Thursday, December 31

pre 2010 retrospect

At the end of 2009, I think what a decade! The husband and I, married in 1999, shared the decade with our youngest and all of the total eight of the family blend. We became home-owners by the grace of God and, in a decade ending in financial crisis, we are still here, better situated than when we started, and gainfully employed. While long we have walked with the Lord as best we could, this decade has taken us to a whole new level in that walk, with God fulfilling His promise to a 13-year-old me that I would be the wife of a minister.

While we have had trials along the way and we have had our failures, and disappointments, and have some yet to be victorious over; we have come so very far. In 1999 our family may have seemed a ragtag group but, now it 10th season, it has found its way. I'm proud of each and everyone of the children and the spouses of those that are married. We have had weddings, military enlistments, studies abroad, artistic performances, scholarships, academic achievements, graduations, and the care and passing of parents.

I marvel too at all the husband has accomplished in these the years we have had together. And together we have made many friends, and some precious lasting ones. I am thankful for those friends and for family - those of his I've met, and for my brother and sister and their families and our cousins, etc. Most of all I am constantly amazed at God in our lives.

What will 2010 bring? I don't know ... but I'm in for the long haul!

Saturday, November 14

so goes Moes'

received email that Moe's Chicken and Waffles is closing! What! I stopped by there today and had some chicken, beans and rice with a corn muffin. Spoke to Anita for a minute. They'll be around doing catering and such. I'll be looking for their next venture. Lord please let this recession run its course. Moe and Anita are just the nicest folx with the best food! I'm going to miss them!

Their last day is tomorrow and ALL entrees are $7.99. We are going to swing by for some vittles after church tomorrow. The Lord bless you guys and your family! Maybe I'll see you.

Friday, August 14


the youngest couldn't breathe last night - woke me up at midnight, throat constricted, the coughing had taken it's toll. I did everything I knew to treat the situation. I surmised it wouldn't be necessary to go to emergency. This is the last of eight and not a new situation for me. But my prayers were constant and I stationed myself beside him once his breathing was settled; I was afraid to sleep - afraid if I did ....

come morning we scooted over to urgent care and his symptoms were treated. I placed his prescription; it was $30. $30! Usually I pay $4-$15. $30? There wasn't a generic form. I only had one to fill. I have $30. Had I been without insurance - $180. One time deal. I could come up with $180, to keep my loved one, more than one time .... My situation - minor.

I know people with chronic health situations, making medicine choices every day. I don't know people, mom's like me, trying to figure how to keep a loved one alive. I know they are there. Right here in the U. S. of A! People need health insurance - everyone! God help this country make away for everyone to have health insurance; for everyone to be able to sleep at night without that fear for someone's life.

Monday, August 3

the kid is 10

hummmin' to Michael Jackson music, the dog gone kid is 10. School starts tomorrow and the kid is in the 5th grade. He qualified for the GATE program, for which he is very jazzed. The teacher sent him a postcard letting him know how excited she is to have him in her class, which he has been carrying around showing to anyone who would look.

DS concentration
"the kid is mine; the dog gone kid is mine"

We prayed over his school year tonight after a steak dinner which he loves - his teacher, the school, his classmates and schoolmates, and him. He is a precious child.

Earlier today, I read two articles that blessed me. They may bless you as well.

The Most Important Thing to Teach Your Public-School Child
Teaching Kids to Love God: From Theory to Practice

Monday, July 20

summer settlin' ...

and the heat is on!

The kid is out of school the month of July. We a couple of days in Palm Springs the week of the 4th. This weekend's heatwave called for the husband's company party in the Palos Verdes Peninsula - a time of swimming, mingling, and food. We had a great time.

It conflicted with the train gangs summer birthday celebration, but Saturday there was a bbq replete with karaoke! Made some new friends - one couple met on the internet like us and had the same age differential; they also enjoyed photography.

The giant and his wife are back from Washington; it's nice to have them nearby. It's been a busy month and looks to continue that way. We manage to squeeze in episodes of the last season of Stargate Atlantis.

Friday, May 8

UNTHINKing ... was posted everywhere - FB, emails, twitter, etc. Our family took advantage of the coupons and had a delicious meal for 3 - not spending $15. What a treat! I feel like my dear friend Nicole 'touched me' with her blessing. She saves money all the time - I'm waiting for her How-To book. And thanks to my dear stylist I was able to get access to that coupon.
At any rate, this was a very pleasant family night after attending Wednesday night Bible study - which usually leaves me hungry for more of the Word AND food! I see more correlations - the Study enables me to 'unthink' erroneous teaching by knowing the Bible, to reduce the fat in life by choosing the lean choice of truth. The Grill was delicious, beyond my expectations.

There is now a raincheck for the KFC; check

Posting Up!

Saturday, April 25

rover over kid rocks in stereo

Thursday was take your kid to work day - and so the day went. One of the activities the kid participated in was having a miniature Rover roll over his and other kids' backs. He consulted with engineers and scientists, and delivered mail for administrators. He met bosses and colleagues, participated in various activities. My office mate took him to the company store from which he gained many goodies. We also went to Perdue's - in Pasadena. Activities included building a rocket and launching it into the air via a bottle stomp. Check out the pictures on flickr to get a better sense of the day -

He experienced the full day of rising early to take the commuter van to put in a 9-hour day. Both of us having not been feeling well, put in a long but interesting day at the office. Welcome to my world, I say :-)

Monday, March 2

take note

take note
Originally uploaded by normzrib
- We have been finding this picture amusing. My neighbor who also - watches the youngest has lovely flowers around the home. However, people dig them up and drive away with them - plant stealers. Thus the note! In short order not only did the note disappear but more plants. Low lifes.

Eight days later, the youngest found along the wall of our back yard, adjacent to their plants, three of the plants - apparently tossed over. Explain that rationale. How strange!

Well neighborhood watch has been notified; plant stealers beware! *sigh* what next?

Thursday, February 26

the one (or two) that got away ...

the one that got away
Originally uploaded by runz DMC
- Where's a cop when you need him?

I like to take pictures in the car - yes, often behind the wheel. I pulled up to a stop sign and this clean black and white motorcycle cop pulls up on my left. He paid me no mind. I on the otherhand was dying to take his picture. But they can be funny about that sort of thing. To top it off - lights started flashing and the train restraint gates came down - a metrolink speeds by right in front of my camera sights which I can't look through because there is a police officer beside me *sigh*. Two pictures I couldn't take!

I tried to capture it as he sped out of sight once the signal turned green; but he left me in a blur of lights.

Gotta love the moment though - the quandry and turmoil and live to shoot another day!

Wednesday, February 18

outdone with my own camera ;-)

Originally uploaded by runz DMC
husband takes better pictures than me; living proof, he used my own camera. In time, in time ...I'll get better. Meanwhile, he does quite a good job and can't resist that kid!

Friday, February 13

Bobby - his words for all times

I watched the movie today - these were words of his they quoted:

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives. It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours. Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason. Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded. "Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs." Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire. Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them. Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul. For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter. This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered. We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers. Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence. We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge. Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution. But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can. Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
May the profound message take hold across the land.

Whom He has brought together ...

Roland Martin has his take on Valentine's day and I understand perfectly well where he is coming from. Having my hair done this day, I was given to think about it some - we have a God of love. I was reminded of when the husband and I met and fell in love.

My stylist Lynn was in with another stylist Cam. Cam was doing a lady's hair who is getting married tomorrow. She moved here from North Carolina, had met her man on E-Harmony and they'll be husband and wife tomorrow.

It was a February my man and I met on the internet, having since blended a family, having one child with each other. He was in ministry, something I recalled was told in my early teens would be part of my life. This young lady's man is an assistant pastor. They are blending a family. Their story sounded so familiar to my own.

Lord, the marriage you created for Adam and Eve give them. Have them entwine their lives with you an invincible 3-fold cord. Bless their day and bless their lives, their children, their ministry, the fruit of their hands. May the blending of their families be a sweet aroma unto you. Amen.

Today, I was reminded that God ordained the love of a man and a woman and that he is a God of second chances - not one's of our own making, but of His choosing. Don't conform your life to the commercialism of holidays - like the festivals of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's, the Resurrection, Memorial, Independence, and whatever you commemorate, but make the way you live a holiday like these pre-programmed or spontaneous in that you celebrate meaning not ritual.

As for Love:

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded.

For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.

When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant,
I reckoned as an infant;

when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant.

For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known.

But now remains
faith, hope, love,

these three;

but the greatest of these is love.
T, the blessings of the Lord be with you.

It is always a blessing to spend a morning with Lynn and an added pleasure to have breakfast at Moes; but today was a blessing indeed! And a lovely springboard to a special weekend.

Sunday, February 8

Short fall

There are times that defy the normal logic presiding in one's existence. Being a believer that is often simply a reaffirmation of His utterly wondrous nature. But there are times that cause anything but any kind of affirmation in this present life.

As an example over which the family laughs about now and for which I am blessed that was received so well, the time when I closed the door on my coat. We've all, I presume, closed the car door on something that should have been inside the vehicle with us - no problem. The clunk I heard I presumed was the larger than usual metal zipper on the end of the unzipped jacket. Later when the husband was looking for his smartphone and couldn't find it, I realized I had placed it in my pocket and IT was the mysterious clunk. What an idiot! I even had passionately declared "I don't have it!" before making the discovery of my heinous error. He was far too accepting of it all. We were on vacation and he had to go without until it was replaced by the provider.

Sometimes important things like his now missing SDHC card go AWOL while in my possession. And I for the life of me can't remember what I last did with it. It was in my care. I was using his labtop and had traded it with my own card for the time being. How I still have possession of my card but his has totally left the face of the earth is unfathomable. I feel like such an idiot when these things happen. I hate letting people down.

I've turned the house upside down several times, especially the room in which it happened (theoretically), and will again. I know the contents of the card are important to him. It behooves me to find what I had in my care. I should be worthy of what he entrusted me with. Sure, things happen and things are replaceable; but trust is to be treasured and honored.

I hate when I fall short. To some it may seem that I am going overboard over this ("to err is human"), but I can only imagine how God feels about what he's entrusted us with, big and small. It makes me sad. One thing He entrusted me with is my husband, my children, and the trust of others.

Thank you Lord for your divine forgiving nature of my shortfalls. Help me Lord to be better with all that you have entrusted me. Lord willing, help me find that card in good order. Amen.

Saturday, January 31


I come up with these silly little titles. I don't know why.

Point though is we had a little issue with our spa and needed someone to come look at it. Issue being water - an issue of water leaving the spa. Anyways, after some calls, our spa company recommended a service company and requested we be given priority.

The company that came was 4 Spa Repair & Service. They in no time went and determined the problem and fixed it. Weren't we happy campers; especially the husband who had been desiring its therapuetic values. Our cost was minimal.

It is just a delight to get good service. James and his brother who accompanied him were knowledgeable and friendly. I just wanted to pass it on. About them:

Trusted, Experienced, Spa Professionals- Servicing All Of Southern California.

We repair a variety of spas, both with and without manufacturer’s warranty. We offer professional and easy solutions to ensure spa ownership to be a pleasing experience. We are salt water certified for those customers who wish to limit the use of harsh chemicals in their hot tubs, as well as a variety of parts for the 'do it yourself' spa owner. We guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. Call today & allow one of our highly trained, professional and friendly staff members to assist you.

Other Services offered: Spa Covers, Gazebos, Delivery, Spa Relocation, Spa Retro- fitting, Spa Upgrades, Spa Disposal.

I think a good name is important and worth sharing.

Friday, January 30

hands of worship

hands of worship
Originally uploaded by runz DMC
Every day there are hands that touch lives, even ours. Those touches run the gamut of malevolent. to innocuous, to benevolent. Much of this is of our own choosing - where we hang out, how we select our friends, how we carry ourselves that draws people to us; and some of it has nothing to do with anything we do.

But I've found that those hands that touch my life spiritually are a blessing to my life and enabled me to be armed for negative encounters in this life. Many people have BFFs (best friends for ever). In my life with Christ, I am privileged that He has given me TFFs (true friends for ever). Their agenda is always His; not mine nor theirs. And His is always best for me. It is people like these that always keep me looking to God, He uses to keep my eyes on the prize, to recognize that 'where 2 or 3 are gathered He is amongst us, and that I am not alone.

Two pairs of such I am thankful for are the owner of the hands pictured, as her worshipful nature of quiet wisdom and abiding peace has greatly influenced my life and my stylist - a rich source of encouragement. Surround yourself with such as these where ever you go, like vitamins. They can be found in the workplace, place of Worship, neighborhood, social gatherings and more.

And so, as in Hebrews 12, 'not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near'.

Turn'n Headz

Turn'n Headz
Originally uploaded by runz DMC
Last week I took the youngest to get a haircut and, although he often has a sort of frown on his face, he's playing his DS which can't be seen. I actually took this shot through a mirror which captures other mirrors. Count them :-). Whether or not the youngest is frowning, I can always smile at his handsome self when he's sat in the barber's chair.

It's another RDO and I actually, as usual, had my hair done. I've mentioned Turn'n Headz before - but on a day like today when I can go and relax and feel like a new me when I leave; it seemed to bear mentioning again.

Of course I went to Moe's and had my chicken breakfast. Now, I've gone through some pictures recently taken and uploaded some to the computer. Next for this RDO, I've got some work to do, blessing God that I'm employed.

Tuesday, January 27

procrastination, patience, premature

I thought hey, if I hurry I could get more than one post in this month. The thing about hating 'catch up' is I'm a procrastinator - and I operate well in this mode. When, I write against a deadline, it all comes together at the end. Until then, I'm in the classic 'ball up paper and toss it' mode. I like the flow of that.

When I photograph it defies my nature - it requires planning - yikes and, yet, instinct which I love. It requires patience. When I see something, I want it; but it makes me wait. God does that to me too, make me wait for His best and gives me the instinct (when I don't ignore it) to recognize when I have it. I've screwed up some shots and many a shot in life not allowing patience to work 'experience, and experience hope; and hope' which maketh not ashamed. You get the picture! Not just what you saw, but everything that take had in it. I'm learning not to settle; to get the shot. Because I've begun to learn, I have my Beloved Boaz.

My mother used to say I was 'whatever age' going on 40. There was something to what she was saying. I took some test on Facebook and it said I tested to be the age 60; YIKES!!!!! But I'm beginning the life of the curious case of Shelz. I'm learning to come to God as a child. This lesson was re-triggered in Bible study tonight. He said I am His own. He would help me walk and he would feed me. He would quiet my cares. "Unless you come to me as a one these ..." Here I come Abba Father.

Saturday, January 10


I don't like ketchup - only on meatloaf; it is really good on meatloaf.

And I don't like playing catch up - the stress!

But here I am in January, looking at December.

I had a birthday, so maybe it's age. ;-). I have a new camera - an upgrade from my TZ3 to a FZ28. Wow! I'm really enjoying it and I still like my little one with so much capability. It fits in my pocket or purse - so I'm never without a camera. But the new one is light years more intriguing. I take some solitary walks to get some shots as well - a combo of physical, spiritual and artistic exercise. I'm enjoying this new avenue of pursuit. I take shots where ever I see them.The first day of my vacation it snowed over night. I captured this shot doing morning errands.


The husband and I go on shoots. He also goes with our yenta who also is into photography. New Year's, he came over with his lady and shared a morning with us - more photos LOL. We're plannning a getaway shoot - should be fun; I'm looking forward to it. The youngest has accompanied us on a nature shoot.

I also received Vanessa William's Christmas CD and a great workbook 'Sacred Romance'; going to get the book today so I can begin the journey.

Spent Christmas with kids in and out. We were blessed to see the Giant's wife over the holidays who came bearing the gift of kewl watch. Too we were blessed as the next oldest came down from northern California. We had 5 for dinner, and it was a very nice to have the help cleaning up. We missed the one studying in France, and the Texans, but were also blessed by all of the rest.

I usually use this time to do some cleaning and re-arranging some furniture. I made the effort this year to change our living/dining room in to what I call the conservatoire (a reading/music room of sorts) - same stuff, just slightly different look to contrast with our 'theatre' room we already have. I have much, much, much more cleaning to do.

Other than groceries, I didn't really do any shopping, even though I have a few gift cards to spend. Eventually! Eventually! Went to the office parties of my and the husband's job. New Year's we've developed of having of finger foods and sparkling beverage with whomever graces our home as we wait in the New Year. That was nice. We were watching, as we had been throughout the holidays, episodes of the last dvd season of Smallville. We paused for the midnight celebration!

So now as I look back I see I've had a difficult time in getting back into school; but I haven't given up. I'm trying to manage the workload and make way for that opportunity, as well as continue in ministry and of course having a meaningful family life. Jer 29:11 reminds me God has a plan. I'll be trying to be on His page.

Meanwhile I look to the hubbi's upcoming birthday - a weekend which we will celebrate the gift of him, Martin Luther King Jr., and 44. Hoping to make the most of what will be a 5-day weekend for me.

Ketchup/Catch Up is what you make it - done well it can as enjoyable as this has been.

May God's (not the World's) prosperity bless you all this New Year.
"to be prudent, be circumspect, wisely understand, prosper (Qal) to be prudent, be circumspect (Hiphil) to look at or upon, have insight to give attention to, consider, ponder, be prudent to have insight, have comprehension 1b insight, comprehension (subst) to cause to consider, give insight, teach 1b the teachers, the wise to act circumspectly, act prudently, act wisely to prosper, have success to cause to prosper"

Fitness Footnote

'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey