Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's a rocky life

Well, it has been a long time since I've posted here. I could share a myriad of excuses, but they all sound lame ... so let's chalk it up to my writing muse being silent and my life being a tad busy. I'll be sharing some updates here in the weeks ahead, so keep visiting.

Beach walking

One of the reasons we moved here was to enjoy the beaches and the fresh air. The beach was for exercise or so that Mr. Retired could fly one of his kites. Then a new friend gave me a polished red jasper and started telling me about rocks. She shared her collection of agates, jasper, and more. I was hooked right away, and thus began my search for rocks. I've brought home lots of "shoulda" rocks (should have left it there), as well as some nice pieces of basalt and several pieces of jasper. I also have some nice pieces of quartz, and lots of "blended" rocks. I thought I'd found one or two small pieces of agate, but they turned out to be jasper or plain ol' rocks.

Some of these rocks can be polished, and I can hardly wait for our stuff to arrive as we already have a tumbler, and I want to try my hand at tumbling/polishing. Many of the rocks are too porous to polish, but we like their shape and/or color, and have decided to build a small "dry creek bed" in our garden -- and will use these rocks there. While rock hunting we've been caught by sneaker waves twice (shame on us - and it won't happen a third time), plus I sprained my ankle so we have to choose our beaches carefully (no climbing over the sand dunes until the ankle heals). Amazingly, many beaches are accessible via a paved path or a short, careful walk down some rocks or dirt.

One day while rock hunting, I kept seeing "rocks" floating out to the sea. I thought it was odd and wondered what "rock" would float that way. When I got closer I saw it was itty-bitty baby crabs. *huge grins* Wish I'd taken my camera to show you. I've never seen them as anything other than "eat me" stage so I was totally fascinated. I watched them as they "crabbed" their way to the ocean, and even saw one dig a hole and dive into the sand. What a treat to be seeing all this fun stuff and be old enough to truly enjoy and appreciate it. =)

Rocking away

Well, today I wanted some fresh air. It was sunny, with a light breeze and temp in the mid-50's. Perfect for rock hunting. So after lunch we took a short drive to Bob Beach (south of Strawberry Hill) and navigated our way through the big rocks and over near the creek. Using my digging stick, I stood on the edge of the creek and moved rocks, watching for either jasper or an agate. Maybe it will sound silly to you, but I found myself praying, "Lord, let Mr. Retired and I both find an agate -- and it best be a shouting agate, because if it doesn't shout out, 'Here I am!', we'll never find it." ;-)

I kept walking, poking around, looking and praying. I used the sun to watch for rocks that were translucent or that sparkled (that's what all the books say to watch for). All I found were wet rocks. Soon I realized my toes were cold, and I looked down and discovered I was standing in the creek. HA! I was so focused on hunting, I wasn't paying attention. I guess I need to find some boots. Anyhow, I figured in for wet toes, in for wet feet - and kept moving. After 30 minutes of stumbling, digging with my fingers, rejecting rocks, and wincing as my ankle complained ... I moved away from the creek bed to see how Mr. Retired was doing. He had found some interesting rocks and we decided that since I had wet feet, maybe we should head back to the car. Okay, I sighed. Then I looked down at my shoes. I don't know why. I just did. There, right there at the tip of my right shoe was an agate. A good sized agate to boot!!!!! I think I gasped as I leaned down and picked it up. It's about 1-1/2-inches by 2-inches, circumference maybe 4-inches. It should polish up nicely. :) I was sooo excited, especially since several people had been in this spot over the past 30 minutes -- yet they never saw the agate. I was standing in just the right spot, at just the right angle for the sun to shine on it and just as I asked the Lord, the agate shouted out 'Here I am!'

Well, if you'd like to see the picture we took of Bob Beach, click here.
To see the pictures of my agate, click here and here.
All pictures open in separate windows.

As we walked back to the car, I found another piece of agate - not as nice, but it should polish up nicely as well. All in all, a great day on the central coast of Oregon.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Start your day empty, and it remains empty. Amazing, isn't it? Start your day filled with the Lord and His Word, and your day will be fulfilling from start to finish. I'm not saying everything will go right, or be perfect, or that you'll never have a rough moment or two -- but you will be able to deal with all that comes your way. Plus your heart will be settled and happy no matter what takes place. At least that's how it works for me. Yet I started yesterday and today empty. Instead of quiet time with God, I started both days with coffee and the computer.

Both days were empty, and I felt out of sorts. Today little things were starting to irritate me. I finally realized what I'd done, and I was ashamed of myself.

Fortunately God loves me (and you) even when I sin. I took time to pray and have my devotions. I like to use "Our Daily Bread" for my devotions, and I laughed when I read today's devotion. It was all about being obstinate and not doing what we know is right! You can read it here. I especially liked the last line:
Could it be that we are clinging to some "toy" and refusing to let Him be Lord of our lives? —Albert Lee

Once I'd given myself and my day back over to the Lord, He turned my empty day into a day filled with joy. The rest of the day, a song I used to sing in church went through my head. Written by Stephen R. Adams, it's an interesting variation on an age old favorite, Amazing Grace. I especially like the chorus:
And it's all because of God's amazing grace!
Because on Calvary's Mountain he took my place!
And someday, some glorious morning,
I shall see him face to face,
All because of God's amazing grace.

Amazing! Yes, God's love is amazing. He turns my sorrows into joy, He turns my emptiness into happiness. I hope that you have turned your heart over to Him and know God's Amazing Grace.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Over the past several months, I have made some tough decisions as we packed up to leave California, but I was comfortable with those decisions. After all “things are just things”. I even shared this sentiment with all of you in my post Learning to live without things. I knew that God was guiding me as I made decisions on what to keep and what to toss; and I had then, and still do now, perfect peace over those decisions.

I’ll readily admit that some things were easier to leave behind than others, and I’m sure I stored things I should have dumped—and probably dumped things I should have stored—but I tried to keep my focus on the new life that was ahead for us.

So what happened on Monday, October 17th?

It was time to go get the trailer for our trip and I realized that at least 1/3 of what we had saved to bring with us was not going to fit in the trailer and/or car trunk. How did I react? I became discouraged and angry. Angry with myself for not letting the movers take these things. Discouraged because I was tired, out of time and options and worse ... discouraged because I felt that God had let me down.

My mind raced with ideas and concerns. What would we leave behind? How could we decide at this point? It would mean opening boxes and repacking—something I felt we didn’t have time to do. I also couldn’t understand why God was allowing this to happen. Hadn’t I trusted Him to guide my selections? Hadn’t He opened all the doors during our move, so why close this one? Why? Why? Why?

My attitude didn’t improve when we found out that the local U-Haul dealer’s promises were nothing more than hot air, and the sports trailer wasn’t available. I stood in the kitchen with my stomach in knots while they tried to find the trailer.

I had a major moment of selfish greed when I remembered that the U-Haul folks had promised to either have the sports trailer or one of the smallest box trailers for us. I was greedily thinking this was good because all our stuff would fit in the smallest box trailer. When the guy came back on the phone and told me he hadn’t found the sports trailer, I reminded him of their promise and he said he would check and call me back.

After several more phone calls that became more urgent by the minute, and with my stomach in total knots, I was reaching the panic stage. There wasn’t a small trailer within 100 miles of us, and they had not found the sports trailer.

I stood in the kitchen and asked God why? Why couldn’t they find a trailer for us to use? What if they found one, but it wasn’t available until late Monday night? How would we even begin to pack/re-pack in that short of time? What if we had to delay our leaving—what would the buyer think? Time was our enemy at this point—and so was my heart’s attitude.

Why? Why? Why?

I finally stopped, laid my head on the counter and cried, and that was when I realized why. My heart’s attitude was all wrong. I was holding onto things, and trusting in men—when I should have been trusting in God and holding on to Him. I told God how sorry I was and asked Him to change my heart.

At that moment, I had perfect peace that it would all work out. The phone rang, U-Haul had found the sports trailer just 30 miles up the road. They transferred me to the Davis office, I gave her my info, and we drove up to get the trailer.

We spent the next several hours re-packing several boxes, and made some really tough decisions, but we knew that God was in control and it was all for the best. In the morning, we packed the car with our luggage, the cats and us ... and headed out.

Our trip was smooth and worry and trouble free. The sports trailer was a joy to haul (absolutely perfect size for our small car), and we arrived here in Waldport safe and sound. Tired, but happy, we stopped for a few groceries, got the keys to the house and pulled in the drive. We unpacked the cats, had some supper and unloaded the trunk—in the rain. Our first Oregonian rain. Perfect, absolutely perfect. :)

Even more perfect was the way God changed my heart. Many years ago He changed my heart and showed me His perfect plan of salvation.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen—Ephesians 3:20,21

My fervent prayer is that God will continue to work on my heart, and that your heart will know His perfect plan for your life.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

We Have Arrived!

On Tuesday, the 18th, we left our old place at 7am, and arrived in our new place at 7:45pm. The trailer worked super, the cats did okay, Mac and I shared the driving and all was well. No flat tires, no breakdowns, no accidents. The Lord was very gracious to us. We had good weather, saw beautiful scenery and even drove through a light rain and then fog at the end.

The car and trailer were packed to the hilt, yet we still had to leave things behind that we had hoped to bring with us. It was no biggy, after all they were just things -- and when I have time I'll tell you about my lesson on "things".

So far we've visited our house (trusses should arrive on Tuesday and then it's full steam ahead!), scouted out new places to shop, found a great new "diner", tried 3 different grocery stores, discovered yarn in 2 shops, talked to the stove to see if that would help it work properly (hehehe), signed up for net access, walked on the beach, made friends, met a local author and bought his book -- which he signed for me, stood at Seal Rock and watched with great awe as the waves came crashing in to shore ... and more.

I would love to tell you all that has taken place, but that would take me hours to type -- so it will have to wait until I have more time to read my handwritten journal and then put my thoughts onto this laptop. Now say, there's something interesting ... my handwriting has improved since I've been putting pen to paper instead of typing on keys. LOL!

Okay, time for me to go. We have to head back to the house -- after all the sun has set and the town closes down at 7. hehehe

Watch for more updates and news in the days ahead!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Babbling Away

I've made changes to my life and I'm pleased with them. I'm happier about me. I think this is very good. I wouldn't even be on the puter right now, but Mr. Retired turned it on. I'm glad I'm working on this addiction.

I got up this morning rested and happy, put the coffee on and dove in to "packing". Made phone calls and changed address on most credit cards and magazines. Still have a few magazines to do.

CHASE credit card is NOT done. Idiots! I sit through a 7 minute wait to speak to a rep only to hear a woman advise me (in pigeon English no less!) that her computer was updating and could I possibly call back later. Good things my hands don't fit in the telephone line or she'd be sporting bruises. HA!

OH - really good news. Pat from the food closet came by and took 2 frozen turkeys, loads of canned goods, mixes, jars of sauce, etc. :) :) :) :) :) I'm glad we didn't have to toss it all -- it's bad enough we have to toss the stuff we can't donate or transport.

Yesterday we dropped by the vets to give Dr. Jassar a letter. When he saw us, he came out around the counter and talked to us. Gave us both a big hug and wished us well. We thanked him for the wonderful care he'd given to our cats and handed him the envelope. He was surprised and said thanks ... and gave us both another big hug. He got misty-eyed -- and by then so were we. DRATS!

We've been bear hugged by Jack and Linda, the vet, Dr. Nick, Betty at the grocery store, and several other folks that we know only casually -- and yet our local family hasn't even called to say good-bye. I cannot tell you how much this hurts.

Well, I need to go get in the shower so we can have some lunch. OH - here's a funny ... yes folks, I can babble ... last night we grilled our last steak and when it was time to eat, Mr. Retired looked at me and asked how we were going to do this. hahaha No table, no tv tables ... hehehe ... how do you cut a steak? Stand at the counter? Ick! We have 2 folding chairs left, so we sat in our "to be left behind" chairs in the living room and each used a folding chair as a "table" and ate. This gives a whole new meaning to elegant dining. hehehe

We should be able to finish our packing tomorrow. Then Monday we deliver notes to Dr. Walker and Dr. Carney, pick up trailer and load it. Tuesday we head out before dawn. Wonder if I'll sleep Monday night?

I really will clam up now. Watch for one final update before we hit the road. Not that I'll have much to say ... but like I said, I can babble.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Waxing poetic

The movers came
The movers went
It all went well
'Twas heaven sent

God had His hand
Upon our move
He opened doors
He did approve

We're thankful for
His guiding hand
We'll praise His name
Throughout the land

~Kimberly Andrew © copyright October 13, 2005

All has gone so very well.
We have truly seen God's hand in every step of the way. The movers were done in half the time estimated, and that saved us $$. (happy grins) Yesterday while getting my hair cut, "G" and I were chatting and I mentioned that the only biggy left was donating our old Mazda (217,000 + miles). She asked how much, I said donate, she made a phone call, and a few hours later we signed the title over to her mom and her brother. It's a story worthy of a hanky, and I won't tell someone's else's story, but the Mazda is now with someone who can truly use the car. If you are a praying reader, please remember to pray for "G" and her family -- and especially her brother who is dying of cancer.

The cats are doing well, although BC does not like the empty rooms. We talked to the vet and we can knock BC out with Benedryl, but not Abby. He's concerned that the mix of her age, her weight and her panic at being in the cage could spell disaster with the Benedryl. So ... we are fixing a small box to sit at my feet and she will spend the ride either in my arms or the box (hopefully the box). My arms ache already. Heh!
"I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee."--Psalms 138:1
I hope that your heart sings God's praises. I'm so thankful that mine does.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Squeamish Society

I admit that the site of a big spider sends me running for something sturdy with which to smack the critter, an old shoe works great on crickets and water bugs, and ants don't have a chance if they try coming into my home. I have, however, been known to catch and release tree frogs when they sneaked in the back door, but there is one creature that the good Lord made that sends me running down the hall with my stomach churning—and that's the gray house mouse!

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Now we had such a visitor in our home the past few days. He (she?) managed to chew into my butterscotch and chocolate chip bits, my bag of dough for peanut butter cookies, the packages for blueberry muffins, the box of raisins ... and more. This visitor also managed to enjoy the peanut butter from 4 different traps! Then we got some Victor traps. Nice things, Victor traps. They always get their mouse, and they earn high praise from me.

This afternoon I was packing boxes of glasses and had stepped away from the kitchen. I'm glad I did, because 10 minutes later Mr. Retired came and gave me the good news that the mouse was done for and wouldn't be raiding the pantry again.

“Hurray!”, said I and waddled down the hall to the kitchen to have a look-see. Now as President of the Squeamish Society one would think I had more smarts, but I don't—besides I'm as curious as the next person. I gingerly opened the cabinet and took a good look. Yup, that visitor was done for!

I gleefully asked Mr. Retired how he was going to remove said visitor, and he said, “Carefully.” LOL! Then he suggested that I hold the plastic bag and he would dump the mouse in the bag. Oh no way ... no way at all was I going to be anywhere near that plastic bag. I was, however, more than willing to dig the plastic bag out of the items packed for moving.

At this point Mr. Retired distracted me with chatter about something else and without thinking I opened the zip-lock and held it out. Suddenly I realized what was happening. EEEEEWWWWWWWWW! No way! No way! I tossed the bag to Mr. Retired and scooted clear across the room and stood in the doorway. He unceremoniously dumped the mouse in the bag and asked me to come hold the bag.

I tried. I really did. Honest. My fingers were mere inches from grabbing the top of the bag when I realized there just wasn't any way on God's green earth that I was going to be able to hold that bag without losing my lunch. I backed away shaking my hands and uttering squeamish little sounds. Mr. Retired just shook his head and chuckled. Then he set the bag down on the floor so he could put the trap down. That did it. I practically ran down the hall and refused to come back to the front of the house until that bag was in the trash can outside.

Now that the visitor is gone, I will don some plastic gloves and clean under the sink. Why plastic gloves? Well, it certainly wouldn't do for the President of the Squeamish Society to do something silly like come in contact with the droppings. Just imagine the squeamish sounds I'd make as I ran out of the front door and down the street.