watching and become informed if you aren't already.

My hope is we are not going to let this happen again in our lifetime and keep quiet about it.

On another note;

I know many of you were praying for one of the pastors at our church. Pastor Mike has leukemia and has spent much of his time since February in the hospital. Though we are encouraged his blood counts are improved and he is home, be it a day to day basis...he still needs your prayers.  We are so excited to hear they have found a bone marrow donor in Germany.  We are praying this donor is  actively seeking to complete all the testing that must happen in order for the transplant to take place. Please pray for this to happen, and for Pastor Mike to remain free of infection as his blood counts improve to the optimum level for the transplant.  This has been a roller coaster for he and his family, way too many ups and downs, yet he remains faithful and trusting God has this. I have learned so much from him as he daily blogs about his journey....

I realize this isn't much of an encouraging word blog hope is to encourage you to not keep quiet this time. My hope is that because we do not remain quiet about this, that someone will put a stop to the genocide that is happening again.  My hope is because of our prayers a young Pastor in Iran is released to his family.  My hope is our Pastor Mike is well again to resume a normal life with his wife and children.

If you yourself are hurting or suffering in any way, please let me know, I would love to pray for you.
I'm an average person, who has a faith in God.
Certainly not something to be killed over.....or is it?

Encouraging you to be a positive voice in the lives of's what echos from my heart today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge ~ Be There For Each Other

1. The best part of waking up is____________

I love waking up to my alarm on my phone. It plays You are My Sunshine, a song from my childhood.  I can still hear my Mom singing it each time and it makes me smile as I lay there and think of her.... I often hit snooze several times just to hear "her" sing it again..

2.  Given a choice, which animal interaction would you most like to experience (or for those non-adventurers...which would you dislike the least?)- Swim with the dolphins at one of several locations in the Florida Keys, a lion encounter ten minutes from Victoria Falls (Africa), or a day at a remote base camp high in the Big Sur wilderness via the Ventana Wildlife Society helping track California condors?

I would love to swim with the dolphins.  When I was in my twenties I used to wish I could work for Sea World and do just that for a living :-)

3. What is something you fear about 'old age'? What is something you look forward to?

 I try not to fear anything...not always successful :-)
I dread;
The possibility of out living any of my siblings, I can't imagine a life without them, my first friends...
worse yet outliving a child or grand child.....
I hope my kids or husband won't have to care for me in the situation of a lingering illness. 
My hope is they understand when it's my time, that I'm not afraid to die.
 I look forward to seeing Jesus and my family in heaven for eternity!! Of this I'm sure :-)

4. Hot sauce...are you a fan? If you answered yes, what's something you make/eat that must have hot sauce? On a scale of 1-10 how hot is too hot?

I love hot sauce, a must have on burritos and tacos.  I want the heat about a nine !

5. It's been said that children learn what they live. What do you think children learn at your house?

I hope they learn about love, and forgiveness. But most of all not to sweat the small stuff in life....That they believe in themselves and a God who makes no mistakes, and loves them just the way they are!

6. What's your favorite movie with a number in it's title?

My first in depth look at depression/mental illness in movie form.

7. Saturday (August 16th) is National Tell a Joke Day...share one here.
 Not so much in joke form, but I laughed :-)

Comment to Noah.
Wish you had swatted those two mosquitoes!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

So much sadness in the world today...the war with Israel, Families driven from their homes because of their faith, even killed because of it.   The loss of our funny man, Robin Williams.... sometimes it just gets so heavy when mixed with whatever issues each of us has already.
Remind people they aren't alone, be available to each other.

This song is another from my childhood, listen and remember it.....

But God......

Echos from my heart today...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bidding Farewell to San Luis Obispo ~

Slept in.
Returned to Big Sky for breakfast, tried something different,
Three Bean Chili and Turkey Omelet topped with white cheddar... Jack Pot!
Stopped for fruit and water prior to returning to Paradise.
Enjoyed a few hours at the pool prior to going back to town....we can't leave San Luis Obispo
without going to Barnes and Noble and the Firestone Grill for famous Tri tip Sandwiches.

Back in paradise I actually took a nap....I never nap!
Kinda liked it :-)

This evening our hosts brought us a tray of chocolate dipped strawberries she made for us....they
are some awesome people....I've had three, so far....

Hubstir says he has relaxed...mission accomplished!

 Thankful for our beautiful surroundings, our wonderful hosts Debbie and Gary 
a relaxed husband and a new love of..........napping! 
 Its' what echos from my heart today....