Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Well Christmas 2010 has come and gone, and now we are quickly coming to the end of 2010..... So today I am reflecting on this past year.

This past year has been filled with hope, joy, sadness, and yes even despair. But through it all God has been faithful.

This year I have said a final good bye to a dear friend, Pat, who always made me smile and laugh, to two Uncles one whom I spent my entire childhood with and one who traveled the world serving in the Air Force.

This year I have watched my youngest son feel the pain of a marriage ending. And was brought to tears by the attitude and grace that he showed through this process. It has not been a perfect process but he has shown me how to be gracious to others and for that I am grateful. He has become a wonderful man and in time he will heal and I pray that he finds someone to love him unconditionally. I love you Nathan.

This year I have watched my oldest son grown in his career, stretching his wings to fly to another city, state to do what he does best. He has always wanted to live in a big city, and this year he has started this process, so in 2011 I know we will bid he and his wife good bye as they move to who knows where to continue their journey in this thing called life. I love you Noah and Kristen.

This year I have watched my wife of 32 years grow more precious to me, and fall in love with her more than I thought possible. People ask us how do you stay married for this long..... and our answer is always the same......one day at a time. I love you Sherrie.

This year my wife and I were able to take the vacation of a life time, going on a cruise to Alaska, thanks to my Aunt Margaret who gave this to us as a gift. We will remember this vacation forever and forever be grateful to my Aunt for her gracious gift.

This year I have begun to write, not only this blog but other things as well, something I have always wanted to, and now I am finally doing it.

This year I started a quest to find my childhood cousins, we have all scattered across the country and lost touch with each other. So I began a search to find them, one by one. And as this year closes I have found all of them and all but one has responded with kindness and great memories. I am still waiting for my last cousin to respond, and even if he chooses not to do so, I still found him and know that he is alive and has people who love him surrounding him.

Yes this year has had great, wonderful moments, filled with love, hope, promise and gratitude. And it also had moments that were not so great, filled with despair, and sadness. But I choose to cling to those things that were positive, keeping my glass half full, because in this journey we call life we have the choice of how we look at things and I choose the positive.

I always start each New Year on a happy note because it is my birthday! I am surrounded by those I love celebrating not only my birthday but the birth of a New Year, with all of its hope and excitement. So my wish for all of you is that you look to this New Year 2011 with HOPE, LOVE, and EXCITEMENT for all that it has to offer you.

I say good bye to 2010, and a great big HELLO to 2011!

Blessings to you and yours and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Christmas wish

It is December 20, 2010, a Monday. This morning I am thinking about Christmas and all that it means to me, to my family, and to others.
Christmas has always been a wonderful time for me, my mother LOVED this holiday more than any other, and no matter what our financial status was we always had a wonderful Christmas. But growing up Christmas was just a tree and presents and spending time with our family, nothing more nothing less.
Then when I was 20 years old I came to know Jesus as my saviour, and from that time on Christmas changed for me.
It is about a baby born in a Manger, to a unwed mother, and her soon to be husband, born of lowly stature, his name....... JESUS. He grew up to be a Carpenter and challenged the thinking of his time, and in his early 30's, he gave his life to save mine, and the world's.
At this time of the year I think of those who are struggling, who have lost their jobs, their homes, a loved one.
And I wishing that someone can be JESUS to them, take time to talk to them, to give them comfort, to reach out, offer support. Because life at times gets hard for everyone and it is a these times that people need us... those who know the Saviour to be JESUS to them.
Can you be JESUS to someone in this Season of Light? I pray so, that each of us can offer someone, a shoulder to lean on, in their time of need.
I close this wishing you a Merry Christmas, reminding you that JESUS is the reason for the Season!!
Christmas Blessings to You and Yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Monday, November 29, 2010

And we are off to the Christmas races!!!!!

Catchy title don't ya think? Well there have been years that we have felt that way. But as our kids have grown up and moved out it has slowed down quite a bit. Except for this last week end.... We hosted Thanksgiving, something we do every year. But this year was different, my wife's brother and his wife were going to be here for the first time. It has been over 15 years since Sherrie has celebrated Thanksgiving with her brother, so we were excited to have them. And the dinner was as usual wonderful..... only 9 people at our table one son and his wife were at his in laws, that sharing holidays is not a easy thing for me... but I did it!! Now on to the race.....Since Sherrie's brother was here we or I decided that it would be a great time to have Sherrie's side of the family out for a Open House on Saturday, sounded easy enough. But oh NO, my wife had to have the house completely decorated for Christmas if she was going to be entertaining. Now let me stop here and tell you that we have NEVER put up our Christmas decorations in one day, EVER. There are just so many, and my wife decorates every room in the house including the laundry room... So Friday after Thanksgiving when all other sane people were out shopping, we were tearing our house apart.... why you ask? Well because we had to put away the Thanksgiving decorations before we could put up the Christmas ones. silly people.
So we started at 9 am on Friday, and we finished at 2 am on Friday morning, yes you read that right 2 am! It was a decorating frenzy let me tell you. We worked all day long, did not turn on the television, just played Christmas music, and worked and worked, and worked, and worked. And in the end our house looked wonderful... beautiful.... We surprised those who had come for Thanksgiving as they left the house with Turkeys and Pumpkins and returned to Santa's , Wreath's, and a completely decorated Christmas Tree... wheeeeeew! Then on Saturday we cooked food, for 30 in preparation of the Open House. I must say it was a resounding success! The house looked great, the food was wonderful, and most importantly the company was unsurpassed. The look of contentment on my mother in laws face as she enjoyed having 2 of her 3 children celebrating and enjoying the company of extended family, cousins, aunts, great cousins, all talking laughing, smiling and having a wonderful time. It is an understatement that we were exhausted on Sunday and did not get off of the couch the entire day... But it was all worth it, because you can never do too much for family. Would I do it again? Yes I would, would I be tired? Yes I would . Would I be ever thankful for time spent with those we love? YES I would. Because you see as we race into this Season we call Christmas, we will be able to sit back and enjoy it all because we worked a little on the Friday after Thanksgiving... Merry Christmas to all of you, I will be posting again but just want all of you to know that Jesus is the reason for the Season.
Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Monday, November 8, 2010

November the month of Thanksgiving!!


I hope that this day finds you well and happy!!! We are now 8 days into the month of November!! The month of Thanksgiving as I have always considered it.

So today I will be thankful even in the midst of turmoil, or tragedy, or sorrow, or pain..... because you see I feel that we can choose to be thankful in all of these situations. I know, God knows that I know that in the midst of life changing, altering situations we can get caught up in the drama of it all.

But if we take a moment, step away from all of the chaos for just a moment, we can stop, take a deep breath, and CHOOSE yes CHOOSE to be thankful in all things. For God tells us to do just that : In everything give thanks.

That one word EVERYTHING means just that EVERYTHING, the good, the bad, the ugly, the painful, the heart breaking, we MUST choose to give thanks in everything.

As you know if you have followed me in this blog, in this journey called life, I have had what some would say a difficult year.

I have had to say good bye to a friend, and two Uncles. My youngest son is in the midst of a divorce, and has moved back home. I have had personal relationships that have ended because of accusations and hurtful things said. Probably one of the most difficult years that I can think of in a while. But through it all I have CHOSEN to be THANKFUL.

Thankful for the opportunity to have know Pat my friend. Thankful for the long lives of my two Uncles. Thankful that my son still reaches out to me in his time of need. And thankful that I did get to know my soon to be ex daughter in law, not that I will probably carry on a relationship with her, she has chosen to do some things that I will choose NOT to be a part of. I wish her and her family well, but I will not be a part of their life. And thankful for the relationship that even though had ended because of accusations that are not founded in truth, I still value the person and not the actions of them. But in every situation I am ever THANKFUL for the opportunity to have had the experience. Because if I had not had the experience I would not have been able to grow, and we all need to grow as painful as it can be at times.

So today I choose to be Thankful.... for family .... for friends....for my wife....
for my job....for challenges....for heartbreak....for the passing of loved ones....
because God tells us : IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS, and so I will.

So today what will you choose? How will you go about your day? Will you choose to be thankful in all things? Will you choose to see the good when you are surrounded by the bad? We can all choose to live our lives in abundant grace and thanksgiving, so please CHOOSE to be THANKFUL.

Blessings to you and yours and ever THANKFUL for all who read this
Curtis & Sherrie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Children grow up and fly away!!!


My last few blogs have been rather heavy so today I am writing about life.... now isn't that amazing? LOL

Last Sunday our oldest son Noah, took off on a cross country flight for a job interview, all the way to Charlotte North Carolina!!! Now that is a long ways from Redding California for those of you did not know.

I was so proud of him getting the job interview, but I also was really, really sad that it was so far away. I mean we have our children so that when we are old they can be around for us to annoy, right? I mean we paid our dues; long all nighters with crying babies, sick children, and all of those school activities and parent club meetings, YIKES!! And then just when it is about the time that we are going to cash in on all those sleepless nights those darn kids up and move across the country from us, or at least they try to.

But to be honest I am so proud of both of our sons, they are both hard working, responsible citizens who have great hearts not only for their families but for people in general.

If Noah and his wife are blessed to be able to move to another state I would be thrilled for them.

I have lived in or around the same city all of my life, because that is where my family was. When we got married, and through the years my wife and I have both had opportunities to take jobs away from where we grew up, but we chose to stay near family. Not that that has been a bad decision, it is just the decision that we made. And over the years we have both asked each other " What if " we had taken that job in another state.

I hope and pray that Noah gets a job that takes him places that I have never been before. He has already flown on an airplane, something I have never done, and been to more states than I have, I am so happy for him.

Even as a little boy Noah always wanted to live in a big city, where there was lots to do. So I am praying that he gets to live in a big city, and gets to do what ever it is that he wants/ needs to do in that big city. He will always be my little blond headed boy, smiling up at me no matter where he lives, or how far away.

So as I sit here writing this I am a bit sad, thinking about him moving so far away, but I know he has to make his way in the world. And in his profession you need to be in bigger cities to get better jobs that pay more.

But at no time when my boys were growing up did I ever think that they would live far away from us, just me being a bit naive I think, but the time has come if not this job interview, then the next one, he is going to move; it is just a matter of time. And so I have time to prepare myself, though I can tell you I won't, I will live in denial for as long as I can..... then I will wish him and his wife the best of luck and send them on their way to bigger and better things......

You know life has a way of making you consider things you never thought you would .... in This journey we call life..... Some of them good things and some of them just things..... but no matter where our kids live they are are always our little bundles of joy...... even if they are over 6 feet tall!!!
Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Friday, October 15, 2010

Life's bumps in the road.....

This week we received a phone call from our youngest son telling us that he is leaving his wife and getting a divorce. He asks if he can move home for a while to regroup,and we said of course.

This was not a total surprise because in their almost 3 years of marriage his wife had done some things that were lets just say very difficult to deal with and leave it at that.

No matter what the situation is ending a marriage is at best difficult. For the two people involved, their families and their friends. Now my first reaction is to want to give her a piece of my mind, she has hurt my baby, my youngest and I want revenge and I want it swift and complete! But my more mature side (and I am talking about my wife now) tells me that I need to calm down and not get involved that it will in time resolve itself. I defer to her recommendations, though I still want to have my say!!!

My son however is the one going through this. We love them, raise them, keep them safe and away from life's hurts and harm. And then they grow up, and we can no longer keep them safe, keep them from getting hurt...... and that hurts us because as parents it is always our job to keep our children safe.

When my son called and we talked for over an hour on the phone, he sounded resolved, a bit defeated, and very solemn. This was not like our fun loving son. But he is hurting and this too will pass. As I start my ranting about how could she do this to you blah blah blah, my son stops me and says " Dad I don't hate her, I am even over being mad at her, I just can no longer live this way. I want to be happy and I want her to be happy and Dad the two of us together do not make each other happy." That took the wind out of my sails, my anger subsided, and I thought WOW, what a mature and wise way to look at this. They are no longer going to be a couple, they are going to go their separate ways, and we are ever thankful that they did not have children.

So my son one of the loves of my life is going to be single again, living at home with his mother and I for a while. That is not such a bad thing. I grieve for the loss of a marriage because I believe in marriage and it is always sad when a marriage ends, because in order for it to get to that point there have been two people who have been suffering and living a life that neither of them thought they would on that wonderful day when they said "I do." We as a family will heal, we will move on, we will always love each other. And I truly in time hope that I can be as thoughtful,and mature as my son and not want to hate this person who has hurt my child. I will pray to that end.

But for now I will have to just say that I will tolerate her if I see her, that I truly do not wish her ill will. I wish for her is that she finds happiness, both with herself and in the future choices she makes. I also wish the same for my son, because, even though I do love him I know that he is not perfect and that he made mistakes too.

So I sign off today with a heavy heart, full of love for a son who is hurting, full of tolerance for a soon to be no longer daughter in law. I will get through this I will learn from this because I feel that everything that happens to a family happens for a reason and we must learn from it, all of us or we are destined to repeat some of the things over and over, and I for one do not want to see my children hurting. So friends love those in your family, love those who married into your family, love those who may be leaving your family, for this is a lesson I am going to have to work on as I travel through this journey called life.

Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday Dinners

So yesterday was Sunday, ah that wonderful day the last day of the week end, a day of worship, and for you sports fans a day of ... put in the name of the sport , team that you love to see/ watch. I myself am not a big sports fan, in fact I will only see one football game a year and that is the Homecoming game for our families Alma mater.

Yes both my wife and I, and our children all went to the same high school. Central Valley High School, go Falcons!!! And we all try to go to Homecoming each year, we do not always make it but we try. This year all of us are going to be there, my wife and I , our sons and their wives, our best friends from High School, their children a great time to reconnect and just have some fun. But my thoughts wander, this has nothing to do with Sunday Dinners.

Yesterday we invited our boy's and their spouses, and my wife's parents to our home for dinner. Only our oldest son and his wife could make it, as our youngest son and his wife were already going to a Bar B Que at a friends and they were going to watch the football game.

So we were there just the 6 of us breaking bread, eating homemade Lasagna, French Bread, Salad, and of course a wonderful dessert. Not that the food is important, but for what reason I do not know, Sunday's have always been Italian food days at our house, we are not Italian, but I do love Italian food, and I do make a mean Lasagna!

It is the mere act of being together, sharing our lives, our daily grinds if you will, with each other, that makes these time special. Participating in each others lives in a way that draws us closer as a family.

Both of our sons have gotten married over the last 3 years. These dinners have allowed us the wonderful opportunity to get to know our daughter in laws. To share with them, love them, let them know that we are a FAMILY and that we help each other through the good times and the difficult ones.

I love it when we can all get together for times like these. Yesterday was different, somewhat bittersweet, because our son is looking for a new job, in his chosen field of television production, but one that pays more. We have known for some time that he would be looking for a new job, and I must say I have not been looking forward to this, because it will mean that he and his wife will have to move, and not just a few miles away but probably across the country. So yesterday as we sat there laughing, talking, sharing... I was taken back by the mere thought that times like these might be ending soon, that my son and his wife will not be able to come HOME for dinner, to break bread, talk, laugh, and enjoy each others company. My wife and I have never moved from the area that we grew up in, we chose to stay and be close to family, our choice but one that I felt and still do feel was the right choice for our family.

But our son wants to make his own way, make his own life and that includes moving. We know that once he and his wife move they in all likelihood ever live here in our city again. I have so many mixed emotions about this, but I try to put on my supportive good father face and deal with it. I know the day will come, and it will be sooner than I want that they will no longer be able to come to Sunday dinners at our home, but for now I will cherish each and every time that they can come. Savoring their company, my sons wonderful sense of humor, his wife's ability to blend in with this at times crazy family.

So if you have dinners with your family be they on a Sunday or any other day of the week. Enjoy each and every minute you have to spend with your family because you never know how long you may have all of them with you.

Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Friday, September 17, 2010

Milestones and birthday celebrations

Yesterday my wonderful Mother In Law celebrated her 74th birthday. Ruby or mom, grandma as we all call her is the BEST mother in law a man could ever have.

She raise three wonderful children, two sons, and her wonderful daughter, my wife. She is the most unassuming person you would ever meet. She never wants the spotlight on her always preferring it to be on someone, anyone else. But not on her birthday. We all come to celebrate her birthday. The boys and their wives, my wife and I , it is a small party. Both of my wife's brothers live in other states and they are not able to participate in the celebration, but they are there in spirit.

My mother in law is always there to lend support, love, give of her time. She watched our sons when they were babies and toddlers, as my wife and I worked. She would never consider having us bring the boys to her home oh no, she wanted them to be in their own home with their things and in their surroundings every day. She loves our boys with abandon, I could go on telling stories of the things she has done for our boys through the years to make their lives better but I could not type that many letters... suffice it to say she is a WONDERFUL grandmother.

So last night we celebrated with this wonderful woman, my wife's mother her birthday, with dinner, cake, ice cream, presents. Mom really would have just preferred that we just come for dinner, no presents, no fuss, just having us all together around her dinner table makes her happy.

So as I write this today, I am humbled by this wonderful woman, my mother in law, mom, my wife's mother, my son's grandmother. I am not only humbled by her wonderful spirit, but by her undying love for her family, her husband of 56 years, her grandchildren, her daughter and her third son, yes I consider her my mother, I have known my mother in law, for over 40 years.... So mom Happy Birthday, I love you, for loving me, for raising a wonderful daughter and for loving our son's. You are one of a kind and WE all love you.

Love Curtis

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall and all its Glory

The weather is getting cooler here in our part of the country. The mornings are cool and crisp, you have to have a light jacket on to go outside, the leaves are just starting to turn, oh glorious Fall.

Every season has it's own unique and wonderful quirks. But Fall is probably my favorite time of the year. We are coming off of the busy summer season, tired from running every weekend. When Fall arrives it is a nice ah ha moment, we all sit a spell, take a deep breath and just relax.

I look forward to the leaves changing and falling , I don't even mind raking the leaves it is a relaxing activity for me. The musty smell of the earth cooling off and moist damp air. Inside the house we cozy up, bring out the Fall throws to warm ourselves with, anticipate the first fire in the fireplace, and yes we actually do burn wood, in a real fireplace not a gas or propane one. The smell of wood burning, sugar cookie candles burning, a roast in the crock pot, a hot steaming cup of coffee aah glorious Fall.

My wife and I look forward to getting out our Fall wreaths, and decorations, we change out the whole house for every season and they are all special but as I said Fall is my favorite. We bring in the warm accent colors of Fall, rust, burgundy, browns, oranges, golds, all warm and inviting to the eye. We make sure that there are lots and lots of candles and we light them all in the evening just to make the house look warm and inviting. We bring in some of the outdoors in, I gather wild grapevines with their leaves still on and use them to decorate the deck and also use them to wrap around our chandeliers, we bring in pine cones, placing them around the house under cloches, on trays, on the mantle, all around to remind us of God's wonder and bounty. Aah Fall how I love thee.

So how do you enjoy Fall? What do you do that makes the transition from Summer to Fall? I would love to hear how others celebrate this wonderful glorious season.
Blessings to you and yours Curtis & Sherrie

We entertain more in the Fall, our house is better adapted for Fall and Winter entertaining, we have a swamp cooler so the summers are too hot for most people. But Fall and Winter we light up the fireplace, light the candles and just enjoy our family and friends.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life and it's ebbs and flows, the passing of a loved one

Last weekend on Sunday September 05, 2010 my father's brother Charlie passed. As I sit here remembering my childhood there are not very many situations or events that my Uncle Charlie was not part of.

We as a family spent many hours together, camping, hunting, boating, skiing, swimming, breaking bread, and working. Yes working, my Uncle was a self employed fixer of all things and as all of us boys became teenagers and needed/ wanted money, Uncle Charlie always had a job for us to do that he would pay us for. I roofed, pulled weeds, swept, mopped, stacked wood, and did all kind of manual labor for him. He taught me about work ethic, and would on more than one occasion make me do the job over to his satisfaction, to my dismay I might add. But he did teach me about work and its rewards.

He also taught all of us about community, and volunteering, making life better for others who were not as fortunate as we were. You could always call on him to volunteer his time, money, and talent to anything that needed to be done in our small community. As we drive through our small community, you can see tangible evidence of things that he worked on, the Little League fields, the Community Center, the high school football field, and stands. If he could not do the actual labor he could be seen getting others to donate their time and money for community events. He at times appeared to be tireless, always willing to help out.

He and my Aunt were married for 63 years, a very long time. Theirs was not a perfect marriage, not many marriages that I know of are. But it was constant, steady and they loved each other deeply, an example for all of us who followed them into our own marriages. Uncle Charlie had dementia, which in my opinion the worst of all diseases, it robs you of your memory, of the connection to those you love, but those who loved him did not lose their connection. My Aunt went to the hospital every day for 8 months, making sure that he was taken care of, bringing him his meals from home, helping him to eat, loving him, caring for him, being the steady rock for him. His youngest son would also go to the hospital to see his dad, at times waking up with just the feeling that his dad needed him at that time and he would go, taking care of the man who took care of him. Again an example for all of us and our loved ones, to take care of each other, love each other, be there for each other, forgiving each other so that we can do this.

So this week as I have reflected on a life that touched mine in many ways always with love and the wanting of better for me and my family. I have realized just how lucky I was to have been a part of Charlie Chipley's family, how much he and his wife, my Aunt Sue mean to me and my family, and just how much I learned from him through out my life.

I will always love him, love Aunt Sue and their children and grandchildren, because we are all family, no matter the distance between us and there are many miles that separate all of us, we are all tied together by love.

So with this I say so long for now Uncle Charlie you are in a better place, and I will see you again one day. As you are up in heaven with my mom, your mom, your father and countless other family members, smile down on us left here, knowing that all of you who have gone on before us will be there to greet us as they greeted you; into the gates of Heaven. God Speed Uncle Charlie, may you now have the Peace that surpasses all understanding. I love you.

Love your Nephew Curtis

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I must start off by saying that I have had a dry spell and have not been able to write anything for a while and for this I apologize. But this past week has been a life lesson for me, yes you can learn a life lesson even at the age of 53.

And what life lesson is it that you learned you ask??? Well I learned more about words, and how they are used, and interrupted, and how they can soothe someone or cut them to the bone even though that was not the intent. And I learned that those we love the most can be hurt the most by our words, and that my friends is a difficult and hard lesson to learn at any age.

We use words every day, and yet we do not often think about how they are received by the people around us. We say things at times without thinking of the consequences or the impact that they have on those around us. My mother always told us that if we did not have anything nice to say to not say anything at all. This is a very good life lesson, and one that I need to adhere to.

We all say things that we do not think will be hurtful, because in our lack of sensitivity we do not know how any other person will respond to those words, we do not know where that person may be in that particular time of their life, or where they have come from. We say things that we may not find offensive or hurtful, but they can be to others. So .... I learned a very hurtful and hard lesson that I need to make sure that MY words are never hurtful, never mean, never intentionally disrespectful to others. That MY words are comforting, loving, soothing, and that they make the other person walk away feeling loved, appreciated and glad that they made my acquaintance.

I am a very soft hearted person, some say that I wear my feelings on my sleeve, I cry at commercials, weddings, baptisms, in church, heck I cry everywhere! It is because I at times can feel others pain, I have empathy for others, and truly care for people. So when this week end I said words, that hurt another person, I was absolutely crushed, because I have lived my life caring for other people. I would never want to be the one who hurt someone else, yet because of my insensitivity I did just that.

Once the words leave your mouth you can never take them back, and even though you may apologize for them the hurt and pain that they may have caused it still evident to those around you. My wife has a saying and says it all the time because I am always saying I wish this person would do....... and her response is always the same ," You cannot control other people's behavior". She is so right, I cannot control other people's behavior but I can sure control mine.

So as I close this posting, that I must say is not very easy to write.... I ask all of us including myself to always make sure that the words that come from our mouth are kind, gentle, gracious, loving, and comforting. Because once they have left our mouth. they can never be taken back, and sometimes the hurt they cause can be so deep that it may never be healed completely.

Blessings to you and yours

Monday, July 26, 2010

Having fun

Yesterday, Sunday, we usually go to Church but not yesterday. I got up and told my wife to get dressed we were going on a road trip.

We got ready I packed a small ice chest with a light lunch and away we went. We got on the road about 9:30 am and we were at the beach with our toes in the sand by 12:30. We are so blessed to live to close to the ocean, not a block away but definitely a short drive. We do not do this often enough. It seems that we get bogged down with life's everyday things, and routines and forget to enjoy, have some fun!

When we were first married we would wake up on a Saturday or Sunday and say let's have lunch at..... San Franciso, Sacramento, Ashland, Eureka, and would get up and away we would go, two young people in love and full of adventure. Over time life happens you have kids, jobs, responsibility's, and you somehow forget to have FUN. Well my friends you must NEVER forget to have FUN because life is way too short. I know this all too well, having lost several people in their early to mid 50's.

We drove, held hands, talked, laughed, contemplated, and just enjoyed the day and what it had to offer as we sailed along. It is these times spent with the one you love or ones you love that become some of the best memories. We walked along the beach as the fog was coming in, it was about 60 degree's, that would be about 45 degree's cooler than where we live. It was refreshing, soul healing, FUN, and relaxing all at the same time.

There is something so calming about being on the beach at the ocean, the rhythm of the waves, the sound of the sea gulls, watching a child discover the possibilities of what they can make with just some sand, a pail and some sea weed.....

I need, long for, time spent at a beach with my wife, just the two of us walking the same beaches that we walked when we were first married, when we were young parents, when our kids were teenagers. I love the feeling of it all, it feels like an old friend, comfortable, reassuring, nurturing. The ocean holds healing for me, it somehow soothes my soul. As I tell my wife I needed a ocean fix.. We go to other beaches, areas of the ocean, but there are two places on the Northern California Coast it is Clam Beach , and in Oregon it is Bandon and it's beaches, both places are calming and healing for me....

So find your healing, calming place, go there to rejuvenate your soul. Have FUN while you are doing it. Remember we are NEVER to old have fun, we at times I think just forget how to. So relearn how to have fun, relax, and enjoy yourself, because this is not a dress rehearsal my friend it is YOUR life, make the most of it. I know that I need this reminder from time to time also.

Blessings to you and yours Curtis & Sherrie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Birthdays, celebrations and history lessons all in one!

Since last Saturday we have celebrated 5 birthdays in our family!!!! July is a busy birthday month for us.

As we celebrate each birthday I try to reflect on how long we have known the person who is having the birthday. I try and remember when we met, what the circumstances were for that first meeting. Now for all of the birthdays we are celebrating this week they have all been family , wonderful, exasperating, crazy, loveable family!!

Birthdays always offers us a chance to see where we have been, and enjoy the fact that we were there. It also offers us a chance to see where we might be going, and depending on where you have landed on the birthday calendar number that may be a long way or for some of us a shorter distance... but never quit going where you want to go no matter your age.

As we celebrated a 60 year birthday, and a 74 year birthday, I was thinking that I have known these people for over 40 years!!!! I met my wife's family when I was 10 years old, and we won't go into how old I am, OK OK you can do the math !!! But we have been family for quite some time, we have shared weddings, divorces, births of our children, saying good by to loved ones for the last time, and through it all we have remained family, we have been there for each other, we have loved each other through life's challenges .

We are like a crazy patch quilt, all of us different; but stitched together by life and its circumstances, and ebbs and flows. Alone we are just a small part of the universe, but together we are a wonderful crazy mixed up family, that I love and adore. We have our problems, and faults, show me a family that says it doesn't and I will show you a family with a great big closet of denial. But with all of our problems and faults we still love each other and need each other. Life is so much fuller because family is in it.

So today call a family member, crazy or not, and let them know you were thinking of them, if you cannot call, write them a note and drop it in the mail. We all need each other in order to make it to our next birthday what ever birthday that is for you..... so Happy Birthday to all go and celebrate, enjoy and eat a piece of cake for me!
Blessings to you and yours Curtis & Sherrie

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life's challenging times........ love can make a difference

This past week has been a difficult one for me. My brother who is younger by two years, was hospitalized for doing things that he should not have been doing.

Our lives growing up were chaotic at best, we come from a long line of alcoholics. So though there were good times there were many more chaotic times due to people, the adults in our lives making bad decisions with alcohol. My brother has done the same, and you throw in years of drug abuse , well you get the picture.

So he is in the hospital, and near death, I am praying for him as I always do but sitting there with him makes me so sad... to see what the decisions that he has made have done to not only him but his family.

Anyway as I am sitting there talking to him, when he is coherent enough to talk. We make small talk, I ask him what the doctors have told him, he tells me that one of his kidneys and his liver had started to shut down and that he was near death and that the doctor has advised him that he should go to a in house treatment program to get himself straightened out.

Now this is not the first time he has been told this by a physician, but he has never been so close to death before. After he tells me what the doctor has said, I sit quietly for a moment and then ask him.... so what are you going to do when you get out of here? I am longing to hear, "Find a
N A and or AA meeting" , but as usual that is not what I hear. I am dumb founded, but then quickly remember this is not the first time he has needed to do this, find a way to stop all this madness.

I have gone to Al Anon off and on for years for my sanity, and to learn how to deal with those around me who are out of control. And one of the lessons that has been brought home to me is that I cannot make the decision for them I must let them go, as hard as it is, let them deal with their problem and be ready to be there for them when they are ready to get the help they need.

This is the hardest lesson for me for I am the oldest, the big brother, the Peace maker, the one who always wants to make it right. I struggle with this, but know that in the end it is my brother who must make the decision, the choice, and bear the struggle to get himself clean and sober.

It is my job to continue to love him in whatever state he is in, to not enable him, but to not alienate him either, to walk that fine line that keeps our communication open so that I can offer him help when he needs it. I find this so hard at times, as I watch him slowly killing himself, and have to just stand by and love him, pray for him, for I have argued, yelled, screamed, cried, and begged him to get help and all of that has not produced the results that I wanted.

So I am now resolved to the fact that I cannot help someone who does not want help. This does not make it any easier for me in fact it makes it at times so difficult that I cannot stand it. But I must give my brother to someone bigger than both of us, I have given him to GOD because I am so weary of worrying about him. I know that my heavenly Father will in his due time help my brother find peace within himself, and give himself to him wholly and completely so that he can be healed from these addictions.

In our daily lives we have friends, family, co workers, who are struggling with addiction, and at times we are at a loss as to how to best help them. For me I have come to the conclusion that I must just love the person where they are, not giving in to their addiction or allowing them to drag me into their problems. But offer a shoulder for support, a love that is unconditional, and to pray for them always.

If you find yourself in this type of situation, know that I know exactly how you fell, know that you cannot change a person who does not want to be changed. But also know that they want , need, long for our love and support for them the person not the addiction. Pray for them, love them, and be there for them for one day I pray they will come to us and we need to be there for them. So love the unlovely, comfort those who need it, and remember that it is only our job to love them no matter where they are at In This Journey Called Life........
Blessings to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

4th of July Make some memories

Earlier this week I wrote about 4th of July's gone by, and how the memories are fresh and make me smile even though the events have long passed.

So today I want to say, make memories every day not just for holidays but every day do something that makes you smile and then when you think back you can say YES that was a good day.

As we go into this week end of celebrating our nation's birthday, take a moment and ponder the wonderful Country that we live in, the freedoms that we have, and the vast country side that is there for us to go and see.

Yes we have some problems and issues, and what country does not have these? But for the most part we have an awesome country, we are allowed to practice the religion of our choice, and even when we do not agree with others on their choice they still have that choice, this is HUGE because in other countries around the world this is not true. Thank GOD that we continue to have this right here in our country.

So as you celebrate this week end, with your picnics, fireworks, bar b ques, parties, family reunions, remember that our we are truly blessed to live here in these United States of America. Happy Birthday America, I for one feel ever so blessed to live in the Greatest country on this Earth!!!

Blessings to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Week Ends

Wow it is Monday yet again. The week ends just seem to fly by, especially in the Summer. We started the week end at a favorite Winery here in Redding, my and my wonderful wife, just the two of us. We ordered a 1/2 pitcher of Mango Sangria, OMG was that ever good!!! We also had a wonderful Strawberry and mozzarella Caprese, with just the right amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.... so refreshing. Then the week end just sort of spun out of control, now I know what you are thinking but not with just a 1/2 pitcher of Sangria between us!!!

We did chores on Saturday and then just enjoyed the day, but then on Sunday, our great friends invited us to go up to a wonderful Alpine Mountain Lake, Lake Siskyou, yes I wrote about it a few weeks ago.

We packed up a picnic lunch, and met them, their oldest daughter and her family, we love them so much, and our oldest son and his wife joined us also, and we love them even MORE =).

We had a wonderful time just sitting on the beach drinking Raspberry Sangria's , my personal recipe that turned out fabulous!! And watching Angie and Kirk's two children play in the water and sand.

All of us adults just sat and visited, and enjoyed the day, and I might add that the temperature in Redding on Sunday was 106, yes you read that right 106, and at that lovely lake up in Mount Shasta only about 78, with a lovely breeze blowing through to cool you just when you about thought you might get all flush and stuff. It was wonderful.

Nothing better than spending the day with great friends, your kids and a cool mountain lake to cool you off.

So I hope you had a great week end filled with those you love, and that you took the time to enjoy your self, I know I did.

Blessings to you and yours..... Curtis and Sherrie

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lazy Summer Days

So it is officially Summer!!!! YEAH WHOOPEE!!! I remember as a kid loving summer and all that it had to offer. We always had a boat and would spend endless days out on Shasta Lake, skiing, swimming and just being lazy. Ahh those were the days.....

But then you grow up start your career, find that you don't always have the time that you want to do the things you want so you have to make choices. Not that making choices is a bad thing, it is just something that you have to do. When I first started college I thought I wanted to be a grade school teacher, not just to teach but for that wonderful Summer off you get, I know not so noble of me eh?

Anyway as we progress into this Summer, I am thinking about lazy days spent walking on the beach hearing the roar of the ocean, or camping at our favorite spot, smelling the camp fires. Isn't it funny how sounds and smells evoke such wonderful memories for all of us?

So we have already gone on one "camping or glamping" trip. But my wife and I are tent campers we actually like sleeping in a tent hearing the night sounds, and feeling the breeze through the fabric. We are planning at least 2 camping trips for the summer and I am so looking forward to them. So what are your Summer plans??? They do not have to be elaborate, or long, but it makes the Summer so much more fun when we make plans and get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

May your Summer plans be wonderful and the memories great!! Here's to Root beer floats, Bar-B-Que, and lazy Summer afternoons...... Blessing to you and yours Curtis and Sherrie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

4th of July Memories

I am sitting here thinking about 4th of July celebrations gone by..... The ones where we dressed our boys in red white and blue, with their little hats on sitting in downtown Mount Shasta watching the 4th of July parade go by. When our boys were small we would go up to Mt. Shasta and "camp" out at our dear friends grandmother's house. We would set up a tent in the yard and actually sleep out there but then had the real " facilities" that we needed with two small children. Grandma Inie would always have root beer floats out on her front porch every afternoon the kids.... oh who am I fooling I loved that . The grown ups would sit on the front porch and have our root beer floats and watch our children playing in the front yard. Sweet memories....

As the boys got older we began to rent a beach house up on Bandon Oregon. To this day I think it was the boys favorite place to be. We could access the beach from a trail out the front door, watch the fireworks outside or if was too cold we could watch them from the house, it had wonderful floor to ceiling windows. We had some incredible family times there with our family and friends who would come with us. Bandon is a small fishing village and has a great Old town area where every year they too would have a 4th of July parade, and we would sit on the edge of the sidewalk and watch as people of all ages , walked, rode their bikes, rode in floats down the small short street with all of us spectators clapping as each one came by. Oh how I loved those times... now our "boys" are all grown up and making lives of their own. My wife and I look forward to seeing where their lives take them but every once in a while I find myself looking back and just for a moment wishing time had stood still on that small street in Bandon, or Mt. Shasta and that my "boys" were still that small sitting there with us watching that parade, asking all of those thousands of questions..... Sweet Memories

So as you plan your 4th of July celebration this year savor every moment, because those moments all too soon pass by and you wonder where the time went. Catch a fire fly, shoot of some fireworks, roast that marshmallow, or have a root beer float, but do all of this with those whom you love and remember that these times are what memories are made of......
Blessings to you Curtis and Sherrie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Great Weekends!!

Hello all I am back.... after a great week end with great friends, and an awesome setting.

We had our annual Family Camp at our Church. Now my wife and I have not always gone to Family Camp, for various reasons and just life, but we have gone several times over the years.

This year our wonderful friends Cesar and Tami invited us to share a cabin that they had rented so it was technically not "camping" but we had the outdoor experience that two empty nester couples wanted LOL, no dirt, no sleeping on the ground, and no smoke in your eyes!!

The camp this year was up at a small lake here in Northern California called Lake Siskyou, located in the beautiful mountain town of Mt. Shasta. The setting was great, you have the beautiful mountain lake reflecting Mt. Shasta which soars 14,000 feet above sea level and is still covered in a white blanket of snow, so beautiful. The organizers could not have picked a better place to have camp. Our family has camped here at this lake off and on for over 30 years so we are familiar with it, but every time I go I am amazed at the beauty of God's handiwork.

We had a great speaker, wonderful music, and awesome fellowship with people who we see on a weekly basis at church but really we do not get to know in the way that you get to know people when you are out in the wide open spaces, and sharing a wonderful experience with. It is always good to see people in different settings, and to get to know them the real them, who they are, what their life experiences have been. I am always amazed and even humbled when I hear testimonies from people about what their lives are about, the paths they have taken. We had people from the ages of 4 to 84 at this camp so all generations were represented.

The thing that struck me as a 53 year old empty nester, who as of this writing has not been blessed with grandchildren, were the grandparents who were there with their grandchildren, just the grandparents and the grandchildren, no parents. And some of the stories about why they are there with their grandchildren are heart wrenching, children in prison, or into drugs, or have lost custody of their children.... the stories go on and on...but Grandparents stepping in to help raise their grandchildren. I have been reading about this and seeing this more and more but it really hit home this week end seeing those grandparents some not much older than myself and my wife, raising another family, when they thought they would be retired.

Our lives take many turns, and who knows my wife and I might one day have to help our children raise their children, I just hope that I will be able to do it with the love and patience that I saw this week end with our friends, running after 2 year olds, making sure that junior highers have things to do to keep them busy..... my hat is off to those grandparents who are helping raise their grandchildren..... you are truly amazing people and you are leaving a legacy for your grandchildren of love, commitment, and family.....

So another Family camp is over , and I look forward to it next year, and who knows we may have a grandchild to take to family camp.... but more importantly we have shared with some of the most wonderful people we know an experience that will become a memory for all of us in this tapestry that we call our life.......

Blessings to you Curtis and Sherrie

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saying So long for now but never goodbye

Today I write with a heavy heart as I have just heard that a long time friend has died. In times such as this you just do not know what to do, say, think.....

My friend was a wife, mother, grandmother, and a wonderfully free spirited person who made all who knew her smile.

My heart goes out to her family, her son, her daughter, her husband, and her grandchildren. She leaves a legacy of warmth, friendship, love, and laughter to those of us whom she left behind.

We all face times like this when a person, friend, loved one passes on. It makes us all stop and reflect on their lives, how our lives were touched by them, and how are we going to make a difference in those people who we love?

I have lost many people in my life, some where in my life for a short period of time, others, my mother, grandmother were the foundation of my life. It is never easy to say good bye or to let go, but let go we must. I know and it is my belief that they are all going to a better place, and that someday we will see them again.

So for now I will say so long Pat, you always made me smile and laugh, and I know you will be doing the same up in Heaven. I am not going to say good bye because we will meet again in time. My grief is for your family not for you for you are in a far better place, I will hug your daughter and shake your son's hand and remind them what a wonderful mother they had, and that they need to hold tight to the wonderful memories and legacy that you have left behind for them. I will shake Terry's hand and offer him my condolences for the loss of his life partner his wife, and I will smile as I remember you.

So Pat I will say so long for now, my friend, thanks for making me smile through the years.....

If you have a friend that you love and you may have not heard from in a while, that you talked to yesterday, that you may have had a falling out with, call them , stop by, make time, tell them you love them, tell them how wonderful they are, and how much you appreciate them, what they have done for you. For we know not what tomorrow brings......

Sending prayers and Blessings to not only Pat's family but to you who ever you may be who is reading this today..... Blessings Curtis and Sherrie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Heat is on well Almost....

The last couple of days here in sunny Northern California have been a bit hot and humid.. Now we are used to it being hot but HUMID??? NOT I do not like the humidity and do not know how people who live in parts of the country where it is humid all summer deal with it.

That said I do love the early summer, flowers are still blooming with abandon, it has not gotten too hot that we all retreat to our homes with our coolers and air conditioners on. We can still sit out on the deck and watch the birds, and deer, all the while listening to the creek rush by, it is now slowing down from the big run off from the winter storms and snow pack that we have here in our area, and in a few weeks it will be just a slow moving babbling creek but it does run all summer long never drying up. The kids in the area even damn it up with rocks from the bottom of the creek making a great swimming hole that the entire community enjoys, especially when it gets to over 100 degree's.

I love living here on the creek, being able to just while away the afternoon listening to it rush by; enjoying a glass of wine and the good company of my wife or who ever drops by.

My yard is still a work in progress so as I sit here I imagine my Tuscan style patio with the pea gravel floor and open pergola finished with grapes and trumpet vine intermingling on it. So much still to do, but for me the planning process is as much fun as the actual finished project. Are you like that too?? I love planning a project, tweaking in the process, making it better , or at least in my eyes better, and then when it is done I look at it and relish in the fact that this was once just a thought in my head and I made it come to life. Well I see some roses that need dead heading, and some other things that need to be done here in the yard so I will bye for now, Blessings to you Curtis and Sherrie

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seasons and the weather.... and worry .....

So I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to the sound of wind and rain, not just rain but pouring rain.... in our part of the world when it is June you do not expect it to be raining. Now I love the rain , the sound of the rain, the softness of the earth after the rain, but really.... in June???? I am a bit tired of the rain at this point, give me some SUNSHINE, and lots of it. Now next week I will be bemoaning about the heat, just do not listen to me, remind me of this posting and how I wanted it the SUNSHINE.
But it is Friday, and I have had a bit of a difficult week, I won't go into it here but the lesson I have learned, and I have had to learn it over and over and over and over again, because I am a bit of a control freak... is that if we give our cares to GOD he has broad shoulders and he can take them from us, and we can get on with life without stressing too much.... Did I mention I stress a bit? I am not a OMG freak out kind of stresser I just keep it all in, my stomach tied in knots, and can't sleep kind of stress person. So through the years I have had to relearn how to give things to God so that I do not stress so much.
Much like the weather, oh how I would like the Sun to shine, but I must take all that God has for me and just learn to enjoy every day to its fullest, rain or shine.
So how is your day? Are you worrying about things you cannot change or are you giving them to God and letting him help you ? I know I struggle with this, and am not the person to be even writing about it, but here I am , maybe God is using this writing to remind me AGAIN to let him do his job of caring for me and I am to do my job of telling others about HIM.
Something to think about, ponder...... wishing you all a wonderful weekend, Blessings to all Curtis

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Beginnings, Graduation Time

So here we are the first week of June, summer is quickly coming upon us. Here in the area where I live Graduations are happening all over. Graduation time evokes feelings of hope, new beginnings, optimism, feelings of I can conquer the world.

Remember back to your own Graduation, how you felt, feelings of relief that you were done with that chapter of your life, and you were beginning a new chapter that had yet to be written.

So many things to do, to experience, to enjoy... as a young person you have the world before you, so make your mark on this world. Go out and do the things that you have been dreaming about, go to college, get married, have children, see the world. Write your life song on the walls of the world, make the world a better place just because you are in it.

We all felt this way as we embarked on our own personal journeys into this life of adulthood, the rights of passage that everyone takes. We all want to make the world a better place, be the change we want in others.

So as I write today I am writing for those of you who will don cap and gown and take that walk across that stage going from childhood to adulthood in one small stroll. Go on make all us proud, do the things you have wanted to do, but don't forget in the process, who helped you get here, who you are, who loves you, who you love, and that you will forever be in a family that for good or bad is part of your story..... Congratulations to all the Graduates of the class of 2010!

Blessings to all of you, Curtis

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Vacations and the aftermath....

Well my wife and I received an incredible gift from my aunt, my mothers sister, she paid for us to go on a cruise to Alaska. It was wonderful, well most parts were wonderful..... see my wife has wanted to go on a cruise for ever, I on the other hand have always been um afraid... because I get car sick.... and when you are on a boat, oh yeah I was corrected several times it is a SHIP.... you just cannot get off whenever you want too.... Anyhoo, we go on this fabulous cruise, the SHIP is great, the food fabulous, we met some amazing people, and Alaska, well it is just beautiful. So the first 4 days were wonderful, we were loving this cruising lifestyle vacation.... the service, the food, the people all waiting on you... nothing better. Then the 5th, day well the 5th day, it was actually our 31st anniversary, we had planned a wonderful day on the ship just enjoying each others company, but mother nature had other plans. The weather turned bad, we had 70 mile per hour winds, and 40 foot seas.... well for this land lubber that was just a bit much, did I mention I get car sick??? It is nothing compared to what was happening in our little cabin on the high seas, I have never been so sick in all my life, it was awful, we could not stand up we had to grab onto the rails in the hallway and literally pull ourselves along in the hallway. This was my worst nightmare coming true, my fear about going on a cruise was that I would get sick and get sick I did... awful just awful, but then on the other had we have a story to tell about our 31st anniversary, our friends tell me that I will look back on this and laugh with abandon about it, and regale the story over and over... I think it will be some time before I can laugh about it, but it was truly a trip of a life time..... So if you want to go on a cruise by all mean GO, you will survive, you will have stories to tell, you will meet wonderful people and see great places.... just know that mother nature and the high seas are no match for mortal man ...... Blessings to all Curtis

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Misplaced items or opps I lost that!

So this morning I get up do my regular routine, and head off to work. I stop by my new favorite coffee shop, Breaking New Grounds here in Redding. I have my morning cup of joe, then off to the dry cleaners to pick up my dry cleaning. As I pull up to my office I reach for my cell phone because it has not gone off yet, and I am on call, when I am on call the phone usually does not stop ringing. So I reach for it and to my HORROR there is no phone in my pocket. Now I know that I put it in my pocket when I left the house I search the car, and then go into my office and call my cell number, this has worked before, oh yeah I have misplaced my phone a few times LOL. No luck, no I am panicking, so I call both the coffee shop, and the dry cleaner to see if I had left it at either place, no such luck. No worries I say I MUST have forgotten it at home, so off I drive to my house to get my phone. When I enter the house it is too quiet, I call the cell number again and no sound, now I am beginning to worry. Lots of thoughts are running through my head, where could I have lost it, does someone else have it, all of my families and work contact numbers are in that phone..... So I drive and retrace my stops in the morning, I have already called both places, but they both say no phone..... I am beginning to panic, I drive to the dry cleaners, and ask the girl at the counter if anyone has turned in a cell phone, she says she will check and low and behold there it is, my cell phone, my life line to all the people I know, I am so relieved. I thanked both of the employee's at the dry cleaners, and as I am leaving I say out loud " Thank you Lord for letting me find my cell phone", I hear from behind me a voice, saying what about me, you should be saying Thank you Greg, that is the employee's name who found the phone. I smiled and then turned around and said thank you Greg, but all along I knew it was the Lord who allowed me to find my phone, a small black and silver thing no bigger than a credit card that we all have become so tied to over the years. So I say THANK YOU LORD for using Greg, there he gets his accolades, in helping me find my phone. Lesson learned, don't panic, PRAY, don't start the what ifs , PRAY, don't worry PRAY, GOD answers prayer even for lost cell phones. Sending Blessings you way , oh and can I get your number for my cell??? Blessings Curtis

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

So this week end we are celebrating Mother's Day, a day to offer appreciation to the woman who not only gave birth to you but who nurtured you through all of life's ups and downs along the way. To those of you who still have your Mother here, make sure that you let them know how much you love them, how much you appreciate all that they did for you growing up, and how much you appreciate them now for all they do for you. Our Mother's have given to us unconditional Love, through out our lives and we in turn need to honor them with our love.

For those of you whose Mother's are no longer here with them, and I include myself in this, as my mother passed 16 years ago from Cancer. We need to remember our Mother's so that their memories do not fall by the way side. We need to honor them by remembering them, their laugh, their jokes, their quirky ways, the way that they made us laugh.... and yes the way that they loved us also unconditionally.

So on this Mother's Day Week End 2010, please take the time to tell your mom that you love them, that you appreciate them, that you are grateful for the sacrifices big and small that they made for you while you were growing up.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the mothers out there..... We collectively love you even when we don't tell you, you are the life blood of our families, and our first love.... Blessings to you Mother's on this Blessed Day................ Curtis

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Giving back

Last night I met with a group of amazing people who give back to the community in so many ways. It was a group made up of artists, construction workers, Administrators, and shop owners, who collectively have a mission to give back to this community that we all live in. I was in awe of the time and effort this small group puts in to offer something back to others. We collectively probably would not even know each other as we all run in different circles here in this mid sized city. But given a cause, and the cause that we choose to work with is our Woman's Refuge, a place where battered women and children can find respite in their time of need. In this current economic crisis that we all find ourselves monies are being taken away from programs like this, programs that each community desperately needs, though we wish we did not need them we do. So we this band of Angels will meet each month to put on a Community Event , a little something we call Home Hop, a tour of wonderful homes in our area, this event takes place the last Sunday of April each year. We look for people who are willing to open their homes to us to use on this tour to raise money. And these people are also Angels who give from their hearts. So today I am thankful for people, Angels who offer their time and talents to others so that those in need can find peace in their often chaotic and frightening world. Blessings to all of you out there who volunteer in what every capacity that you do, because you DO make a difference someone along the way. Sending Blessings to you all................... Curtis

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Daily life in the Gulch

We live in a small town, and I mean small less than 500 residents. So there is not a lot to do in the Gulch, as we locals call it, as it is properly named French Gulch. So every morning, I get up and go outside to see what God has made bloom just for me on that day. Today I find that a beautiful purple Iris is blooming on a stem that is probably at least 4 feet tall, it is commanding in the little flower bed that it is in, but oh so pretty. I also noticed that my Peonies are just beginning to open, I cannot wait for them to unfurl their beautiful petals releasing their intoxicating perfume all over the garden. Next to the Peonies my French Lavender is also blooming. So after I see all of this in the front yard, I go around to the back year to see one of my favorite David Austin roses blooming and filling the back patio with it's intoxicating fragerance. I am truely blessed, as I sit down to take all of this in, I notice that the birds are at the feeder and the creek is just rushing by.... I do not want to go to work today, but I must.... so I reluctantly get up and go into the house to get ready for work. I have already had an awesome day just taking in God's wonder. How is your day going? Stop and smell the flowers along the way.... Blessings to you and yours, Curtis and Sherrie

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life' challenges

So I was rear ended on 04/23/10 by what appeared to be a nice man, we exchanged information, was totally his fault I was sitting at a red light and was rear ended by him because , and these are his words " I just finished a 12 hour shift and I was not paying attention... no worries we both have insurance we exchanged information went about our ways.... It is now two weeks later, well almost, and I just received a phone call from his adjuster saying that they have not been able to get a hold of him and if they cannot get in touch with him, they cannot put a claim against his insurance .... without his permission....now my car is ready to be put into the shop to be fixed... this gets me so mad, you get hit by someone and the insurance company says that they need HIS permission to pay to get my car fixed.... what has this country come to when you get hit and you need the permission of the person who hit you to get your damage taken care of. I am just a bit frustrated, and to make matters worse we are supposed to be leaving for our first cruise in 9 days.... and we only have the one car.... I do not know what we are going to do... I will just have to give it to GOD and let him work it out because I am exhausted with it all..... and in the end I will just chalk all this up to life's experiences, in this journey called life..... wish you Blessings from above.... Curtis

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gardening, just some ole dirt

One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE really LOVE a beautiful garden. Now mind you my garden is not always beautiful, parts of it are but not all. When my boys were growing up I purposely shyed away from plants that had thorns, I did not want them to get hurt by a thorny bush. But I have always been in love with Roses, not just any Roses, but those that are not only beautiful but also have a wonderful scent. You see I not only garden for the beauty but also for the scent. There is nothing better than walking through a garden and enjoying all of those wonderful sweet smelling flowers. Two years ago I planted some Peonies, we have lived in this area only 5 years, and I have been experimenting with what will and will not grow. I could not grow Peonies at our last house and I do not know why they just would not grow there.... sorry I digress... so last Friday I was out pondering my flower beds and seeing what had survived yet another winter, and low and behold my Peony was not only up and florishing, it was covered with buds, beautiful, wonderful buds, which will bloom into beautiful wonderful fragerant flowers. I am always so grateful and at times even surprised with my ability to grow anything, though I have had award winning gardens in the past I am always grateful that God allows me to enjoy the beauty of a garden. So just for today, take a walk around your yard, or patio, or balcony or what ever outdoor space that you may have, take it in, enjoy it, look for ways to improve it, but most importantly just thank God for his wonderful garden of life that we are all a part of in this journey we call life..... Blessings to all, and enjoy the day - Curtis

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kids, they make us young

Well today is our youngest sons 24th birthday..... and I am wandering back down memory lane a bit. Our kids are our most treasured gift from God, even though there are times when they are growing up that we do not think so, still they are our treasures. Our youngest son came into this world with black hair , mind you I am blonde and my wife has brown hair, but my wife's grandmother was so excited to have a great grandchild with black hair. Nathan came into the world screaming and kicking, ready to get on with his life.... oh how we loved him so cute and cuddly... At 18 months we almost lost him his large intestine had actually swallowed up his small intestine and he was dying, my wife called me at work and told me to meet her at the hospital that she was taking him in, as we arrived we both got there at the same time which was a miracle in itself, the pediatrician on call took our precious baby from my wife's arms and rushed him into surgery.... there is no other feeling of helplessness than turing your child over to a doctor to have them do surgery on them and have them tell you that he will do as much as he can but if we believed in miracles we should pray for one. That surgery took 3 1/2 hours..... the longest time spent thus far in my life waiting , waiting, and then seeing our baby boy come through those doors from the operating suite, it was pure joy...... thus began our babys journey and we were so grateful to God for sparing him. Nathan has been a joy to our family, all boy, snakes, snails, and even puppy dog tails.... He raised chickens, guinea pigs, real pigs, rabbits, cows, puppy's, kittens, he loved animals. We have had the awesome pleasure of watching him grow from a baby to a wonderful young man and we love him so. So today I dedicate this blog to my baby Nathan James Chipley, your mom and dad love you so much and are so proud of you....HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN !!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So yesterday as my wife and I were driving into work, we car pool every day that we can, we were both marveling at God's handi work. Everything is in bloom, the Lupines, wild Lilacs, fruit trees, poppies, it is all so beautiful. We were talking and I got the bright idea to stop on the way home and cut some bounty to make some beautiful flower arrangements for our house. Now from the road the flowers look like they are all on a somewhat level setting, but oh NO, once you get out of the car and walk up to them they are all perched on at least a 30 degree angle, you need to be a billy goat to get to them.... No problem I say, I have my trusty pruners in my pocket, and up I go. I must tell you my wonderful wife is sitting in the car offering her words of encouragement, you know I want those up there pointing to a bush at least 75 feet up the mountain... I nod my head and go the bush closest to the road lol. After about 15 minutes of cutting and pruning I have a bounty full of lilacs, to make wonderful arrangements. We get home and I put them on the counter, and guess what? They are full of bugs..... they are crawling every where, my wife does not like bugs, she loves Lilacs but NOT bugs, so she commences to tell me get them out out of my kitchen.... I just shake them into the sink and turn on the garbage disposal, oh go on with yourself , there are millions of bugs a few down the drain is not going to hurt anything .... any hoo where was I oh yeah so after the bug incident, I did get some beautiful Lilac bouquets for my wife to place around our home.... and I tell you all of this to encouage all of your to enjoy this season, stop and smell the flowers, cut a few (if they are not in anyone's yard), the ones I picked were along a country road, because I live on a long country road. Make your wife happy, bring her some flowers and they do not have to cost you a penny, just enjoy, Live is Great! Blessings to all Curtis and Sherrie

Monday, April 26, 2010

Community Events

So this week end my wife, my mother in law and our best friend of over 25 years all went to a local event, supporting our Women's Refuge. It always amazes me the giving hearts of people. Four gracious families opened their homes to have strangers trapes through them to see what kind of decorating they have done. All of the homes were wonderfully done, all very different but each special in its own way. But the best part of this event? The hosts and hostesses.... they were all gracious, engaging, hospititable, and just plain good folks..... the goodness of people always amazes me, with so much that goes on that is not good, I choose yes CHOOSE to dwell on the people who do good things, make the right choices, love life, and who are able to not only open their hearts but their homes to total strangers...... yes life is good, and people are also good.... Blessings to you and yours Curtis
So it has been a while since I have posted anything. The seasons have changed we have had a wonderful winter here in Northern California, it has rained and rained and rained. It is ok with me, my wife and I like the rain, it fills up the many lakes that surround us here in God's country and makes everything soo green and pretty. We as in my wife and I have put off any kind of house project due to the enormous amounts of rain, but I am looking forward to getting some projects started this Spring. I am going to tackle painting all of my patio furniture one and only one color..... and this my friends is a HUGE task. I have collected quite a few pieces of patio furniture over the years... and it has been painted black, white, yellow, and lots of other colors to suit my mood for that particular year.... So now my wife wants all of the patio furniture painted white , and use blue cushions and umbrellas. I know it will look great when it is finished but it will be a full week end job!!!! as I have 3 settes, 8 chairs, 1 porch swing , and at least 7 or 8 side tables that will all need to be sanded , primed and then painted, all done of course before Memorial Day Week End, no problem I say.... I will post some before and after pictures if and when I get it done..... well sitting here typing is not getting anything done and I have some weeding to do.... so until next time, keep a smile in your heart and one on your face too, Blessings to all Curtis and Sherrie Chipley