Sunday, May 30, 2010
In the last few days there have been two things that have really struck me. My good E friend Sharon who happens to be Jewish (as was my great grandmother) somehow came across a group called "Hating Israel, on Facebook". It is beyond me why Facebook would allow any hategroups. Facebook should have a positive image and a positive content. Yeah I know all about freedom of expression and freedom of speech. But I believe you should not have the freedom to infringe upon another individuals beliefs. Remember, mom said if you can't say something nice......? I guess that's just too simple, it probably runs into all kinds of legalities and infringements to just either be polite or keep your ideas in your own arena. It seems to me that to be politically correct is another way of saying it's ok to stomp on someone else as long as its in the name of being fair to only one race, religion or creed.
Speaking of HATE. My beautiful 16 year old grandson was hit in the head with an object because someone at his school thought he was "GAY". He has long lovely dark hair, the same color as his grandpa's by the way, he is a "rocker" which I suppose means he is into rock and roll. I didn't know that long hair and rock and roll was symbolic of being "GAY". He loves the girls and the girls seem to love him, but bottom line is that whether he is or isn't GAY is not the issue. The issue is that to be struck with a rock in the head because someone thought you were GAY is a HATE crime.
My cousin was GAY. I loved her very much, she was fun, pretty, kind, witty, intelligent and GAY. I don't know why she was GAY. I won't go into the politics of whether it is an inherent trait or conscious choice. I did not agree with her life style, but I loved her as a human being and family member. I would hope that she would have made the proper choices and understood God's love for her. She had a terrible childhood, it was full of tragic circumstances that no child should have to experience. She died very suddenly in a horrific crash. I do hope she made the right choices in her relationship with God. I don't know that she ever knew how much she was loved.
I suppose Jesus was the first person we can identify who was a victim of a hate crime. Over the last 2000 years there have been many brought to our attention. Anne Frank, Matthew Shepard, John the Baptist, the list could go on and on. In some cases the death of someone insured that a change would take place but at the cost of a precious life.
For Christians the death of Jesus means everlasting life for those who accept him as their Savior. For Christians it also means we are to be compassionate and non-judgmental. It's an awful hard thing not to be consumed with anger towards someone who hurts those you love. I wonder if that's how those hateful people got that way. So I am back to square one. I am commanded by my Lord to pray for those people who hurt my friends and family ....and forgive them. I am only human but I know that the only way to serve God is to be an example of God's love. Only through God can I forgive those that hurt the ones I love. So tonight when I review my list of people and issues to pray about I know what will be at the top of my list.
The entire incident has lead me to review my own feelings about homosexuality and truthfully I didn't like what I discovered. I had to do some real serious soul searching about my own feelings and probably left over input from my parents and grandparents.
I recently read the following information written by Lehman Strauss:
What should be the Christian's attitude toward the homosexual?
We must always keep before us the fact that homosexuals, like all of us sinners, are the objects of God's love. The Bible says, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ "is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2). The Christian who shares God's love for lost sinners will seek to reach the homosexual with the gospel of Christ, which "is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). As a Christian I should hate all sin but I can find no justification for hating the sinner. The homosexual is a precious soul for whom Christ died. We Christians can show him the best way of life by pointing him to Christ. Our Lord said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). We are obligated to take the gospel to all.
So even though my grandson is not gay, someone thought he was and his treatment by that person/persons was not the way Christ would have wanted anyone to be treated. We are to hate the sin but not the sinner! Which means we cannot hate the thrower of the stone anymore than the person who was the object of the stone.
Dont'cha just love how it all works out when God is in control!
Gold Rush Grandma
Gold Rush Grandma
Saturday, May 22, 2010
We lived many years in the Bakersfield area but we also lived in a small community (though I hesitate to call it that) called "Chalame" pronounced Sha Lam. No one ever heard about that area until James Dean died there in an accident. I think they have put some kind of memorial up there for him, but it wasn't there when I was a kid. Chalame was miles and miles of nothing. Dry desert area, lots of sagebrush, tumble weeds, rattlers and assorted other nasty creatures.
Billy and I went to school everyday on the school bus. It took us to Lost Hills Elementary School. There were 14 kids in my combined 3rd and 4th grade class, and 9 kids in Billy's 1st grade class. 20 kids graduated from the 8th grade that year. When we came home from school we would go out and play and watch for the dust trail on the horizon. That meant Grampa was on his way home. We would run down that old dirt road to meet his old, battered yellow pickup. He would always slow down so we could jump on the running board and he would drive us home. We always thought he was driving us fast but he probably was only doing 10 mph. It was fast enough for us! We would laugh and shout with joy during that short ride back to the house and our supper.
Grampa worked as a farm hand for a landowner. He ran the tractor in cotton, corn, alfalfa and whatever else they were growing there and he also worked with the landowners cattle. Grampa was an old rodeo man. There wasn't much he couldn't do on a horseback.
They all called him "Tex" as he was from Texas. New Braunfels to be exact. He was the son of German immigrants and he could speak three languages fluently, German, Spanish, and English. He had a strong work ethic and felt it was a man's duty to provide for and protect his family. When Grampa spoke you listened and while he never did spank us you just didn't want to find out if he actually would.
Grampa served in WWII. He saw horrific things. He fought in some historic, bloody battles during his enlistment. I never heard him talk about it, ever. Instead he sang us German songs and would tell us the song was about his ugly dog and other nonsense. We loved it!
Grampa loved my grandma very much. He wasn't much for words and I never heard him say he loved her but just by the way they were with each other you could tell they did. Once when I was 15 I saw my Grampa go up behind Grandma while she was washing dishes and put his arms around her and give her a big kiss! My Grandma said," Oh FRED!" like she was mad but I could see her eyes were smiling and her cheeks were red.
We didn't have a phone that worked on a regular basis, and it was a party line when it did. So there were no lady friends for Grandma to chat with. We were 15 miles from the nearest house and a couple miles off the main road. Grandma liked to watch her "stories" everyday which were General Hospital and As the World Turns. About half the time the tv didn't get good reception - no satillite in those days.
Every morning my Grandma would wake us up before the sun came up and we would have to look over the side of the bed onto the floor and pull up any bedding that might be down towards the floor before leaping out away from the bed..once in awhile a rattler got in and would be under the bed!
She would load us up in the car and we would drive the fence line and rabbit hunt. Grandma had a little 410 that she would take along and a 22 with a magazine. We would come back with 2 or 3 cotton tails that would be our dinner that night. Then we would get ready for school. We ate cotton tail rabbit about 5 nights a week. Grandma was thrifty.
There were some old bunkhouses next to the house we lived in but they weren't used anymore so they made the perfect "clubhouse". Billy and I would pretend we were cowboys and we named the bunkhouses "Rattail USA" . It was our pretend ranch. We believed we were going to Montana someday and be rich ranchers like the one Grampa worked for. We were going to have horses though, not smelly old cows. We also weren't going to let anyone else on our ranch, we didn't need anyone else.
Once in awhile my Aunt Mariam came with her 3 kids. The oldest was 9 months younger than me and the middle one was the same age as Billy. We tolerated them but they were city kids and just not worth our respect. We got them into so much trouble because they weren't allowed to do much of anything for fear of being hurt. We were used to going out into the desert on our own and we carried pellet guns with us! (I was 10 and Billy was 7)
To this day our cousins don't have much to do with us. We just live on different sides of the ocean I guess.
Nowdays I live in the foothills of California's Gold Rush country and Billy lives in a remote Oregon forest with his wife and youngest son. We never did see that ranch in Montana but its still fun to talk about it when we get together. We refer to each other as brother and sister even though we are really cousins. It just doesn't feel like cousins to us. Cousins are those city kids that aren't allowed to have any fun at all.
My grandma died when I was about 16. She had cancer and they didn't have the skills or tools they have now to treat cancer with. She was only 55. I remember my Grampa calling the ambulance to take her to the hospital. She didn't know who he was. He went to the hospitol and she died very shortly after she arrived there. My Grampa came home and opened a bottle of some kind of liquor and sat in the kitchen with his cowboy hat still on and quietly got drunk.
Grampa was retired by then and he ran a boarding stable and taught calf roping and barrel racing to youngsters. When my oldest son was 10 months old (I was 21) we got the call that Grampa was gone. He had a heart attack out in the barn, unsaddling a horse. He died quickly and died in the place he loved second best to my Grandma.
I don't know if they were saved or not, I can only hope that one day when my time comes they will be there to welcome me home. Just like when I was a kid and came home from school. Riding on Grampa's old yellow pickup running board, the hot wind blowing through my hair and not a care in the world.
Gold Rush Grandma
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
So I had to confess, I was roller skating when I was about 30, a couple of teens who thought they were playing roller derby came up behind me and plowed into me. I took a shoulder in the lower back, did a flip and landed on my lower back on top of a roller skate..my own.
It left a bruise that went across my entire back and most of my bottom. I could barely walk for weeks. About a month later I decided to show my son's some "moves", on a skate board. Nuff said about that. The Dr rolls his eyes and I hastily remarked, "I was real thin back then! What was I thinking??? Did I somehow subconsciously think that he was picturing me as I am now hitting the concrete in a great big splat?
So anyway he says I need to take some physical therapy as I probably have a pinched nerve causing the problem. Ok I'll go.
First I have to get X-Ray'd , lower back, both hips and legs. Then I get an appointment for the Physical Therapy.
Today was the big day, I drive into Stockton, which is a big city for me. Here in the Foothills if there are more than 6 cars on the road at the same time its either a parade, funeral or church is letting out. Although I lived
in Stockton for more than 30 years I still get lost there and everyone is driving like they are in time trials for a stock car race.
I arrive at the appointed time and the first thing I notice is the sign says " Sports Medicine Therapy". I'm thinking hmmmm, wonder what sport falling off a skateboard is?..
I go in and fill out the required 16 pages of insurance and past medical history. Then I wait in the lobby humming to the overhead tune of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, done by a classical orchestra, I'm thinking it's a pretty appropriate song.
The "PT'ist" comes out and gets me and we go into a room where she has me trying to do ballet moves to determine my range of motion. Then I lay down on the exam table and she digs her fingers in every joint I have and asks, "Does this hurt?" which I nod the affirmative at every chance hoping she will ease off a bit. She goes over my medical history, then briefly tells me hers. I'm not sure why but I am sure there will be a test at the end so I really listen. Then we go into the "PT Room"...in other words the Torture Chamber or Dungeon whatever you prefer.
Bicycling comes first, the seat is small or my bottom is big, maybe both. I have to pedal for 7 minutes. Pedaling is not the problem, the disappearing seat is the problem. I am suddenly absorbing the seat like the La Brea Tar Pit. I am positive the sound of me coming off that seat is going to sound like a champagne cork coming off the bottle.
Time is up and I slowly get unwedged off the seat and walk back to the PT'ist. I can still feel the seat somewhere "up there" and I begin pulling at my pants to make sure they are not buried in an uncomplimentary way as I walk thru a room full of University Jocks with pulled ham strings and popped tendons. I suddenly had a vision of a lady I saw on a plane once, coming out of the bathroom with her skirt neatly tucked into the back of her pantyhose. As she walked down the isle back to her seat I saw about 15 heads pop into the isle as she walked past each row of seats...Please God , not me!
So next on the list is to lay on the giant table-bed next to a man I have never even met. I kept thinking, "I'm married and in my entire married life the man next to me has always been my husband"... I couldn't even peek over at him to see if he was as uncomfortable as I was. Anyway she had us both doing the same exercises at the same time and we both kept our eyes averted from each other (at least I did). I would imagine the young man got a good feeling for what it would be like to do exercises with your grandma..
When I was just at the point of not being able to do another knee bend or waist twisting thingy she said time was up. PRAISE GOD! I managed to walk out to my car after she tells me I need to come in twice a week. ( I gave her the I'll call you routine). I drove home and I could barely get out of the car. I suddenly remembered I have to go to my grandson's Open House tonight and there would be no getting out of it.
My grandsons school is on the side of a hill. You have to take a series of stairs up levels and down levels to visit classrooms. So the classes were all on the lower levels, there was an Art Show on the upper levels and a book fair on the far side of the upper level, we were parked down two levels, across the campus and up one level... I was in such pain by the time we finished I could barely walk to the car.
So the next time someone tells me physical therapy is just the thing I need, they just might be needing it too....
Grouchy Gold Rush Grandma!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
It's hard to practice the art of homemaking if you have to get out there and earn a buck so your kids can eat and go to school with decent clothes on everyday. Especially in these times where one or both parents are out of work or have had to take pay cuts to keep their jobs. But in reality this is where "Home Economics" kick in.
I'm sure not a professional in the realm of cheap living but I've been poor on and off through out most of my life. I was born to farm workers who (seriously) picked cotton by hand for a living. I remember doing it myself as a 4 year old. I have been unemployed while being a single mom for long periods of time between jobs. I have gone to strip malls and gone door to door, business to business offering to strip and wax floors , clean out commercial kitchens, defrost commercial freezers etc during closing hours for $20.00. I remember getting my car repossessed and walking home from one of those all night jobs carrying my buckets and cleaning supplies in my hands. I can still hear my kids pleading with me to try and come earlier or later so their classmates wouldn't see me on their way to school and make fun of them. I learned how to stretch a dollar and I will show you how you can do that too. Just a few money savers....I'm not out to change your life, only you can do that.
Have you noticed how expensive laundry detergent is? Washing powder is expensive and liquid or liquid gel is even more expensive. I am going to start this off by giving you a recipe for laundry detergent both powder and liquid, that will cost you pennies per load.
2/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated
2/3 bar of Kirks Castile Soap, grated
2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax
2 cups washing soda
1/4 cup glycerin
2 gallons hot water
20-30 drops of essential oils such as lavender or tea tree oil
Put a quart of water in a medium pot over medium heat, add the Fels Naptha and Kirks Castile and stir until melted.
Add the 20 Mule Team Borax and washing soda and mix till it thickens.
Put 1/2 gallon hot water into a 3 or 4 gallon bucket and add the soap mixture and stir well.
Add the glycerin and essential oils to the mixture and fill to the two gallon mark on your bucket. (You might have to measure and mark with a permanent marker prior to mixing the soap)
The glycerin acts as a stain remover and the essential oils have antibacterial and/or antifungal properties.
Set it aside for 24 hours. It will sometimes set up into an almost jello like consistancy but that's ok, it still works.
Use 1/2 to one cup per load. I keep in on top of the washer in a bucket with a fitted lid and an old half cup measuring cup sitting on the lid for convenience.
You can find the glycerine at most health food stores or pharmacies and the bar soap in the laundry isle, the washing soda is ususally there too under the Arm and Hammer brand, note this is washing soda not soap.
20 mule team borax should also be there.
These items together shouldn't be more than about 10.00 and will make more than the two gallons of detergent, which makes this so economical.
If you like using powdered laundry soap then mix the dry ingredients together well, you can use an additional grated bar of any bar soap that you like the smell of as well. (I like to add Irish Spring) Put it in a zip lock bag or a large container with a lid. Use 1/8 of a cup per load.
Try and look at this as a fun way to learn about the old arts of homemaking. Our need to save time has cost us more and more and not just money. We lost many skills with the coming of fast foods and time saving products. We no longer stand in the kitchen side by side with our mothers and daughters to share the work and learn the art which in turn strengthens our relationships with each other. We have to make it a priority to get back to basics and live more frugally.
Later I will give some great places to find money saving coupons and freebies galore!
Gold Rush Grandma
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
This Psalm is so precious to me, it is calming and endearing. It tells me no matter how bad things get or how alone I think I am in the world that God is always by my side and knows me better than anyone, He alone can comfort me the way I should be comforted. I am never alone and never without His strength even when I am weak and fall, I fall before Him and He lifts me up and never remembers my failures, but encourages my attempts to overcome adversity for they make me stronger. He is my Lord, my Father, my Christ and my Savior . I sometimes feel lower than an undeserving worm before Him but I know that to Him I am a strong and faithful servant and I am so glad for my Savior's Love.
Do you know the love of Jesus Christ? Would you like to know what it is like first hand to be wrapped in His EVERLASTING Love? It is so easy to ask the Lord into your life and heart. He will never leave you or forsake you...Just ask!
A Greatful Gold Rush Grandma!
I am thinking of how to change my husbands favorite recipes to healthier ones so he won't feel deprived. I love reworking recipes anyway so it will be a challenge I will enjoy. The whole family will probably benifit from the new diet-we can all afford to lose several pounds.
Granddaughter Christina is graduating next week. My how time flies! It seems just yesterday when she was singing "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family, with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too?" She is planning to go into law enforcement so I really hope the budget in CA is balanced by the time she finishes her POST training.
We are planning our first vacation in many years and I am hoping to blog on the road as we go. We are driving to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Tombstone, Monument Valley, Salt Lake City, then we will drive to the Oregon Trail and crossover in Portland to Washington as we head to the coast for a few days. Not sure where we will go after that but I will post that as we decide. We are taking our almost 9 year old grandson along so keep you fingers crossed on that! I am hoping to find my father and step mothers graves while we are in Arizona, see some of the places I lived as a child (Vegas, Blue Diamond NV, Tempe AZ,) It should be fun anyway.
We celebrated our 67th annual "Home Coming" at our church last Sunday. What a wonderful day! We enjoyed some awesome food (church ladies are the best cooks!) and afterwards we enjoyed some truly talented people at our "Hymn Sing". My son Jon went and I was worried he might think it was taking too long but he said he really enjoyed it. Our little church was started in 1865 by the Kirk and Sinclair families who still have descendants in attendance there. There have been several prominent families who have supported,attended and built up this wonderful church. You can see many of their names on the road signs as you travel through the gold rush area. You can get an idea about our church if you are interested by visiting the website: www.stonecorralcommunitychurch.com
That's about enough for today. Got to start dinner soon and help Jonny with his homework..
I am in the process of trying to duplicate a lot of the material and pictures, recipes etc that I lost when the old computer took a nose dive a couple of weeks ago. Valuable lessons have been learned.
I decided to start a blog because I wanted to share my boring life with anyone who cares to read about it. I will post recipes, pictures, farmlife, info while we travel and just general stuff that life is made of. I will probably also publish a lot of the unique and highly interesting stuff my grandkids are up to. Can't wait can you?
I think this might be fun and will hopefully find folks interested enough to keep me doing it.