December 14, 2012

Within Me

Within Me
I see
Through your eyes
Colors learned at your migraine bedside
Purse of many colors
Fed me through drought of tenderness
Soul manna passed
From first to first to first

I taste
Sunday pot roast, vegetables
Iceberg lettuce - tomato - cucumber
Wish Bone Italian salad dressing
"Yes, you may sit at the grown-ups table."
Listen to the old stories
Thank you

I lived
Moon landing , one giant step
On your wooden console TV
Taller than me
Two years old
Blow my mind

Spirit within me

I felt mauve and rose suited
Ruby red tenderness
Love, blessing, worthiness
Cookies in the cupboard

God within me 

I remember
Sunday School nursery shelf toys
Flannel Noah, flannel Jesus
"Clean up, clean up,
Everybody everywhere.
Clean up, clean up,
Everybody do your share."

I heard beautiful southern drawl
"I reckon," "Bless your heart,"
"I declare," "Ya'll"
Slow spoken west Texas girl
California ears
Forget the end of sentence lesson
I listened
I remember

I touched
Your soft skin
So pale
Your kiss
So sweet
Chickenpox calamine
My comfort

Jesus within me

My Mer, my Mer
I will see you again


Centerfold Paper Pack by Sweet Digi Scraps available at The DigiChick; Junk Drawer Elements by Sweet Digi Scraps available at The DigiChick; Fierce Beauty Add On by Sweet Digi Scraps/Etc. by Danyale available at The Digi Chick; Pumpkin Pie by Sweet Digi Scraps available at The DigiChick; A Narrative by ScrapGirls; Fonts: KhmerUI

November 30, 2012

Hardcore Gratitude Day 4 - Blessings in Disguise

If I hadn’t married you, I wouldn’t have our beautiful daughter. If I hadn’t divorced you, I wouldn’t have known true love and companionship when I found it. If I hadn’t married you, I wouldn’t have fun memories of Navy life and all the friends we made. If I hadn’t divorced you, I wouldn’t have so much pleasure in my life and more to come. If I hadn’t married you I wouldn’t appreciate being known the way I am by Mark. If I hadn’t divorced you, I wouldn’t have experienced the growth I did in raising Jesamie. If I hadn’t married you, I’d never have cared for an ex like I do. If I hadn’t divorced you, we never would have found the blessings we have in our forever spouses. Brightest Blessings on you TJ.

Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at; Islsnd Christmas by Rosey Posey at Scrapbookgraphics; Sea Glass Styles by Amanda_Fraijo-Tobin at; Fonts: CenturyGothic

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November 19, 2012

Hardore Gratitude Day 3 - Family Sucks Sometimes

I was ten when you and mom returned from an overnighter in Las Vegas - married. David and I were so excited to have a dad around all the time. We didn’t really know all that would entail in your case. My disappointment and anger only increased as the years rolled on. You were singularly ill prepared to raise children, much less teenagers.  A few of your parenting techniques stand out. Every night as the family retired to the living room to watch tv together I alone cleaned the dining room and kitchen to your standard -a two hour process. When I was older, if I didn’t wash the day’s dishes, I’d trip over them blocking my bedroom door or find them in the tub, impeding my morning school preparations. You and mom slept upstairs and behind a solid core door. David and my bedrooms were downstairs where you refused to allow outside lights on at night and locking doors was not a habit. I was scared that someone would enter and hurt us, it was L.A., you know. On the occasion that I left the light on, you broke the bulb in the socket to prevent a second occurrence. The only evidence of Brett at my wedding is a portrait of him caught on film in the background while I dressed. You restricted him from attending my wedding for some trivial reason or another. Unfortunately, you were caught too. Each photo of you, even during the ceremony, evidences an alcoholic beverage in hand. Crass. Even your jokes contained barbs - “go take a long walk off a short pier” was a frequently bandied about phrase. Your relationship infractions ranged from merely annoying to nearly evil.  I am grateful for the financial stability you helped bring to our family. I learned from my experience with you to build on the positive with my step-sons not punish them for perceived negatives. I forgive you for being unprepared to parent, but boy did it hurt.
Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at; Shabby Shores by Cindy Rohrbough available at Scrapgirls;  Fonts: CenturyGothic

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November 13, 2012

Hardcore Gratitude Day 2 - Mistakes I've Made

I made the choice with all the wisdom of a 14 year old - I moved in with M. (26, divorced, introduced me to cocaine). I wasn't coerced, I wasn't forced, I was seduced. And, I was ripe for the seduction. I thought I was ready to take on grown up responsibilities. 14 is not an easy age - at school, for mothers and daughters, for making great life choices. I furthered the mistake by stubbornly sticking to my "commitment." When I changed my mind about how I was thinking, leaving was easy.  I am learning to love that young woman who so needed love, affection, and attention. I did get those, the man was not evil, just broken and needy too. Although, had the same happened in my daughter's life, I wouldn't want to be responsible for my retaliatory actions. (There is still some anger there, that's good. The facts have never been in question, I need to accept the feelings too.) My "mistake" informed my life - I really get that we all are doing the very best we can at the time or we would be doing better; even M. Thank you M for teaching me that I was lovable, I did need it. Thank you, me, for growing up and continuing to grow. Thank you God for redeeming all situations.

Magic Black Paperie by Kitty Designs available at Oscraps; Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at Traci Reed Website;  Fonts: CenturyGothic; Credit Tracker Anna Forrest Designs
Hardcore Gratitude - Traci Reed
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Hardcore Gratitude Day 1 - Bad People, Good Lessons

L. ended up being a one year only  high school special day class teacher. I suffered that year for the students as well as myself. Sexually abused as a child - fully aware, but unprocessed - pancake making sweetie one moment, raging insanity the next. Too many mind games, all we could do was duck and cover. Complaining to the administration, the program director, friends, mom, Ferris Bueller , anyone... brought no change and little relief. I decided to pray. At first all I could do was say "HELP!" I prayed she would change, I prayed my heart would change, I prayed (like that country song) that a plant would fall on her head as she walked by an open window. Weeks went by. Finally, I just prayed blessings on her life.  Through that time I experienced a sustained intimacy with God that I seldom do. I learned that praying for our "enemy" can have wondrous results we can't anticipate. I learned to set better limits. I learned to choose my responses. Lessons I continue to build upon. Thank you L.

Hardcore Gratitude by Traci Reed available at Traci Reed Website; Magic Black Paperie by Kitty Designs available at Oscraps; ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Background Blenders II Biggie by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls; Artistic Splat 2 by Kitty Designs available at Oscraps;  Fonts: CenturyGothic; Credit Tracker Anna Forrest Designs
Harcore Gratitude - Traci Reed
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November 12, 2012

Our Marine's First Election

With a little advice from Olive, who is a most intelligent dog, Ryan and Dad went to vote. Friday Ryan became a Marine; Tuesday a voter. Our family takes both responsibilities very seriously. Mark has looked forward to this day for years. It is a true milestone for both father and son.
I voted after work. When the election volunteers looked up my last name, they asked if it had been my son’s first election. They thanked me for his service and seemed genuinely tickled to be part of our day.
We are truly blessed to live in a country worthy of serving, and voting, and raising our children in. Kinda funny that I most always vote Republican in a Democrat state. I still don’t consider it a thrown away vote. I feel blessed to participate.

Credits:Soiree by Katie_the_Scrapbook_Lady available at Scrapbook Lady's Scrap Shop; Rock the Vote by Chelle's Creations available at Scrap Orchard;  Fonts: CenturyGothic, CenturyGothic-Bold
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October 25, 2012

Pico de Guy-o!

Mark’s “go-to” party bring along. Makes a great Christmas gift for co-workers too,  packed in mason jars and tied up with raffia. So colorful and tasty! You should see his face light up when complemented on how great it tastes. He’s happiest when making others happy - this salsa certainly does that. Tomato, onions, garlic, lots of peppers, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and the secret ingredient, Zesty Italian Dressing. Ole!

Caliente by Studio Microferk available at Scrapbookgraphics; A Very Merry by Natali Design available at Scrapbook Graphics; Template by Scrappin' With Liz available at Scrap Orchard;  Fonts: Georgia

Gibson Girl Gina

It arrived on the table in that huge schooner - pink and green and carmely and wonderful.
It was crowned with a delicate paper cocktail parasol. I was so excited.
I couldn't believe they’d let me order it. I swore I’d eat the whole thing - if only, if only. The Gibson Girl.

I don’t think I finished it after all. But the night remains one of the best memories of my childhood. A night of frivolous indulgence, a parental “damn the torpedoes” of sensibility. I wish I’d given my girl more of those times.

Retro 101 by Kayla Lamoreaux available at Digiscrap 101;
Zoomba by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls;
Garden Gate by Misty Cato available at Sweet Shoppe Designs;
Caliente by Studio Microferk available at Scrapbookgraphics;
Love You More Than Ice Cream by Jean Barette available at Sweet Shoppe Designs; 
Fonts: BookmanOldStyle

October 22, 2012

Oh Precious Little One

Oh precious little one, sweet Gina.  Life seemed so hard. You felt awkward and ugly and left out. That dress seemed magical. Tattered and faded pink tulle and satin. Was it mom’s childhood piano recital dress or something donated to the poor folk - us? You wore it so proudly to school and never felt so beautiful. A moment of realization and your feelings were crushed. The memory fades. Were you only crushed in retrospect or did you feel the pain that day of mistaking the dream for the reality? Never mind. Listen now, you are beautiful and your heart soars with goodness. I love you little girl.
Keep dreaming beautiful princess.

Inspiring by Cherise  Oleson available at ScrapGirls; All About Edges - Retired by Pebbles Jones available at ScrapGirls; Kingdom Scrap Simple Paper - Retired by Brandy Murry available at Scrap Girls; ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Background Blenders II Biggie by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls; Spring Has Sprung - Retired by  available at Persnickety Prints; Spotlight Overlays by Designs by Helly available at Memory Scraps; Heart First Collab by Studio Girls available at Scrapbook Graphics; Socialize Bonus by Anna Aspnes available at Oscraps;  Fonts: tangieAJForangeMarmalade

October 18, 2012


Double It Up by Scrappin' With Liz available at Scrap Orchard; Movie Night Bonus by Alissa Jones available at Ninth and Bloom; Speech by Paula Kesselring available at One Story Down; Boardwalk by Designs By Helly available at Memory_Scraps; Zoomba by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls; Souvenir by Syndee Nuckles available at ScrapGirls; Rocket to Me by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls; Brush Set: Sun Bursts by Brandy Murry available at ScrapGirls;  Fonts: MyriadPro-Regular, DJBDIGIKIM

L.A. late Seventies - the box unscrambled the signal and we were first on the block to get subscription tv, albeit illegally. My stepdad didn’t have those kind of scruples. Baby brother Brett  saw Jaws more often than Sesame Street. What was ONTV - we watched.

September 19, 2012

Grow, Bloom, Dream

Spider Plant, Coleus, Wandering Jew, Pothos, that Avocado seed sprouting in a glass on the windowsill - the perfect 70’s house plants. Really, just the plants we grew up with that  meant home. I’ve rescued wilting Peace Lilys from the Ace Hardware display window in Oak Harbor, WA. I keep my eyes peeled for an Emerald Ripple Peperomia like the one my Dad gave me and didn’t make it through the move to CA. Jessica and I shared a bedroom in Arcata where I created a perimeter canopy of hanging plants above our bed, it felt so exotic. As a child, I’d read a story  about a woman who had a strawberry mark on her face - to hide from the world, she filled her apartment with plants and free flying birds. In my mind, our room harkened to that story. When Grandma Ferne moved into Baywood Assisted Living she gave me her beautiful Staghorn Fern.
 I feel such a thrill whenever I see it - for the gift, its source, and its rarity. 
Our home is full of many plants that bring me great pleasure. 
I have re-created that 70’s collection I loved - and more!

January 28, 2012

It's the Little Things

Making pinto beans makes me happy, I have so many good food memories about beans: Grandpa Fulfer always made black eyed peas and collard greens for New Years. One of my favorite meals as a child was my mom’s special Hurst’s HamBeens 15 Bean Soup and homemade cornbread. I created my wonderful Pumpkin Black Eyed Pea Soup out of what was in the house one day - it remains Jesamie’s and my favorite. The last night Grandma Ferne was in her house, she, Daddy, and I ate her wonderful pintos she’d made and froze in portions. Humble goodness.

Mark’s hands. Every winter his finger tips crack and split painfully. He wraps them in bandages and tape after treating the cracks with ointment. All the lotions and potions don't make a bit of difference.  I am grateful for those hands that work to provide.

I've been looking for one of these for years, too cool. Our neighbors, Ed and Linda Van Horn, discovered one in their mother's estate and gave it to me. I love it's retro cool. I don't remember if my grandparents had one but it belongs in my memories with Sen Sen, those oval rubber squeeze coin pockets, and the Kleenex boxes with the map motif that they always had in the car.

My favorite flowers, beautiful Irises. This bouquet was for sale in our new and improved Safeway. Its design exactly like all the other fancy schmancy Safeways across the state. It replaced the tiny, crowded aisle, hometown feel Safeway across the street. I resisted the change at first, it felt sterile and un- neighborly. I think everyone was in change shock but have now adapted - the after work, picking up dinner ingredients, "what are you having" smiles and chat are back.

Dragonfly, princess cat, asleep on a pile of decorator pillows. The Beanie Baby elephant Jessica gave me is a little larger than a pea but doesn't seem to be bothering her much.

My crowning glory. I wear it up in a bun almost all the time to keep it from being in the way, it gets yanked when I roll over in bed and find Mark is laying on it, and when I have a migraine I want to chop it off. This is the longest my hair has ever been and I want more! I just got it trimmed and had it low-lighted. Awesome!

Pace, calling his friends, thrilled that he can have a sleepover. He is so emotive, it's nice when we can say yes and bring out the smiles.

This is a citron Greg, our neighbor, bought at a roadside stand and gave to us. I'd heard of them but never even seen a picture of one. It is among the strangest of fruits I think. Now for a zesty recipe.

January 21, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays...

Journaling Says (in the tone of Richard Dawson):

15 We took a half-hour jaunt to the beach Sunday afternoon for a breath of fresh air. Pace brought his army action figure and a camouflage vehicle pulled by a rope to play with. I suspect this will be one of the last beach toy play days he has.

16 More family fun and a night off cooking for me at Babe’s Pizza. The boys enjoyed the games while Mark and I watched the Lakers beat the Mavs. We’re still not completely recovered and gave ourselves permission to veg out with some screen time.

17 All of these logs will be in China soon, milled into lumber, and most likely imported back to the US. I think they are beautiful. There are stacks and stacks of logs just behind the Oak Harbor terminal. It’s an impressive sight.

18 My sweet guy practicing his old man look - wearing a warm fuzzy hat with readers perched on the tip of his nose. I look forward to knowing that old man with the well spent years of kitchen table Bible study.

19a Rows of golf carts abandoned and soaked waiting to roll again.

19b Lake Muni. It’s rained for days on end. Eureka Municipal Golf Course is more canoe than cart ready and will be for awhile.

20 A stormy north coast close of the day. At the top of each of the farther set of pilings perches a gull, hunkered down for the duration.

21 Mark and Jodi Magazzi flanked by the Sjoquists, Bob and Darcy, taking their turn to host the monthly couples dinner. Photo of us all looking a photos.
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January 20, 2012

Starlngs in Winter Tree - Week Two

Journaling Reads:

8 Starlings in Winter Tree - Target, Eureka, CA.
A small bit o’ invasive nature observed after shopping. Brought home the second part of the last Harry Potter movie which the boys refuse to watch. Mark and I will have to catch it on our “kid free” weekend. We’ll also have to catch a walk along the coast to see a bit more nature.

9 Monday means Pace and I get our small treasured moments alone together. If I pick him up from school (usually late), he finishes the afternoon with me at the office or spends a little time by himself at home. Ryan usually takes him to their mom’s until dinner time or Mark gets home.
Here he’s greeting Olive before getting in the truck we borrowed from my boss when both our cars broke down in some sick cosmic joke of events on Christmas Eve day. We are blessed to have it available. Got my camera out just in time to shoot their reflection in the side view mirror.

10 Mark sick in bed with a night cap on his head but still in good spirits. This was our week - sharing sickness and taking care of each other. He felt it most during the weekend and did not lose time at work. I took Friday off and did as little as possible all weekend. Hope we don’t have another go round in the house anytime soon.
One boon - Ryan survived a course of antibiotic with no ill effects. He exhibited some allergy symptoms as a toddler and hasn’t been exposed since. That takes care of one small worry for his future as a Marine and the possibility of needing treatment in the field. The need for treatment is another story...

11 Olive in a very attentive pose observing a crow far across the field. In December Almanac Mark mentioned that the day would be an hour longer come January 22. Ollie and I took advantage of the lengthening daylight to squeeze a walk into the evening. It was COLD. Maybe Almanac Hubby can read up on increasing temps come next month!

12 Mark, a man in his unnatural element. I’m so proud of him for taking on the managerial tasks he’s had the opportunity to tackle over the past year. The night he applied for Oak Harbor online, I did the data entry. That was two years ago - and baby, we’ve come a long way. Computers, still not a favorite, but definitely part of his daily life. Who’d have thought?

13 I medicated myself with Alka-Seltzer Cold Medicine constantly, day and night varieties, enjoying the relief delivered in a crystal goblet. Grandpa Jack gave these to Grandma Ferne and her to me. She passed them on with some negativity, scoffing that he would give her “wine” glasses. In all the hustle of moving her, I didn’t recognize the style of the glasses. It makes me sad that she didn’t understand the intent of his gift, which I assume was, to bring beauty to her tea-totaling beverages.
Application: be open to the beauty that is gifted, do assume ill motives. And - I will appreciate these glasses for her. And - I appreciate the relief Alka-seltzer brings. Plop, plop.

14 Here am I - in bed with two cats and a one big dog, not intending on moving anytime soon. Head painer, nose runner, lungs cougher, body acher, mouth sneezer - a horizontal statistic of the cold season. Lovely. Grateful for bed and home and warmth.
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January 12, 2012

2012 Week 1

Journaling Reads:

1. I found this Italian perpetual calendar in Grandma Loya’s closet when we moved her into assisted living last September. I am certain they got it while stationed there just after WWII.

2. Page 2012 of my Bible, Acts 23. Hmmm... probably a good book to study this month.

3. One of my great joys - living by the ocean and photographing boats. Someday I will live on one!

4. Here’s Olive, the silly dog, out with her papa, in the driver’s seat. Love them both.

5. “Christmas Trees Here Free” Why are there quotes around this? Bethany and Liza gave us their tree after celebrating early. A true blessing for a pauper’s Christmas. I felt a small bit ‘o sad seeing the tag end of Christmas piled in a dumpster.

6. Ford Meter Box Company - Wabash, IN water meter cover. Taken in Shelter Cove during first truck trip of the year.

7. Taken from the patio at the Marina where Mark and I enjoyed our Saturday lunch. The other side of the boat from the 3rd’s photo. Site of our first date.

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