Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Random Thoughts and Thanksgiving!!

We are nigh into November. Quickly coming up to Thanksgiving. I do not know what your plans for the holiday are, but ours are very different this year.

For the last 20 years we have had every holiday at our home, and we have enjoyed doing so. I love having people over, visiting, gathering the families. We have had some wonderful times around our table. And we will continue to do so. However this year is a bit different...

As I have blogged about earlier in the year, our oldest son and his wife moved 5.5 hours from where we live. He has a job that requires him to work on some holidays, and since this is his first year at this new company, yep you guessed it, he has to work, so they will not be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. Our youngest son and his wife are spending the holiday with her family, we do have to share, and I must say this is part of being an in law I do not like!!! My father and his wife are spending it with her children.

So that leaves my wife and I, and her parents. We are still cooking Thanksgiving this year.... but it will be for 4, instead of 18 to 20. Like I said at the beginning of this, it will be a different holiday for us. I don't know about you, but for me to even think about cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for 4 people is well it is just NOT right.... I don't even think I know how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for 4!! But I will have to try and learn..... lol

We always have eaten our Thanksgiving meal at 1 p.m. I don't know why but that is when we have always done it, and we will continue to do so. Maybe it is because we have always tried to make it so others can spend time with their family and friends also, after the meal. Make 2 stops to eat on this day of feasting!! Or maybe it is just the way it always has been and I should not even try to figure out why.....

It has always worked for us though, because by 5 or 6 everyone has left our home and traveled to other places. And my wife and I do the same.... We have had dessert with our dear friends Cesar and Tami, for the last 22 years. After each of us has cooked for our families, and they have left, then we sit down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, get a piece of pie, and reflect... Reflect on those we spent the day with, how it went, and when our kids were younger what time we would be hitting the Black Friday shopping.... We would talk about those who may not have been at our tables this year. Talked about life and it's ebbs and flows.... and in general just relaxed and enjoy each others company.

So what is your plan this year?? Who are you inviting to your Thanksgiving table? Will it be the same as in past years? Or will yours be like ours this year..... a little different yet the same.... for time seems to bring around again does it not?
It starts with you as a young couple, no children, gathering at a relatives home, then as the years go by the gathering changes, as those we love go on, or move on, or just decide to spend it with others....... in any event as we gather to give thanks this year..... do just that....GIVE THANKS .... for where ever you are in life, who ever you are with.... and how ever you spend your day..... GIVE THANKS
Blessings and THANKS to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall, Nesting, going "Home:..... random thoughts

It is finally cooling off here in Northern California, and we are just now really feeling like it is Fall. Cool, crisp mornings, warm afternoons.

We have just finished with Halloween, and now are quickly heading for Thanksgiving. I have always thought that Thanksgiving was the most over looked holiday we have. And yet it really should be one of the most celebrated. Even in this time of financial crisis for our country, for our friends, for family. We all have so much to be thankful for.

It is a time when we all draw closer to home, to those we love. We are not into the rushed Christmas season, we are able to just slow down and enjoy God's bounty. The awesome, beautiful Fall colors, the change of the weather. That first cup of coffee is a bit sweeter as the mornings are cooler, and a bit foggy. We start using our fireplaces and wood stoves. We linger sitting by them longer than we think we should, enjoying the crackle of the fire and the warmth from them. There is no better warmth that that of a wonderful fire in the fireplace.

November is when the year starts to wind down, we only have one more month til a new year dawns. A lot of us cozy up our homes, put on a fresh coat of paint, change out the pillows on the sofa's. Gather branches from our yards with colorful leaves and berries still attached and use them as wonderful centerpieces.

It is also the time that we all long for "Home". What ever that word means to you. Thanksgiving has the most people travelling to get "Home". To their childhood homes if that is where their parents still live, or to a home that is filled with the people they love. We all want, need to feel connected to a time, place and people who not only comfort us but have nurtured us over the years.

It really is not the structure, building, that is home, it is the feeling the you get when you enter the front door. It is the love that are wrapped in by those who are there to greet you. You see home really is about people, and relationships. It is about making memories, year after year, no matter what the physical address is, it is the people to people connection that we make.

So as we move through November, take some time to linger by the fire. Take some time to call an old friend. Open your home to friends and family, and the occasional stranger. Take the time and effort to make those around you feel welcome. And as you make a new memory, a new friend, or renew an old friendship.......... remember to be THANKFUL, for November is the month of being THANKFUL.....

Blessings to you and yours


Friday, October 21, 2011

Think Pink

Yesterday, October 20, 2011 was designated as "Think Pink" day here in Norther California. We were to wear pink, stop and think about breast cancer, donate, there were give aways, they lit our beautiful Sundial Bridge up in pink light, a gorgeous site to behold. And in general it is a day to just make us stop and remember those women in our lives who have fought this horrible battle and won, and to remember those who have fought the battle and lost....

I have experienced both of these battles, with the women in my life. My mother in law is a 20 year breast cancer survivor. My cousin only 3 years my senior, fought the battle and lost....

When my mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was me who took her to her chemo and radiation appointments. It was a wonderful bonding time for a mother in law and son in law, the sharing of the fears of death, life, the future. Our sons were little, at the time that she went through her cancer and treatment. They were introduced to cancer and it's ugly side effects at a way to young age. Mom, that is what I have always called my mother in law, went through her chemo and radiation very well. Of course she was very sick, lost her hair, but she never lost her joy or her hope of knowing that she would beat this disease, and we are every grateful for that.

My cousin, Marji, only 3 years older than myself was diagnosed with this dreadful disease when she was just in her mid 40's. She had 5 children all, still in school. Marji was a rebel of sorts, always looking for the organic way to cure ailments. Thus she made the decision early on that she would not use conventional medical treatment for her disease. I do not make judgement for her decision, it was hers, she owned it, and was steadfast in the treatment plan that she followed. But alas it was not a plan that was to be successful for her. She died, leaving all 5 of her children, her mother and father and her brother, and lots of cousins behind. All of us of course have our own opinions as to whether or not she chose the right path...... she chose the right path for her ......

So I have had the joy of seeing one loved one live through and be in remission for breast cancer, and I have had the heart break of seeing another be not so fortunate....

Life has many twists and turns and we all have decisions that we must make at every twist and turn that had different and at times devastating consequences for us....

I celebrate this Think Pink day, with everyone, both those who have lived to tell their stories, and those who we are left to tell their stories for them.....

Let's all take a moment and collectively send out a prayer that they find a cure for breast cancer, and all other cancers also........................

Think Pink.......... but always pray for a cure...................


Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Y'all !!!! and other ramblings...

Today, Friday, September 23, 2011 is the first day of Fall, though you would not know it here in the Redding area, as it was 103 yesterday and is 100 degree's today!!!!

That said, it is the official first Day of Fall 2011!! As I have said before Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the holidays that we have during Fall, I love the colors we all seem to use during this transitional Season, the rusts, golds, greens, burgandy's. And do not tell my wife but I even like it that we switch out our decorations in our home from Summer to Fall.

September is a bitter sweet month for me. When I was growing up there were lots of birthday's and wedding anniversary's in September. My parents anniversary is in September, although it is just another day for most of my family since my mother died and my father remarried. I still take time on September 25th, of each year to remember my parents and their love not only for each other but for us 3 boys. My youngest brother's birthday is September 27th, he lives in South Dakota and we have not spent a birthday his or mine together in over 20 years, but it still was a celebration in September. My dad's brother and his wife were married on September 28th, and the list goes on and on. My wonderful in laws also celebrate their anniversary, and my mother in laws birthday in September.

That being said there have been many more people and celebrations that went on in the month of September through the years. But as time, and people pass, the celebrations get less and less.

I still take the time to do a private celebration for all of those who have gone on before me, in remembrance of them and their contribution to my life. I really think that our society tries to have us erase those who have gone on before us, but I will never succumb to this.

Each person who has had any kind of impact in our lives deserves to be remembered, to be honored in someway.

So as we enter into another Fall, and the season begins to change, first the nights get cooler, then the leaves begin to fall... Oh how I still love to see the leaves change and fall, fluttering ever so softly down to the ground, and to feel the crispness in the air as it gets cooler. I anticipate our first fire in the fireplace, and how it makes the house so cozy.... ahhhhhhhh

So what does Fall mean to you? What celebrations do you and your family enjoy, participate in?

Do you put up pumpkins? Pull out the flannel, and wool comforters and get ready to settle in for the upcoming colder weather?

I am hoping that you take the time to do all of this and more. That you enjoy the fluttering of the leaves as they fall to the ground, that you glory in the cool of Fall's weather. And I hope that you, take the time to remember those who have made an impact in your life, be they here or gone on before you to Glory.......

Again I say Happy Fall Y'all

Blessings to you and yours


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thunder storms ~~~~

Last night as we were sitting in our family room, just my wife and I, enjoying our usual peace and quiet. We were afforded the absolute wonder of a Thunder and Lightening Storm.

It was amazing!!! Here in far Northern California we do not get storms like this very often, and to honest when we do we worry about forest fires..... especially this time of year at the end of a long dry summer. But for the moment we sat and marvelled at God's handiwork.

The loud clap of Thunder overhead made the windows and doors rattle with its power. Then of course the Lightening that followed lit up the sky in the canyon. It was so bright that for the moment you thought that it was day light, but then as quickly as it was bright we were plunged into darkness again.

The whole storm lasted for about 30 minutes, and the whole while I was watching in awe of the mightiness of the storm that God had unleashed in our skies. I sat thinking about how small I felt with the wind whipping the trees, and the rain and hail pelting the house.

We opened all of our windows and doors so that we could be totally engulfed in the awesomeness of the storm.

God is like that, he wants to engulf us in His awesome love and power, if only we will let him. Oh how we at times fight that, not allowing God to engulf us in His love. And then when you watch what he can do with our little world, showing us his power in the storm, I am reminded that he can do so much with us if we only allow Him to.

My wife and I sat quietly, as the storm continued around us, both lost in our own thoughts. And then after the storm had quieted down we began to talk about God's Power and Love.

Are you in a storm of your own today? Do you need to feel the wonder and power of our Saviour? He is there waiting, wanting to show you his Love for us.

My prayer today is that you allow God to show you His Grace, His Power, His Love.

For God so loved the world, he sent his only begotten Son, whosoever believes on HIM shall be saved~~ John 3:16

So won't you allow him to Love YOU? Give you the PEACE that surpasses all understanding?

I for today will let God do what he wants, allow HIM to LOVE me, to give me PEACE that surpasses all understanding, won't you? Just think about it, HE is waiting.

Blessings to you and yours


Friday, September 9, 2011


I have been away, well... away from writing, these last few months. I have had a block on what to write and or say. But not today, today I have so many things to say...

In just 2 days we will be remembering that awful day 10 years ago when all of our lives were changed forever, 09/11/2001 when our world as we knew it changed forever.

I can still tell you what I was doing that awful day, when the news came that we were under attack. My boys were in high school, and we were getting ready for work and school.

We live 0n the West coast,so by the time we got up and turned on the television all of the terrible events had already started..... I did not want to go to work, I did not want my sons to go to school, I just wanted to gather all my family and friends and keep them close by me.

But we did go to work and school, and we all watched in our prospective places, history being made, lives being changed, and families being torn apart. As the song says.... Where were you on that September morning?..... and I think we can all remember where we were and what we were doing.

Since that fateful day, so many things have changed, with travel, with National Security, with the way the world views us, with the way we view ourselves.

And the way we view each other, be it good or bad; we all view others a bit differently than we did prior to 09/11/2001.

We have seen people we know send their sons and daughters off to fight a war, a war of terrorism that has seen so many many lives changed, and yet so many things are the same.

We all get up every day, go to work, to school, and have gotten on with our lives.

My sons have both found the loves of their lives, gotten married, started careers, and though they do not have children yet they have started their families with their wife's.

My wife and I have settled into our lives as empty Nester's. Learning to cope with a quiet house, not that, that is so bad LOL. We have rediscovered each other and how we have changed since then, our views, and opinions of things... life marches on.

But in the back of my mind every time I hear a plane flying low, or a helicopter going over head, I stop and for a brief moment I feel fear, like I felt on that fateful day 10 years ago. And then it passes, and life goes on....

So today I will celebrate that life has gone on, for good or bad, it has. And I will remember all those who lost their lives on that fateful day 10 years ago. I will pray that we have all learned something from this. That we all pray for each other no matter what our religion, creed, or color is. That we in our own way try to make this a better place to live, not only for ourselves but for others as well, and for future generations.

So I leave you with this thought..... Where were you on that September morning?

Blessings to you and yours and for those who are still grieving the loss of a loved on on that fateful September morning.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Evergreen-Barbara Streisand

Today I am filled with thousands of memories, 32 years of memories, you see today May 19th, is our Anniversary. So many years ago two fresh faced, young, we were only 22, kids set out on the adventure of our life, we got married.
We got married in a little Church, Calvary Baptist, located here in our hometown of Redding Califorina. Surrounded by those friends and family who wanted to wish us well, surrounded by their love.
We have done the same for many other couples through our 32 years of marriage, wished other bride and grooms well. There are some who's marriages lasted, and others who fell by the way side.
I wonder all the time, what is it that made us make it this far? How did we weather the storms that came at us? And how have we continued to love each other ? The only answer I can come up with is, GOD. We started our marriage based on the fact that GOD loved us and wanted the best for us. And that no matter what came our way we could see it through with use surrendering it to GOD and letting him help shoulder it. Now this is not to say that we have not had difficult times, we have...... and that either of us at one time or another wanted to just walk away.... we have..... but through all of it, we always came back to the fact that if we just surrendered it to GOD we could get through it, and be better on the other side.
I am a sentimental old fool, love songs, flowers, friends, family, puppies, can all make me cry at a moments notice. So today I found the song Evergreen by Barbara Streisand, that was played at our wedding, and of course the tears flowed, and a smile broke out on my face as I remembered how I felt on that hot day in May 32 years ago, as the notes of this song echoed throughout the Church.
This song has,through the years,always brought warm and wonderful memories of our marriage to me. I have always considered this OUR song.... more than any other. Because our love is soft as an easy chair, we have become two lights shining as one, Ageless and Evergreen.
So today I dedicate my blog to my beautiful and wonderful wife of 32 years, Sherrie. You truly are my Ageless and Evergreen love. I love you more today than I did on that hot May day in 1979 when we said I do!!! You are my heart! Love you now and you are Ageless and Evergreen Love you Curtis

Monday, May 16, 2011


Today as I was reading through my various blogs that I follow, one asked the question: What does the word GATHER mean to you in regards to people.

I thought for a moment and then it came to me. God's timing always amazes me, we went to 2 weddings this past week end, one for a family member, and one for the grandson of wonderful friends.

At each of these events, we GATHER-ed, family, friends, new friends... we gathered... to celebrate new begginings for 2 very special couples.

As I was thinking of this word G A T H E R, it came to me!

GATHER mean to bring together people from your past, your present, your future. It means to communicate with them, engage with them, open your life up to them. It means that we spend time with them, some for a while, some for a season, some for our lifetime. And all of theses GATHERED pieces, become the CRAZY quilt of our life. Each piece, so wonderful and precious, and adding color and demension to our life. Each piece, different from the other, but at the same time, the same, familiar, comforting. Each piece, a story of a time and place in our life. Each piece, that without it our lives would not be the story that it is.

We never know what each person, piece; of this CRAZY quilt will play in our lives... We only know that each and every person/ piece of this quilt is our story. It is never quite complete, ever changing, and we always have room to add a person/ piece to our CRAZY quilt of life.

So I guess to answer the question of what G A T H E R means to me? It means to be able to continue to keep the friends from the past, make friends in the now, and look for friends in the future. For we all need a little help from our friends. And this past week end really opened my eyes to this as I rekindled old friendships, enjoyed friendships that are occurring now and maybe, just maybe made a few new friendships for the future. God is so good..................

So today I ask you: What does GATHER mean to you?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

So this is the week of Mother's Day.....

For those of us whose mother's are no longer with us, we need to adopt a mother and make her day special.

For those of you who are blessed to still have your Mother you need to take the time to make her feel special, to do something for her that only YOU can do..... take if from one whose mother has gone on to Glory, you never get another chance to make your mom feel loved....

So take some time this week, it does have to cost you anything but time, write your mom a note thanking her for all she has done for you, call her, if you live close enough go visit her, take her out for coffee, ........ there is no time like the present.......just do it!

If you are married to the Mother of your children, make sure she knows how much you appreciate her and what she has done for you children over the years.

I once talked with a man who was my age, it was about 20 years ago. He was divorced from the mother of his children. He told me that he sent his ex wife, the MOTHER of his children a Mother's Day card every year.. just to let her know he appreicated what she did for their children every day, that my friend is a WISE and wonderful man..... so appreciate your mother's near and far this week, make sure they know how much YOU appreciate what they have done for YOU.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's who have given of themselves selfishly through the years.....We the children of the world THANK YOU!!!

Happy Mother's Day and Blessings to you and yours

Monday, May 2, 2011

Royalt Wedding Aftermath .. and other things...

So did you get up and watch the Royal Wedding? Well my wife set the alarm for 2:30 am, and we watched it. I am all for a nice wedding and all, but really??? getting up at 2:30am? I told my wife I would not even had gotten up at 2:30am for our wedding, note to self not a good thing to confess =). Anyhoo, we saw it, and saw it and saw it, it was on all day long!!!

The week end came, it was as always too fast..... I really do not know why the President has not acknowledged my letter to him demanding a 4 day work week!!

The weather here in Northern California has been Glorious!!! There really is no other way to describe it, warm, with breezes that come up just in time to cool you off. We have the best Springs here, when we have Spring... lets see we have had 9 days of great weather... and now they say it is going to be in the mid 90's on Wednesday..... oh well you can't change it you just have to live with it!!

So I have made a HUGE decision... yep I have!!! Well it is HUGE for me. I have decided that for the first time ever I am going to grow my vegetables in my flower beds right along with the petunia's, lavender, roses, daisy's and geranium's. Yep that is what I am going to do..... I figure that the water system is on for the flower beds anyway so when the flowers get watered the vegetables will too. I will let you know how this turns out! We NEVER put our vegetable plants out before Mother's Day. Just a old gardener's rule around here, we can have a frost up til then so I wait..... and wait..... and wait. Well the time has come, because this week end is Mother's Day~!

So what are you doing for Mother's Day??? let me know love to hear your ideas and see if I can borrow them =)....
Blessings to you and yours

Friday, April 29, 2011

Enuff said

This says it all, we can all learn something from this post. I do not know where it originally came from but I borrowed from the web.... and want it to be something I meditate on... how bout you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Randon thoughts

As the title says this post is just random thoughts.... the picture is of Whiskeytown Falls, they are just 5 miles from our house. Oh yeah 5 miles and a hike that could kill you lol, I did the hike it did not kill me just made me want to die. LOL It is so beautiful and worth the killer hike to get to them. We live in a very beautiful area.

Easter has come and gone and I survived.... the first holiday EVER that both of our sons were not at our dinner table, I survived, life did not stop, I survived.

The day after Easter the 25th, marked the 17th anniversary of my mothers going home to be with her Saviour. It is always a mixed bag of emotions every year on this day. But as I have said here before life is about changing nothing ever stays the same. I do miss my mom, her smile, her laugh, and her story telling, she could have a room full of people laughing so hard they could not breathe..... oh how I miss her.

The Royal Wedding is just days away. Did you get your invitation??? wink wink. Me either, but my wife and I love a good wedding and we will be watching, not at 1 am, when they start the broadcast here on the West coast,no we will catch it later, they will be rerunning it all day no need to loose sleep over it, lol. Oh how my wife and I love a wedding, we will stop and watch a ceremony in a park, feeling a bit guilty by being there but just marveling in the wondrous new love, and the hopes and dreams that are there in that moment... so wonderful.

Speaking of weddings and such, our youngest son, who I have wrote about here. Well he told my wife and I that he and his soon to be ex wife are going to give their marriage another try. We are cautiously excited about this. We told him that they cannot continue to do the same things they have done and expect a different outcome, that they needed to change things, get counseling. We will see, we pray that they can work things out, that this dream of a life long commitment to each other works for them. He brought her to Easter dinner, the first time we have seen our daughter in law since October, it was a sweet reunion. We love our children's spouses as our own, we want the best for them and we pray for them. Please keep them in your prayers too.

Spring is here in all Her Glory!! And are we ever glad! Those months and months of rain was taking its toll on me. I am so enjoying the wonderful sunshine and warmth of the sun... Now it is time to get out and work in my garden, so many things to do.

So with that I am signing off, as the title says these are just some of my random thoughts in this journey we call life.
Blessings to you and yours

Monday, April 11, 2011

Community Service ~ Woman's Refuge

For the last 2 months I have been drumming up pledges for a fund raising event I was taking part in. I was asked by a family member to walk in this event. I was going to be Walking A Mile In Her Shoes, a fund raiser for our local Woman's Refuge.

This wonderful place offers assistance for those people, both women and men, who find themselves in domestic violence situations, and also offers assistance to those individuals who have been sexually assaulted. But they offer so much more, I will get to that in a minute.

Through the wonders of Facebook, and my wonderful family and friends, We, and I say we because it was a group effort, we raised $900.00 for the Redding Women's Refuge. All I did was put on a pair of Red Glittered 3 inch platform shoes and walked my mile. It was a great event, raising money for a Great Organization.
I walked my mile, my feet were killing me!!! But it was all for a good cause. I finished and then went about my day.

My wife and I had errands to run and as we always do on a Saturday we stopped by a few yard sales. At one such sale, a young lady walked up to me and asked if she could shake my hand, I was a bit confused but extended my hand, she said she noticed that I had my Walk A Mile In Her Shoes shirt on and she wanted to thank me for walking.. She then told my wife and I that several years ago she and her then toddler child, had used the services of the Redding Woman's Refuge. She was ending an abusive relationship and needed a place to stay and the Refuge offered that to her and her child.
Now some people may think that this is some weird coincidence, but NOT me I truly feel that this was Divine intervention, putting me at that yard sale, with the t- shirt proclaiming that I had just finished this event. I stood in amazement that before I had walked in this event I had NEVER had one person walk up to me and tell me their story of abuse. I was touched beyond words.

I write this blog today acknowledging that there are bad things that happen to good people. Knowing full well that there are times in everyone's life that they need a hand up, without judgement, without fear of condemnation.

Agencies such as the Redding Woman's Refuge are a needed part of our community, though I wish it were not so. They assist those who are in the deepest depths of despair and who need to have someone there to guide them through what may seem to them to be the darkest days of their lives. Those people who volunteer at the Refuge give them unconditional love and support all the while guiding them though the process of getting their lives back in order. And to those Volunteers I stand at attention and in awe of their unwavering love and support to these individuals.

So my 3 inch Red Glitter platform shoes are now put away in the back of my closet, but only until next year. Because every year Women's Refuges all over the nation need to be supported. And I can do that one walk at a time, raising as much money as I can to help support this awesome cause.

As you go about your life this next year stop and pray for those people who find themselves in abusive relationships, and those who find themselves the victims of sexual assault. Knowing that we can ALL make a difference if we just take the time to. Even if it is just walking a mile in her shoes..... in this journey we call life......

Blessings to you and yours

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring is here in all HER Glory

Well since I have been bemoaning and lamenting for quite sometime about how dreary the weather has been and how I wished the sun would shine..... I am here to say that yep Spring is here in all HER wondrous Glory!!!! This week has been a wonderful week of sunshine, warm temperatures, and just great weather!!!

My wife and I went for a walk on our famous Sundial Bridge here in Redding California. And to be honest it was more like as stroll because there were so many people that we knew walking.

We would stroll for a bit and then we would stop and visit, so it was a wonderful walk. The day was warm, the sun was shining and it was beautiful... We truly live in a beautiful place with so many miles and miles of walking and bike riding trails. As you walk you can watch fly fisher persons fishing, watch drift boats with fisher persons fishing, watch kayak's go by and then the wildlife. It is so pretty.

I posted on my Facebook yesterday that I, being a gardener cannot wait until I can get my hands in the dirt and plant some beautiful flowers. I love this time of year. One of my favorite flowers/ plants is the Geranium, and the color?? RED. They just make me smile and I have them planted at our house in my flower beds, in flower pots and just every where. I posted a picture of Geraniums in flower boxes, so pretty, and then when I went to the grocery store what did they have???? Yep you guessed it RED Geraniums in all their glory, what is a gardener man to do? I tell you they JUMPED into my basket, so I HAD to take them home.

I use the excuse that I love Geraniums because they are natural mosquito repellents, and since we live on a creek.... I am just saying. But to be honest even when we did not live near water I planted them, and as I say they just make me smile. But I have read more than once, that the reason the homes in Europe have window boxes and they are filled with Geraniums is because they do repel mosquito's....

So this week end I am planting my RED Geraniums, and smiling! I am also marveling in this wonderful weather we are having, and going to enjoy every minute of it. So as I sit on my deck, after I do my planting of course, I will think of you, and wish you good wishes, and happy thoughts as we all travel through this journey we call life.........................
Blessings to you and yours

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring and it's late arrival

Well today after a very long rain filled winter, Spring decided to arrive in all her glory! She just waltzed in like being about 1 month late was no big deal!! Well let me tell you it was a big deal and if I was not so happy to see Spring I would tell her so.

The clouds have parted and the sun is shining here in Northern California!!! We, as in collectively all of Northern California are giving a HUGE sigh of relief from all of that rain, well with the exception of my lovely wife, she loves the rain. That for another story another day.

When I woke up this morning and looked out and saw BLUE sky, this middle age, balding man was a HAPPY man!!!! I know we need the rain but oh my gosh we have had it and then some this year.

So last week I was dreaming about the sun coming out and today here it is!!!! Ahhhh I can dry out a bit, get some of the rust out of my system..

For those of you who live in rainy places, my hat is off to you. I for one cannot go for days on end without seeing the sun, I yearn for the warmth it brings, the smile it puts on my face and how it makes all of us just a bit happier.

I tell ya I was ready to renew my membership at the tanning salon, I needed to feel the warmth of the sun even if it came in the form of a high powered light bulb!

So for today and for the many days after today when the sun shines here in Northern California I will bask in all of its glory, warmth and good feelings.

I know I am a bit fickle, as I know that we need the rain, I just want it to rain every night after I go to sleep and then the sun comes out when I am up and out doing my daily routine. I said I was fickle didn't I?

So to all of you out there who like me are enjoying this reprieve from the rain, I say go outside, sit in a chair, walk the river trails, work in your yard, or just smile and know that this is just the beginning of a great Spring and Summer.

And do not let Spring know I am a bit miffed at her for being so tardy to her own party, I mean really, she should have showed up a month ago and started the party then.

Well I am off to go bask in this new found treat.....the sun...... hope you can take some time to enjoy it.

Blessings to you and yours

Friday, March 25, 2011

Long Winters and Dreaming of Spring

Here in Northern California we have had a very long winter this year. I usually love the rain and cloudy days, but this year we have had them for so long... I am dreaming of Spring.

Dreaming of watching the budding of the leaves on all the trees, watching the flower buds swell just before they burst forth with all of their beauty and fragerance.

Dreaming of being able to sit on the deck or patio on a Saturday morning reading my paper, having a cup of coffee on the table and just breathing in the fresh air. Dreaming of having breakfast outside on the deck, just my wife and I, fresh fruit, mimosa's, fresh ground coffee beans making a wonderful French Pressed cup of coffee.

Dreaming of being able to work in my flower beds, filling them with sweet Pansies, Snap Dragons, Shasta Daisy's, wonderfully fragerant Petunias, oh I can close my eyes and just see them all now. Truth be told I have 5 flats of Pansies sitting on my deck right now waiting for the rains to stop so I can plant them in the flower beds.

Dreaming of coming home from work and having the sun still shining, going for a walk along the creek behind the house, listening to the birds sings, and watching the bee's buzz around pollinating the flowers and tree's. Looking and watching the water hoping to see a beautiful trout swim by. And on the first warm day of Spring putting my feet into the creek, the cold taking my breath away as I get used to it. Feeling so alive as Spring brings forth all of her beauty and life.

Dreaming of seeing the new born Fawns playing on the lawns in downtown French Gulch, with their spots all white and clean, looking so sweet and innocent. Dreaming of seeing the goslings, Canadian Honkers swiming in a small pond right off of our mountain road. All swimming in a straight line behind mom and dad, oh the wonder of Spring.

Dreaming of the cool of the night as it turns from dusk to night and the sky lights up with all of the wonderful bright stars. Looking up and wondering who else on the other side of the world might be looking at that same star I am gazing on right now. And this year for the first time, looking at the stars and wondering if my son and his wife might be looking at them from their new home, and we for a moment in time could be connecting looking at that same star...

So what are you dreaming of right now? As we await the dawning of Spring, a new beginning? A new job? A new home? A new friend? We all need to dream, we all need to reach for that one lone star, hoping that we can reach it. I know that at times I am really talking out loud to myself in this blog, putting down in connected letters my feelings, wishes, dreams...... but I want you to also have the same, wishes, feelings, dreams..... so go ahead and dream of Spring, and the wonders that it brings forth, and for a moment just after dusk turns to night who knows, we maybe wishing on the same bright star.
Blessings to you and yours

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coffee and a cozy shop

You know when you go into a shop, you immediately get a vibe good or bad about it. We all have these instincts, feelings about the place, the person waiting on us. Well here in our fair city of Redding, California, we have a wonderful little coffee shop, Breaking New Grounds.

No drive thru you have to get out of your car and go inside to get your coffee. As you enter the door you are greeted by the owner Lisa, in her cheery exuberant way, as if she is welcoming you into her home, you feel immediately at ease.

You order your coffee, bagel, or the BEST carrot cake ever, or a sundry of other pastries to go with your coffee.

Now I have been going to this little coffee shop for over a year now, so I do not even have to say my order, my coffee is poured, dark roast, room for cream, a bagel, just cheese on it, and my morning newspaper. I pay for it and sit at the counter.

In this past year as I have sat at this counter every morning Monday thru Friday, from 8:00am to 8:30am, I have met some amazing and wonderful people who also frequent this little coffee shop. From the workers in the offices around to locals like me who just drop by to start their day.

And through this year I have made friends, some closer than others but friends none the less. We have shared our lives with each other, we have supported each other, we have even cried with each other as life does at times deal us all blows that we need to be comforted from.

But as I have sat there on that bar stool at the counter in that little coffee shop I have learned some life lessons about not only myself but others as well. We all need to have a coffee shop where we can go and enjoy a cup of coffee with a side of kindness, and a real dose of life.

So today my hope is that you can find that little coffee shop, tea house, to just go to and sit and enjoy. Be able to make friends, share you life with them, support each other and just enjoy your time that you spend there. Because we all need a little kindness from strangers who can become our friends, In This Journey Called Life.
Blessings to you and yours

Monday, February 28, 2011

Life and remembering our past

This morning as I logged into my computer, I immediately go to Facebook. Where did we all go before FB? There I saw an odd post from my cousin, just the name of her childhood friend, they started kindergarten together and here it is some 60 years later, that is another post. So being my flippant self I said something smart like " what is this name your childhood friend week?"

I immediately got an instant message from her. Her childhood friend, who she started kindergarten with, who she talked with about cute boys, who she told her most private secrets too, who was a cheerleader with in high school, who were bridesmaids in each others weddings, who she comforted when her teenage son died. Yes this friend whose family was well known in our small community, her mother was the librarian, had died....... commited suicide.

My heart broke for my cousin, for her friends family, friends, child. We have no other information just that she is gone, and her service will be on Saturday in a nearby town.

I have not seen this friend in years, but have so many fond memories of her, my youngest brother was the ring bearer at her wedding. I remember her and my cousin ironing their hair, and then ratting it up so high, and laughing, oh the laughter. For those of you who live in small towns or who grew up in one, you know how everyone knows everyone. We all knew each other, we all stopped in the store when we were kids with our moms and made small talk we all knew when something good or bad happened in thier lives.

Then we all grew up, moved on with our lives, married, had our own children, our town became bigger, our lives got busier with things to do, lot of things to do. We no longer stopped to talk with someone at the store, we no longer made the time to call someone.

We just got busy..... and with what? That is the question I have been asking myself today. Why are all of our lives so busy, spinning out of control at times and yet we have no time for people who are, were in our lives? No time to make that call, write that note, make that contact........

I will go to yet another funeral on Saturday.... say good bye to someone I have known and known about my entire life time. And I will ponder why did I not make the time, write the note.......

Our lives need to be about connecting with others, making a differce, leaving a legacy.... so the question I ask of not only you but myself today.... is just this,
When will we make the time, to make a differnce in someone else's life?? Something for not only me to ponder but for those around me also, I will be asking this of family, friends co workers...

Blessings to you and yours


Friday, February 25, 2011

Today is the day

Well today is the day, the day I have been writing about, dreading, trying to ignore. But it is here and let me tell you it is harder than I ever imagined. What? you say, today my son and his wife left to move on to bigger and better things.

Today is the day that Noah and Kristen left their home town, where they both grew up, went to school, made life long friends, met each other, dated, and got married, and today they left to move to Fresno California.

I kept it together at all of the going away/ good bye parties, smiling, laughing, telling myself that I would not let it out in public. But last night as I went to bed I had this over whelming sadness come over me. I know for those of you who have had their children move away, this is all old hat. But for me, for my world, for my life this is HUGE!! I have stated here that never in my wildest thoughts did I ever let myself come to grips with Noah moving. I knew in my head, because he has always told me he wanted to move away, but I in my Polly Anna and yes even MEN have Polly Anna thought processes would I let myself think that this would happen. Fast forward to today........ and the reality is OVERWHELMING.

For from today on we can never call them up on Saturday and say "Hey you want to meet us for breakfast?" From today on we can never call them up and say " Hey we are meeting at so and so's house want to come join us?" From today on they will not be able to make it to family birthday parties,(now don't tell my wife but this might be a plus for all of those toddler parties we are still attending). From today on there will be an empty place at the table when we have family dinners. From today on Face book, texts, phone calls, and twitter, yes I will learn how to twitter, will be our means of communication.

So today I am allowing myself to have a pity party, to cry, even sob, because my son has moved on to another city, because today I cannot drive over to my son's house to see him, because today my son has moved away.

But tomorrow and every day after I am going to continue to be proud, be excited, be the best cheer leader that I can possibly be. Because I know that is what my job is from this day forward. So starting tomorrow I will be happy for my kids, be joyful when they find a new Church home, be over joyed when they tell us of all of the wonderful new and exciting things they are find out about there new city of residence.

So I thank you for letting me vent today. I know that so many of you have already gone down this road before me and I will survive, I will.... but today I am missing my little blond headed boy who used to run out the front door when I came home from work to see, I miss that at times surly middle aged boy who was trying so hard to grow up, and today I am missing that wonderfully funny and fun young man that went to high school. And today I am missing my absolutely amazing son who has grown into a man that I am so proud of that I can hardly stand it. Today I am grieving just a bit for things the way they were and the way I wanted them to be......... as I have said in this blog before, Life is about changing NOTHING ever stays the same.... it is how we deal with those changes that makes the difference. So I sign off today sending Blessings to you and yours, and asking that you might send a prayer for my son and his wife settle into their new city............
Blessings to you and yours

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saying Good Bye and Hello to new Adventures

This past Sunday we had a open house, good bye party for our son, Noah and his wife Kristen. It was at best bitter sweet...............

Sherrie, my wife, baked for 3 days, she had decided that it would be a dessert open house. We had cookies, cake, pies, candy, diabetic cake, the table was laden with all of the goodies. Myself, I was in charge of the beverages. I made my famous citrus punch, chilled the wine, made coffee, iced tea, and hot tea. I Made sure all the glasses were spotless, my OCD kicking in , I hate glasses with spots.

I was also responsible for the fresh flower arrangements. You cannot have a party in my humble opinion without fresh flowers, it just is the exclamation point on the table.

So we got everything ready, and actually we were done early, note to self this does not happen very often, more often than not we are putting the final touches on things as the first guest arrives. You know the old adage that we work better under pressure, NOT. But we do it anyway.

So we get to sit and talk a bit as we wait for the kids to arrive and then the guests.

We talk about what this move will do for our family structure, and holidays, and just talk. I mention that we will not be able to call them on Saturday mornings and say, Hey you want to meet us at our favorite local place for breakfast.... no more calling for impromptu invitations to dinner and all the things that we will not be doing once they move. And just in the nick of time, the door bell rings, I was starting to feel sad, gloomy, and viola!!! saved by the door bell. Noah and Kristen arrive, and with them excitement for this move, excitement for a new adventure, excitement for a huge promotion with the new job. I try to grab onto their excitement, be happy for them, I want to be as excited as they are.

The door bell continues to ring, old friends come by, family comes by, new friends come by and it is non stop from 2 pm all the way til 8:30 pm. Well wishes, hand shakes, hugs, kisses all around everyone sharing in the kids excitement, and I watch.
I watch my son, so proud of himself, and his wife that they are in this economy moving upward in his career, moving up in the salary structure. I watch as family and friends share the happiness and excitement with them. And for a moment in time I stop and tell myself, this is what you raised him for, this is what you always wanted for your son, for him to be happy in his career, for him to find someone to love and share his life with, for him to be independent. I take it all in and I smile for the first time that day I smile, because I feel for a moment in time that I might have got it right, made some good decisions along the way as he was growing up. I felt proud of the man my little boy has become, felt proud of the person he was and will continue to be. Felt proud of the person he chose for his wife, Kristen is his yang in the yin and yang of life, they fit together, they love each other.

And at the end of the day, end of the party, I knew they would be alright, that in this big world, these 2 kids will move on and make their mark on the world. I am so proud, and yet sad at the same time, this too will pass, we will make the trip to Fresno many times to see them, see their new life, and be proud of who they have become and smile as I watch them make their way in this journey called life.
Blessings to you and yours

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day the day after Post

I was going to do this post yesterday but the day got away from here it is.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day..... begin the harps and love song melodies...... And while we do celebrate this day and love it, I want to propose something else, something more.

What would happen if we celebrated our loved ones every day? If we took the time to stop and tell them that we love them? we appreciate them? I for one think the world just might be a better place. We seem to have time for everything else.... television, computer games, running errands, so why don't we make time for LOVE?

It is my hope that maybe just maybe this year you would leave a love note for your spouse, child, parent, just because. That you would buy your significant other flowers just because, and if the season is right you don't have to buy them you can just pick a bouquet right from your own yard, or if you have a nice neighbor who has an abundance of flowers you might be able to talk them out of some flowers.

Taking the time to make others feel special, appreciated needs to be done all the time not just one day a year.

So take the time, make the time, make a plan, just do it!!! Make someone feel loved, appreciated, thought of, it will make their day!

Here is to hoping that this year you celebrate LOVE all year long!

Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie


Friday, February 11, 2011

Northern California and Beautiful Weather!

I live in Northern California, the REAL Northern California. We are up on the far end of the state and it is BEAUTIFUL up here. Lots of tree's, fresh air, lakes, mountains, and wild life, I just LOVE it here and really cannot imagine living anywhere else.

We have had for the last 3 weeks weather that is just beyond words. While the rest of the country is surviving in blizzards, and temperatures below zero, we have been basking in 65 to 75 degree weather. The sun has shined and we have loved it!!!

While we do get snow, lots of rain, and at times in the summer, blistering hot weather, it can get to 115 and on rare occasions even 120 degrees here in the summer. But truth be told we only have those extremes for about 3 weeks. The rest of the time we have the best of all worlds weather wise.

Where else can you, in February sit on your deck and enjoy a glass of wine with the sun shining on your warming you to the deepest depths of your soul? Or where else can you work in your yard, and then go to the nursery and be disappointed because they do not have any flowers for you put out.... but then it is February...

I putter around my yard looking for signs that the ground has warmed up enough to get my bulbs pushing up from the earth, I trim my roses in hopes that come April, May I will have arm loads of blooms to bring to my wife to put in vases around our house so that it perfumes our home. I only grow roses that are both beautiful and fragrant.... no slackers allowed! Nothing makes me smile more than having grown my own flowers to grace our home. At this time of year I do buy hot house blooms, only because I need, want to be able to have fresh flowers in our home. It just makes me smile when I have fresh flowers to see, smell, and enjoy.

So as I read blogs from others across the country dealing with snow as tall as my fence, and temperatures so cold I cannot even imagine... I smile and try not to gloat that we are having such wonderful weather. And really I do wonder why people live in places where weather is like that ??? so cold ? My brother lives in South Dakota, and I talk to him weekly, he always asks what the weather is like and then gets grouchy when I tell him. What is wrong with him ??? He was raised here in this area of great weather..... oh yeah his wife is from South Dakota and loves it there..

I need to get that glass of wine and sit on my deck for these last few days of this impostor Spring as I call it. Because next week we will have cold temperatures, oh my, down in the 50's and it will be raining, but we need the rain. I want all of my roses, hosta's, and bulbs to be watered by a gentle rain...... My wife and I do love a good rain storm, fire place blazing with the rain coming down washing everything making it new and clean.... ahhhh!!!

Oh yeah if you are thinking about moving here, well don't.... I mean you would not want to put up with the extreme heat in the summer now would you??? Disregard my bragging about our wonderful weather in February..... oh for the glorious Sun!!!
Blessings and Sunshine to you and yours

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kids all grown up

So we have had a week to digest the news that our oldest son is moving to a new city, not a long time but enough time for it to sink in.

We are both so proud and excited for our son and his wife, our buttons are bursting!! Noah is a good kid, has always had a plan, and always worked that plan, so it was no surprise when he decided it was time to move on that he got so many interviews, all over the United States. We are just feeling so blessed that he accepted the offer that keeps he and his wife in California.

My wife Sherrie and I have had long discussions about them moving, what it means to us, to them, and how it affects our life as parents and one day grand parents.

You see we chose to live here in Redding because that is where our family is. Our sons were able to get to know their Great Grandparents, spend time with both sets of Grandparents and form relationships with them. We felt that the connection to family was very important and that being able to spend time with them in person was the only way to forge that bond.

Fast forward 26 years,with the Internet, skype, face book, twitter, and all of the other electronic things that we have today you can still forge a relationship with people. Now a little disclaimer, I do not think that the relationship is as good as being able to see, feel, laugh, cry with someone in person. But it will be our option for keeping in touch with them as they continue on in their journey called life.

So my wife and decided that we will have to make the change, get more computer savvy, and come into the new generation of relationships. I do not go into this without reservation, but I will try.

Life has a way of always keeping you on your toes doesn't it? I mean who knew, say 5 years ago that I would be writing a blog? Let alone writing about feelings, and intimate family dynamics? But we all change, and it is a good change.

The day my mother died 16 years ago, as I was leaving the hospital, I turned on the radio in the car and a song came on that I had not heard before, the singers catch phrase was: "Life is about changing nothing ever stays the same". It was so difficult to hear those words that day as my life had changed dramatically.

And now some 16 years later I find myself telling myself this same thing, Curtis life is about changing nothing ever stays the same. And for the good or bad, life does change, it is how we meet these changes that makes a difference. We can fight them or decide that maybe.....just maybe ..... this change will be good for me, make me a better person, make me see something that I have not seen before.....

So I hope that life continues to change, continues to make me grow, continues to offer more opportunities because of the change. I by nature do not like change, but I will try harder to embrace it and welcome it into my life. God has a plan, He is in control, so I just need to be able to live and let go.....

How about you? Do you embrace change? Look for the good in it? Or are you like me just a little, and resist the change a bit? I hope that we all can grow from change be it good or bad, because as the song says...........
Life is about changing NOTHING ever stays the same.
Blessings to you and yours

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Beginnings, Our Oldest Son moves on

I wrote a few months ago that our oldest son was looking for a new job, one that would futher his career in broadcast news production. Well after flying across the country a couple of times, and many interviews both on the phone and in person, he has now been offered a new job. This news,(no pun intended)is bittersweet, because we, my wife and I know that he probably never will live in the same city as we do again.

We are so proud of him, and so excited for the new and wonderful things that he and his wife are going to be doing, but at the same time a bit sad. But today I will only write about the exciting things in store for my son and daughter in law.

Neither of them have ever lived anywhere but here in their home town, so to say that this will be an adventure is an understatement. As I think of all of the fun and exciting things they will be able to do I get happy for them. They will be making new friends, finding new places to shop, eat out, play, take the dogs to, new places to hang out on their weekends. They are moving into adulthood big time.

Noah, our son, has always wanted to live in a BIG city, and experience that lifestyle, and he will do great in a new city. He is adventurous, as is his wife, they like to go and find new places to explore, go on drives to find places to hike, and play with their two dogs. Noah will be at this new job for at least 3 years, as he is signing a contract for that amount of time, and then he will probably move to another market.

As I write this I have mixed emotions. My oldest son is moving away to follow his dream, and for that I am so proud and excited for him. But then there is this part of me that just wants all of my family in the same place, comfortable, easily accessible, able to call them on a Saturday and go to breakfast with them, able to celebrate birthdays, holidays with them. But I know I have had my children with me and my wife in the same town longer than a lot of people do. So I am going to put on my big boys pants and learn to deal.

I will miss him and his wife, but this is THEIR Journery in this journey called life...........

New beginnings, and new hopes await them, we will pray for them as we send them off on thier journey, that they reach the new heights and goals that they have set for themselves.....

Noah and Kristen we love you, and will miss you more than you know

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Beginnings, Fresh Starts

Ahh so the Holidays have come and gone, have you got all of your decorations taken down and put away for another year??

I love Christmas, and all the trappings that go with it, but I must say that after the big day I am ready to take everything down and get our house back to " normal" what ever that is. As we pack away all of our decorations that we were so anxious to get out at the beginning of the month, I am not sad to say good bye til next year.

Then it is off to the New Year. The New Year has a double meaning to me as January first is my birthday. So as the week closes in on a New Year, I am thinking about the year that has just passed, and what it has meant to me, both good and bad.

And then I start thinking about the upcoming year and all of its possibilities. What it will bring, who will come into our lives, who will we have to say good bye to. But it also holds the promise of new friendships, of renewing old friendships, of mending fences, and just enjoying the moment.

I at times find myself always waiting for the nest big thing.... and I sometimes forget to just relax and enjoy the moment. Do you do that? Or is it just me? I at times rush through things, events and when they are done I look around and say to myself why did you go so fast, why did you not linger a little longer?

So this year I am NOT making any resolutions, I gave that up years ago. But this year I will try to enjoy each moment, each person, each event, and when the time or event is over I will be able to say wow that was great, I really enjoyed ________ fill in the blank.

So as we all start anew, with 2011 may all of us make sure that we take the time to slow down and enjoy the things that God offers us. Life really is meant to be enjoyed and not endured.

Take the time to slow down and relish relationships, and people..............

Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie
Happy 2011!!!!