Monday, September 24, 2007

Phoenix Weekend

We left after work on Friday evening. A five hour drive put us in Phoenix after 10:30pm. Not too bad, a little map trouble and off-ramp confusion, but we arrived safely. The Best Western was nice, the room was quiet considering we were next to the (wonderful!) Breakfast Buffet Room.
Saturday morning was restful. After a good breakfast, I drove us to a local mall to do some shopping. I needed a birthday present for Chuggy and a wedding card for our gift.
The wedding wasn't until 3:00pm so it was an easy schedule. Lunch was left-over ham and bread from breakfast, with Starbucks. Three, to be exact; the barista made a mistake on our order.
I think we counted about 100 guests, including around 45-50 visitors.
Jim had a very sweet word, concentrating primarily on the life of Cornelius in Acts 10:2 "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."
He exhorted Josh and Amy to have a home 'characterized by prayer' and to build it into their life together right away. Such a beautiful wedding discourse!

I was looking forward to this particular wedding for quite a while. I love both of these young-people very much. They both have been through the fire in their lives, suffered incredible losses, one very painful shared loss, in fact. They've both accepted it from the hand of a loving God, recovered their footing, and go on. Brightly go on. Both have committed their lives and their future to the Lord. There's no self pity, no nursing of grievances, no 'throwing in the towel'. The Lord will bless them for this faith. It's so refreshing, so hard to find. They are surrounded by a strong and supportive spiritual family there in Phoenix, and are grateful for it. They will be a wonderful asset to the assembly there, and a blessing.
Meeting the next day was a happy finishing touch. Everyone stayed for lunch and an afternoon address by Jim. He took up the Queen of Sheba and her 'hard questions', her observations, and her faith. Particularly addressing the thought that a 'greater than Solomon is here'. Wisdom, Glory, Majesty. Compassion, Patience, Love. Solomon gave back to her more than, and including, all the gifts she'd brought to him. '...of thine own have we given Thee' was read in the breaking of bread in the morning and brought out in the afternoon. A perfectly humbling, perfectly comforting, thought.
What a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mom's Bathroom Renovation

Those glass doors always worried me.
They were the reason I started this whole project.
What if she fell on them?
What if she grabbed them to pull herself up and they fell on her?
I know they were probably tempered glass, but they were also as old as the house.
The first thing John did was remove the 24" doorway. How could anybody think that was wide enough?
She could hardly walk through without bumping and with her walker it was even worse.
Here you have a true view of how narrow it was.

John is trying to fit in the Super Fan.
He found that the roof line didn't accomodate our purchase.
Oh, well. Isn't that how it goes with these things?
He cut and cut and cut until he had enough room.

We are spending alot of time at LOWES.
And alot of $$$.
The first thing on the list is non-moldy dry wall stuff.
Then we got wall vinyl that looks like tile.
Then a new light fixture, fan, paint, liquid nails(lots & lots), faucet, switches, etc.
Then all of the accoutrements.
And now it's all done.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lassen Fashion

There are two places on this tired old earth that I could say that I truly do love. Love in the earthly, familiar way. Love in the transient, temporal way. Neither would take the place of my hope, my eternal home, my rest. Neither compares with the wonderful prospect of seeing Him face to face, but they are sweet, they are both part of me, both a portion of who I am. One is any meeting room, particularly the meeting room in Hemet. I find the Lord there. I find friends there. I find comfort and rest there. I also find structure, food, affection, and welcome. It's the closest thing to Heaven I think, those Sunday mornings when we come to together to sing His praises, in unison, in worship, in love. I don't get a sermon, that's for another time. I don't look for teaching then, though our hymnbook has more truth than many churches will ever have.
It's the only place where I find that the Holy Person and work of Christ is fully, jealously cherished. Tell me of another. The only place where I know that the Holy Spirit is given His proper liberty and place. It's the only place where I know that the sinless humanity, the perfect atoning work, the eternal sonship, and the recognition of the unspeakable gift that the Father gave to redeem our poor, wretched souls from a lost eternity is faithfully taught.
The other place is Lassen Pines. Oh, how I love the week at Lassen. The fellowship, the ministry, the singing, the food(!). One whole week of the best earth-life has to offer.
But my most favorite time of all there is a moment in the the evening at the fireside circle when, after the sun has gone down behind the trees and the moon is not yet risen, that you can just make out the outline of the forest against the sky, just beyond the lake. The stars are out, twinkling away, far away.
Well, you can imagine my longing when I saw this sweater in a magazine a long time ago.
It looks exactly like this.

Every time I saw the picture I sosososo wanted that sweater. I knew it would be a challenge. I knew it would take a large bite out of my 'good-will bank' with anyone. How to trade on my equity...hmmm. Do I have any abundance of 'good-will' equity with any knitter? Better yet, does any knitter owe me big time? I don't knit. I don't crochet. I do have a mom, and moms always think you're just bounding in sweetness, don't they?

Hey, Mom...

She always comes through. Yay Mom!
This is a close-up (Mom requested) of the lower portion of the tree-line. it's a bit tricky like counted cross stitch as she needs to count stitches to the spot where she can change colors to make the tree design, count again, and change back. (Oh, right, and you knit argyle socks, Mom. I remember.) She says that I can put my own stars on. That way I can put on as many as I like and any where I like.
How generous is that?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pee Wee Patio

Yes, this is all it is. We've spent (wasted) hundreds of dollars on plants and flowers over the years, hoping something would grow. Sooner or later everything died. Everything but a spiky, obnoxious asparagus fern and a wimpy aspidistra. (now, now, no need to name call) We've tried bulbs, annuals, perennials, evergreen. We had violets for a while. Jasmine, geraniums, jade plants. Then a potato vine. A struggling, but alive, potato vine. Dauber dug it up the other day so I could put the bricks down. ":WHOA!" he says. He'd never seen anything like this. The roots had created a 'basket'. They were so tightly bound you couldn't budge a single one. Apparently, I had dug a hole slightly larger than the potted plant, plopped it in and left it. The roots had no place to go. Solid clay all around, so they just wound around themselves over and over. I honestly think that part of the problem has been the capricious sprinkler and the $$ conscious home-owners-assoc. We don't pay a water bill, we don't have control over the sprinklers. I can never tell then, of course, when the watering will stop for whatever reason; plumbing issues, rainy days, broken main, etc. I could (of course) water it all myself by hand, don't you know, but it's much more fun to blame others for my misfortune.
To avoid the later-in-the-day heat, I got to work early. I chopped and dragged the clumps and clods around until I had a relatively smooth-ish surface. Then I swirled a two-by-four across a few times. (how clever am I!) The paving stones went in easily after that. They are a little wobbly and rock a bit if you step on an edge, there is a hill and a valley, but it's done and it will settle. Yes, I could have leveled the dirt with a string contraption, poured a sand layer beneath the paving stones, done all the regulation stuff, but I didn't. I have cautioned Gramma to step gingerly and always tie Bobby up when she takes him out with her. He will take off and never come back.