Friday, July 26, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook~July 25, 2013

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Thursday, July 25, 2013
Outside my window... The sun is bright already even though it is only 7:00 am.  It is shining through our trees right into my eyes so am having to lower the blind just a little.  At this moment it is gleaming through our American flag and it looks so pretty.  It is going to be warm today but nothing like the last daybook I wrote when it was insufferably hot for days and days.  These last few weeks have just been normal for July.  The beauty of our weather is that it cools off at night no matter how hot it gets during the day.  Not so in a lot of places so we are thankful.

I am thankful for....contentment.  I am thankful for not having that feeling of always wanting more.  I am talking primarily about the big things. (I still always want bracelets!)  I have everything I want and need and I know where that all comes from and I am thankful to God for it.  There is something about this age that is just so magical to me.  I am thankful for Jim, our family, our home, our health, our church and friends, our interests...just all of it.  I was reading a will from one of our ancestors a little while ago and he talked about bequeathing items the Lord had lent him.  Is that not the complete truth?  What we have is ours on loan from the God who gives us all.

From the learning room....that I am finally finding lots of things pertinent to our family history.  I am becoming a researcher after all.  The success I have had recently has been amazing. It takes perseverance and tenacity.   I am humbled by the Lord's help in guiding me along.

I am reading...Cooking by Michael Pollan, Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford (still) and several other books on my Kindle and plenty on the genealogy blogs right now with all the changes going on. An e-book on Evernote.  I am preparing a class for September and have to get started.
From the kitchen...we are enjoying the tomato season which is in full bloom right now.  I should be a tomato for all of them I eat this time of year.  They are so delicious and fresh and we are enjoying the selection of other organic seasonal fruits and vegetables available now at the Farmer's Market.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...again I feel it is centered around contentment.  That there is enough and to spare.  That living simply is the most rewarding.  And about knowing that we strive to move forward but not at a pace that kills us more quickly than necessary.  That God loves us as is.  It it not a race to win His love though our scurrying, we already have it.  These things bring me peace and reassurances as we go day by day doing the best we can and knowing in His eyes it is sufficient.  Knowing that He makes up for what we lack, that He is in charge of our salvation, not us.

I am hearing...New York State of Mind~Billy Joel. I must admit he is one of my favorites from the old days.  I am sure our kids have childhood memories of his music in our home.  I just love music in our house.  When it is off there is just something missing from the environment.  For us it has never been a blaring TV but always some sacred, classical, seasonal or fun pop music to set the tone.  I cannot stand talk radio but Jim does like it sometimes.  Mostly he will listen in his car and spare me.  Thank heavens!  I don't find anything appealing about people jabbering and fighting about their opinions.  I do like some interviews on various podcasts that have an actual purpose.  But my first choice is always music or just silence.

One of my guilty pleasures...spending time one on one with my husband.  We don't have to be doing anything special but it does have to just be the two of us.  Having time alone and time together is something that reminds me a lot of our early years together.  It is something we didn't have a lot of in the last four decades and I have come to prize it very highly now that we do more often again.

Pet Peeves...when I make a wrong key stoke and accidentally erase an entire blog post and have to start over.  That happened to me this week on my Santa Cruz post I had to find all the photos again, edit them and begin at step one.  Argh!  Frustration!  But anything for the grand kids, right?

I am quoting...from Marie on Facebook~

If I could change one thing it would be...that Mitt Romney was our President!  And that Obama and the Congress would be having the same Obamacare as the rest of the country but they have exempted themselves from it.  Which by the way is unconstitutional.  Hmmm!   WHAT???
The Republic has a CONSTITUTION???   Who knew?

"Amendment 28

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...have been watching Call the Midwife with James.  I previewed it last week and loved it.  I knew he would too.  I was right!

I am curious about..why The Simple Woman's Daybook posts are so popular? I have more visitors on these than almost any others.  I have a theory that people just like to have a chat and they are kind of like chats albeit usually one-sided.  It is fun to just think of topics and what is on your mind at the moment.  A little slice of modern day life that will soon be history.  I love history, don't you?  Especially by everyday people that just walk through their lives one day at at time doing the best they can.  It is proof positive that people are interested in normal things, it doesn't have to be earth-shattering to write it.  I wish more people did this.  Writing lasts!

Plans for the rest of the week...mani/pedi today and then get ready for my trip to Utah.  Next week four days of classes.  I am so excited about the possibilities  of what I will be learning.  Hoping it is not too flaming hot there but not counting on it.  I wish Carol was going with me!  But I will love spending some time with the grandies again during the time I am out of class and of course the big kids too.  Jim is staying home to work on his shop!  We'll be going up together towards the end of August.

One of my favorite things...Naot Sandals.  So pretty and so comfy!

One thing that made me so happy this week...That our granddaughters, Piper and Julia, got to fly to Rhode Island to be with their cousins, Spencer and Ross and their Aunt Laura and Uncle Robert who are so good to them.  I know they have been having a ball. 

And that Jim took me on a wonderful Day Trip on Wednesday.  We went to Marin county and had a great time and the most wonderful, gourmet picnic that he made.  We just needed that little time together before I leave to Utah on Sunday for nine days.  Looking forward to the annual BYU  genealogy conference and seeing the family as well.

The most surprising thing this week...That the Royal baby was a boy! Wasn't there a lot of media hype about the baby being a girl that went on for a few months?  I am glad they have a healthy baby boy and the whole of Britain is all a twitter over it.  I have to admit I kind of love the fairytale quality of it all.  I like the pageantry of it all and the great examples that the Prince and Princess are to the people of Great Britain and the world.  They display near perfect decorum, grace, and fit the roles of royalty to a T.  The White House needs something akin to it to lift the spirits of this country.

A Photo I am sharing this week...a picture of four of the grandkids.  Having lunch in Hyannis Massachusetts. 

 Julia, Piper, Spencer and Ross

There is something so wonderful about knowing 
your kids and grandkids get along so well.
And of course it is touching to us that 
they are romping around
on the soil of their forefathers.

          Until we all return...happy day to you!
     ❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Taking Stock of What I Believe

We have just passed the year's midpoint recently and I thought I'd take a look at this post from January in review.  I still believe that we choose our own story.  It is our perception that shapes us as much or more than the reality of our circumstances. 

Have you noticed that in years past people have picked one word to focus on through the new year?  I have never done it but think it is an inspiring idea.  I have thought about what word would be a good motivator for me and have chosen the word BELIEVE for 2013. 

I have learned in my life that what I believe is exactly what sets the tone of just about everything.  It is our perspective on everything about ourselves, God, our surroundings, people, principles and concepts and the state of the world that influences all we do.  The real deal is that whether something is true or false almost has less significance than if you believe it does.  What you think and believe is your reality.  What a wonderful and powerful gift of agency the Lord has provided us with in this life.  We get to choose how we see everything around us, everything we experience and everything we think.  When you ponder this it is beyond amazing.

So I thought I'd just look at all of the things I said at the beginning of this bright new year and see how I am holding up with my special word this year now that it is nearly August.  I'll just take them point by point in blue.

Here are some things I am going to
on believing in this year.
I believe that God is all powerful and 
that what he says is true. 
  He tells me "I can do all things through
 Christ that strengtheneth me." 
 I truly believe that. 
If he believes I am lovable and capable so I must
 also believe it even when I do not feel it sometimes. 

This is a good one.  I have had some struggles with this this year but I have made progress because I do believe in these words even when they do not seem self-evident.  I try to remember that I am lovable and capable in God's eyes and that helps me move forward when I feel like giving up on something difficult to learn or overcome.

He tells me we are all brothers and sisters 
and to love everyone 
even those who despitefully use and persecute me.
  I believe it, I will.

Again, this area in my life has been tested this year.  I have tried to remember that when something or someone has hurt me it was probably unintentional, an oversight on their part or a misunderstanding.  They struggle just like I do, so I try to believe in their inherent goodness in spite of what may have happened.  Most of the time people are too busy with their own lives and concerns to willfully try to offend me.  I believe that.  I know I would never hurt another person intentionally and I like to believe that of others.
I believe people are basically good because they are 
children of God. 
Really believing that make me happier
and restores my faith in humanity. 

When we traveled extensively on the east coast this summer I saw that throughout the states we visited there are truly good people.  I try not to let the media and their thirst for capturing our attention make me think ill of most people for I know that it takes only a few bad apples to make a lot of us look bad.  We did not encounter a single bad person on our adventures.  I believe in this principle from our personal experiences.
I believe in guardian angels and that they
 watch over me and all people that I love.
  That helps me worry less.

This year we have prayed daily for protection for our family, our friends and ourselves. We have thanked the Lord for that protection and never taken it for granted.  He has protected us in our travels and helped us every step of the way.  When things did happen like Spencer breaking his leg we were grateful for medical attention that helped him heal.  We always know it could have been worse.  When bad things happened to others (or to us) we felt the comfort and peace that comes to those who believe. 

When our young friends lost their infant son in death at 4 day old we realized that prayers are not always answered as we wish but are left to an all knowing wise Father in Heaven.  The love we have gained for their little family because of their great example of faith to all has lifted many many people to rethink how we deal with our trials in this life.  With all of the baby's problems,  to bring Max home was the merciful thing for a loving Father to do.

I believe we are all his children and
 his watchful eye is on us always.

He never leaves us, if anyone moves away it is us!

I believe in prayer and the comfort it brings
 and the answers, 
oh yes, the answers. 
 I believe in them.

These thoughts have helped me a lot this year. 

I believe that everything that God
 places before me I can handle.
He knows how to mold me as his 
own child for my best good.

I believe there is a purpose left in my life and that
 God will teach me what I need to know to accomplish it.
I believe in the wisdom of other people 
and don't need to experience
 everything on my own.
  I can learn from their triumphs and failings.

I believe I know what that purpose
 is now for sure.
And  he is helping me fulfill it. 
 Two of the greatest days in your life are
 the day you were born
 and the day you understood why. 
 I believe that more now than I did in January.

I believe in every word that Christ teaches 
and I believe He is the only way.
The evidence of this is everywhere!
I believe in being guided by the Spirit 
and listening to His counsel. 

This has remained my strong testimony all year, 
never wavering and I am grateful for it...

I believe in love and that love changes everything.
Love for God, others and myself.
Only when I can truly love can I be my happiest. 

I believe I can improve and progress and 
become all God and I expect of me.

I do struggle with this but I also do believe it.
When I am overwhelmed with the tasks ahead of me
 I try to take a breather, slow down and focus.
It helps so much to know it is possible
 to make this belief a reality someday.
God isn't finished me yet and neither am I.

I believe in family and it being forever
 and that that is enough to bring the joy and everything 
else into its proper perspective.

I am very firmly planted in this belief.  With all of our quirks and shortcomings and the mistakes we all make we belong to one another.  We love each other with all of our hearts and we will go on through all eternity because of our Savior and His promises for those who love and follow Him. 

I believe in goodness and forgiving.

It is the only way!
I believe in God's Will.
I believe in you.  I believe in me.

With all my heart! 

I believe we choose our own degree of happiness.


What is your word of inspiration for 2013?

This is what I believe!

Day Trip To Filoli Gardens (Reprise)

We started out the day by driving to San Francisco as Filoli Gardens is 30 miles south of the City. This photo of the City is taken from Treasure Island in the middle of the Bay. We think it provides the best skyline photo to be had on a clear day. Jim went to Hong Kong a few years ago and he always tells me that as large and picturesque as this is, the Hong Kong skyline and Bay are many times bigger.

This is a photo from the car window on the Bay Bridge traveling about 40 miles an hour!

We were talking about how much we love "our" City and the fact that of all the places we have lived this seems to be the most magical. We have decided that it is not just that it was our first home back in 1968 but also that for us the City is just sprinkled with "Fairy Dust!" No comment you guys! We mean the fairies with the little wands and big wings.

This is a beautiful home in the
Pacific Heights neighborhood.

I just love these bougainvilleas!
Often you can hear me sigh and the brakes coming
to a screeching halt so I can jump out for a photo.
What a great Hubby!

We took the back roads to Filofi Gardens
finally reached the visitors' center.
We passed
a lot of interesting things along
the way that
you just never see from the freeway.

The Name of the Estate was created by the original
owner to represent thoughts he tried to live by..
Fight passionately for a good cause,
Love others and
Live a good life."
The first two letters of each part of his credo,
Fi Lo Li!
We went on a two hour tour of the mansion and the gardens. This is the entrance to the big house that sits majestically in the middle of 654 acres. It was built between 1917 and 1919 and belonged to the man who owned the most productive mineral mine in California in Grass Valley at that time.

In 1917 my Dad was born, in 1918 Jim's Dad was born and 1919 my Mom was born. That put it into perspective for us. They were born a long time ago!!

The original owner was William Bourne II and he also owned many other lucrative businesses of the day. To put it mildly, these people had money to burn. After their deaths in 1936, the home was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Roth and they owned the Matson Navigation Company. At the death of Mrs. Roth in 1975 the home and the expansive estate were donated to the National Trust of Historic Preservation. This was her way of insuring that the estate would be maintained and enjoyed by many in the years to come. (And no doubt, lightening the tax burden on her heirs.)
We thought the entry way was so beautiful. The begonias were beyond gorgeous.
The entry of a home is so important
and this one
just beckoned,
"Welcome...come in...enjoy!"

There are 43 room not including
bathrooms and storage areas.

The house is primarily a modified Georgian style...think big rectangular box and then imagine it in a U shaped configuration. So three rectangles forming a U. It has a lot of French influence, as well as Flemish detailing. It contains lots of English antiques and area rugs, and tapestries and various artifact from all over the world. Much of it is from the original decor including many of the luxurious draperies. There is an area rug originally owned by Queen Victoria.

The home was filled with many pieces of crystal and silver and china. The silver was kept in a locked safe and comprised over 900 pieces of silverware and serving pieces.

The massive stove came off of one the
Matson Ocean Liners.

Phenomenal Copper Collection!
Be still my beating heart...
I am coveting this amazing Butler's Pantry here.
It sits conveniently between the huge
kitchen and the dining room.

A portion of the elegant dining room
The library
This home has been used to film many movies including Heaven Can Wait, Lolita, George of the Jungle, The Joy Luck Club, The Wedding Planner and the most recently filmed..Rent.

This gorgeous ballroom has a 22 foot ceiling.
The tapestries on the walls are immense.
Can you imagine the parties they had here?
The Roths' had twin daughters that had
their debutante ball here.
An ocean liner full of orchids from Hawaii
were brought in for the event.

The upstairs is not available to be toured at this time.

This is the stairway used in Dynasty although
they switched it to the other side

of the room for that series by flipping the film
for a mirror image.

A little sitting room with a portrait of Mrs. Roth in her beloved garden.
A view of one side of the house.
The colors in the gardens are astoundingly brilliant.
The Sunken Garden
The lady who was our docent was very knowledgeable about the plants and flowers in the many gardens. We learned the name of our mystery bush that is blooming in our own garden outside our new bathroom windows. It has a canopy of white star burst blossoms and is a Chilean Myrtle. Since it is from the southern hemisphere it blooms in the late summer and early fall instead of the spring!

(It was worth the trip just for this little
serendipity tidbit of information!)

This is the Garden House

It sits out in the middle of the Garden and was seen as a sign of wealth and prestige in the early 1900's. (Like they needed a sign!) If you saw, The Wedding Planner, this is the place that Matthew Mc Connahaughey went to exercise while J Lo did the wedding planning. When they film movies here they often just empty the rooms and fill in with whatever they need. The Library that is shown above has been used exactly as it is in most films. The movie companies have done a lot of the restoration of the mansion over the years. It is a nice perk for the Foundation and it is some great publicity to be featured in a film too!

The best part of this experience was just discovering this beautiful place so close to home and so under publicized. It was beyond lovely, not too crowded and completely enjoyable from beginning to end. If your live in the area it is well worth the trip. The admission is $15.00 per person and included the guided tour. A real bargain. It is wheelchair accessible and relatively flat with only a few stairs. Three cheers for that from my knee! It is a winner. They have a lovely Christmas fund raiser with beautiful decor and music and shopping and luncheons and teas...they may see me another time this year! Doesn't that sound like fun? Saving my pennies starting now!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Best Day In Santa Cruz!

Some things just never change!  Whether it is Coney Island or Lagoon or The Santa Cruz Boardwalk, The State Fair or Five Flags, there is fun in the air.  So many people love that playful carnival atmosphere and the carefree days spent there.  They love the arcades, the sea air, the sand, the deep fried foods and the rides.  All of it speaks of summer, relaxation and the smell of sunscreen and wet bathing suits. 

Oh how I use to love the State Fair when I was young.  One of the perks of living in Sacramento was having the State Fair so close.  We all looked forward to it for months and went almost every night that someone's parents would give us a lift down there.  The lights, the rides, the could anyone ever forget that from when they were a kid?  It was two weeks of teen heaven. And all the carni games where cute boys would win teddy bears for girls.  I had one on my bed for years, long after we moved west.  It was about 30 inches tall and lavender and white.  I have no clue who won it for me, but I haven't forgotten that bear!

Aren't they the cutest?
Moms can say that, right?

Guess who is the biggest kid here?
Yep, Grampa!

The way it's done...
after you look around a bit and see what's there
you start out slow on the Merry-Go- Round!

An ariel view is always nice to get the lay of the land

Zach and Connor in front
Grampa and Aynslee behind them

The build up...taking it really slow
during the acclimation period
as the tension builds..

The Leals happened to be in Santa Cruz
 so perfect....they met up at the Boardwalk.
Andy and Chris have been friends 
since they were little.
 It was a great opportunity for their kids 
to be together and for them to catch up!

Bethy, John, Sarah, Willsey, and Aron Row 1
Connor, Owen, Andy  Row 2
Missy, Zach, Aynslee  Row 3
Grampa, Christopher  and Camera Row 4

Ah, the fried stuff.  
Can't you smell the rancid recycled grease? 
 I thought Twinkies were gone from the earth
 but apparently not!
  But then they do have an extraordinary 
shelf life, right?

This looks like what Connor ordered
 if I were guessing!

It I had been there I'd have gotten Cotton Candy!
I like its magic disappearing act!

It is time to get into the serious rides!

Owen looking a little pensive as he waits!

I do not know what this ride is called but I call if the Free Fall.  You get strapped into this contraption.  When everyone is secure and apparently barefoot you shoot straight up in the air at a high speed.  You are up there just long enough to look around a little and then it free falls straight to the ground leaving your tummy in mid air.   It stops right before they have to scrape you off the pavement.  (How is this fun...remind me?)

Oh I know you scream all the way down unless you 
are trying to keep a fried Twinkie down, Con!
Just kidding, Connor, I know this came before the treat
but it sure does look like you might be doing that!

This one is called the Pirate Ship.  
It reminds me of what they use to call 
the Hammer in the old days.

Grampa looks scared here but 
I know he'd say he was faking it!

The ultimate goal has been attained here!
Little Sarah is completely terrorized!
Making her realized that she wants to remain tiny forever
So Daddy can protect her (and keep her home longer!)
Good job, Andy!
Aron is smiling but Will is just not too sure about this thing!


The old Rickety Wooden Roller Coaster
(Hopefully Retrofitted)

Some things do change after all. 
I use to love this thing when I was a kid.
Now I'd rather not even watch people I love riding it.

It is just wonderful to see your kids and grandkids
 enjoying the fullness of their lives.  

I always say about kids...they are double jeopardy and they double your pleasure and your fun too.  They double your sorrows when they are struggling or sick or hurting, but when they are happy and enjoying their lives and on top of the world,  they double your joy as well.  And my real super joy is in knowing how much fun Grampa had right along with them. And for me my great happiness came in having them here, in enjoying them tell me about everything and in writing these memories down for them.

It reminded me of decorating in far away lands like Canada or Italy or Utah or Moraga via the Internet and some photos like I have often done and still do.  It is not quite like being there but it gets the job done nicely.  The pictures might be a little out of sequence but hopefully it will be fun reminder of the day for them.

They were all so sweet and supportive towards me and I don't feel like I missed out on a thing.  By the end of the week I was feeling almost back to normal.   Taking it easy was the right choice for all concerned.  I didn't have to be stressed about keeping up when I was not feeling well and they were not burdened by curtailing any plans because of me.  Win/win.

Their last day here we relaxed and they packed up and we played and had a nice BBQ with a few friends that Chris wanted to talk with and Jim's mom.  It was a warm summer night and things were good.  So good.  We sure hope they had fun and will come back again soon!

We love them all and are so proud of their little family! All the hard work you have done to make it so is obvious, Chris and Melissa!  Woohoo!