Friday, December 30, 2011

Citizen SHIzNip

I had a different plan for the day, I did. I would accomplish at least five important things, if not seven along with all my other normal daily chores.
Getting my driver's license renewed was top on the list, since the bank keeps hounding me and the Education Agency needs me to have a fingerprint on file in order to get a job. I showed up at the downtown DPS, because this one is the "fastest" the nice bank employee assured me. (Apparently, I learned nothing from Occupy America.)
The lines were confusing and long, and there was no way I was going to be done in time to go feed and walk Cookie, my sister,Shay's, pit bull. So I made the call, went to hang with Cookie and took care of some online business and nuzzle with the sweet beast before a noon appointment.

I return to the DPS, snaking my way through what I believe to be a protest of the Governments handling of a foreign country, and finding a lone meter,  load it down with coinage. I wait patiently in line for "information" and for a number I can wait patiently for to be called. 
Unfortunately, someone or something, decided in the last ten tears since my license was last renewed that I was no longer a citizen. Never mind the fact that my Mexican-American grandparents were born here and my mom is third generation Chickasaw and German. Never mind, that I was born at the same hospital where they took John F. Kennedy after he'd been shot, or the fact that I'VE BEEN DRIVING FOR 24 years! 
"You have a green card?" the lady behind the counter asked. AAAAAAGH!
I had to go home and get my birth certificate. What exactly is the purpose of this state ID? They aren't linked up with the official registry of some sorts? This felt a bit shoddy if you ask me. 
I came back with my papers and proceeded to wait again for "information" meaning they will tell me how much money they want me to give them to incorrectly store my information.  I sat in the half lit waiting area getting a tan on half my face. I was determined to cheese big time in my picture. When my number was finally called, I was greeted by a cheerful employee, who fixed my conundrum quickly. She gave me six seconds before the picture flashed and at the fourth second, my face started witching and my smile turned to this. 
Here's to the next decade of citizenship, yo!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

For the Love of Us . . .

A seed was planted
in the womb of
a young girl.

"BE NOT AFRAID, BE NOT AFRAID,"  she was told.

So she went about the business of being human
with the heart of God forming inside her.
The most powerful force in the world
resting between her bones
and even though, even though
she loved God already,
she began to love Him even more.

Be not afraid. be not afraid, she reminded herself,

so she could go about the business of being human
with the soul of all souls taking shape,
the all seeing eyes, the palms later pierced
for her, for us.
She pressed her own palms into flour and oil,
to nourish her body,
the Bread of Life leavening in her belly.

Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, she mumbled in her sleep.

I am surprised she did not glow.
That the pupils of her eyes weren't celestial pools
reflecting the universe
That her heart did not explode from the
cosmic LOVE flowing through her veins
until that Baby was born.

She who had carried Him so long, finally held the
Savior of the World in her human hands
loved Him with her human heart.

"Be not afraid, be not afraid," she whispered in her baby's ear.

And He wasn't.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Forty-Part Duh? and Tres Bonne

After my party, on my actual BIRTH day, Chris took us to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, Ali Baba's. We were so stuffed with hummus, falafel, baba ghanoush and lamb, we all went home and took naps on the floor. happy and miserable all at once.

I had a few days to recover from that before the next weekend part of the par-tay.
My sister, CJ had a major surprise planned for me.


She came to my apartment bearing a gift and Mimosa's, scooped Chloe and I up and whisked us away to the Nasher- Chloe and I LOVE the Nasher. We had out best Mom and daughter date there a few years back that invloved buying a FIona Apple CD, memorizing all the words before we hit the mosaic shop, made a work of art, hit the Nasher, stared at the sky sculpture and made up a poem and recorded it on my phone. It was truly magical.

This time, at the museum,  a few more friends joined us and we ate lunch like REAL girls do, sitting down with napkins in our laps.

Tony Cragg

After we toured the exhibit, we sscooted over to the hotel -the ADOLPHUS mind you, in DECEMBER! WOOT! It was smack dab beautiful.

Chloe admiring the Fleur de Lis.

We played board games that were anything but boring and stuffed our faces with hummus, portabella mushroom lasagna and some drinks.

A pregnant Kara rocking the CRANE in QUELF!
Then we  made our way to Uptown Bar and Grill for what?
Oh, you know it, KARAOKE! (Chloe went home with Dad after the games.) We started out slow, singing along with the the first brave souls from our tables, but that didn't last long. Grace rocked "Friends in Low Places", CJ and I butchered some Sir Mix-A-Lot, and we closed the place down with the best EMO version of Reba McEntire's "Fancy" EVER!

Grace, putting Garth to shame!

We closed the place down and headed back to dreamland:)

My best friend at three in the morning.

AND THE NEXT MORNING! We had brunch!

Iron Cactus!

UGH-birthday gluttony! It's gonna take me a decade to recover from my birthday week, but it was SO worth it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Turning Forty: Part 1

I thought before I posted about my rocking Holidays, I should write about the fortieth birthday to start all decades!
First of all, the day before my party, my pop and his wife Bridgette gave a me beautiful necklace to wear the BIG day.
Then, my uncle Raymond took me to lunch at the Upper Crust in Plano- metropolitan margaritas and pasta primavera and some really amazing bread strips with a trio of pestos and marinara and the like.

We left in need of a nap, but gallantly pressed on to the shopping and primping for the party my friends William and Aurelia were throwing for me that night.

My uncle is great at shopping. I learned not to try to trade anything out for something you like better. He just keeps it all. I tried to trade a pair of peep toes for some boot like heels and I ended up with both of them. Actually, I ended up with four pair of heels to add to the two I just had handed down to me, and now, I officially have more heels than I have ever owned in my life. Funny, considering I fell on a cobblestone street the morning of my party and bit it pretty hard, and I am still not fully recovered from falling in August. Let's just say, I hold on to the rail when I wear them.
My palms hurt so bad I cried. 

 After looking for the perfect colorful dress forever, I ended up with four dresses, and we, and by we I mean my uncle, decided the silver one was the best-suited for the evening and for what he had in mind for my "look" which he was sure I could pull off. I was skeptical.

We ran out of time and had to race through the prep, but when he was done, I was relieved. Not so bad.

Sista CJ

I arrived late to my own party, but there were a ton of friends waiting to eat good food, share their favorite  poem, have a few drinks, play some music and dance. (My phone died at the party, so waiting for kids to text me pics of this!) Listening to my friend's favorite poems was . . .honestly, strange and beautiful at the same time. I was so surprised by their choices, I felt like I ended the night knowing each of them better! 

Embarrassing collage my sister and kids put together!!

My peeps!

Tres Leches can't be beat!

It was amazing. I felt super-loved and amazingly blessed. It was the best way to start my BIRTHDAY WEEK . . . .
Chris waiting patiently for his birthday present;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Bring a Torch Jeanette, Isabella by Sufjan Stevens

I am stuck on this song this year, even more than Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton.
It's sweet sounding and makes me imagine I'm a young girl getting to see Jesus as a baby. I wonder if I'd have known, really known . . . ?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Saw You First by Givers

I like songs. I like dreams. I like songs about dreams. Makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: America's Son by Air Review

KXT has been playing this song for awhile and it catches my ear every time. I'll admit I thought it was Sufjan, so I looked it up.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a local band in charge of the ditty. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find a boy I worked with once, playing the lead in the video. And was then weirdly surprised at the theme of the video.
I have been working on a short film where a group of kids are trying in a magical sort of real way to save the adult versions of themselves. Or at least that's how it started out. As we filmed and as I edited, I couldn't quite get it there. God and I have had major discussions about the reasons for this, but it wasn't until I saw this video that my dilemma made  a little more sense to me.
My cousins and I would never let those kids get to us. Not even close. They're too damaged, have blocked too much out, and live primarily outside of who we are today. Yes, they do feel separate, and that is how we survived our twenties. Little did we know, not addressing them would come back to haunt us in this last decade in horrific and near-fatal ways. By denying them access to us, we have lived in a suffocating state, but over this last holiday hang, I felt a shift. We sat comfortably around each other, discussed the past in the realest way we ever had and left a little lighter.  At least I did, and that's never bad. Hope I wasn't the only one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Hold On by the Alabama Shakes

For those of you who know the fear and trepidation that ensue upon the mere thought of going to the grocery store, you'll understand how I can find any reason not to go: laundry, deleting emails, storyboarding a short film I will never get around to finishing.
Sometimes I am tempted to turn as I leave to go to the store and address my family, in a pleading, Rodney King sorta way and ask, "Can't we all just share a can of corn?"
But maternal instinct always wins and I go. I stop and get a soda at the QT on the way (even though I am trying to give them up) because I deserve it for ah, uhm . . . going to the store? You know that big place with the bright lights that requires a million tiny decisions that somehow cause my face to tingle and my right hand to draw up. (Think price, recipes, health, quantity, brand, etc.)
Once I  arrive, I sit in the parking lot and procrastinate some more before actually going inside: I clean out my purse, organize my glove box, text a few forgotten thank you messages.
I take so long sometimes, Chris wonders what has happened to me. He is just now beginning to understand going to the store means a trip to Crazy and back, and sometimes that takes time.
"No one will tell me where the peanut butter is," I cry into the phone or "Why is the bacon so expensive? Center cut or cheap crap. I can't decide. I can't decide!" Now he is patient enough to talk me down an aisle and has only once had to rescue me from a store.
But last Thursday night, as I pulled up to Albertson's, (I miss my old tiny market across the street.) I heard a song that reminded me of what I had to do when I go to the store or a ton of other things I'll save for other blogs. (I know you can't wait.)
I attempted to Shazam the song but came up with nothing.
Thankfully, I remembered enough lyrics to get a hold of it. My name's not Brittany, but still, it's what I gotta do!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Reluctant Sorta-Home School Momma: What tha?

Yesterday I took Chloe shopping for a dress to wear to homecoming. HOMECOMING!
She is going with friends, but still.
Today, I dropped Caleb off at Woodrow Wilson High School to shadow an IB student. I don't know who decided that those short private school skirts were alright to wear to a co-ed PUBLIC school in EAST DALLAS wear the girls are far from waify or WASPY, but that was a dumb decision. DUMB!
(Also, when these girls are in the Glee Club singing Beyonce's "All the SIngle Ladies", well, a mother's heart sinks. A bit.)
And tomorrow, I will pick up Chaz's girlfriend to take her to see him play baseball, because, well, because he's nineteen and he can't drive due to epilepsy.  Yes, I said it. GIRLFRIEND.
My doctor took one look at me and said that I was not menopausal, because you can tell all that from one look right? Maybe she is right. Maybe just the fact that the apron strings are being ripped out of my hands as I am trying to desperately tighten them is causing a permanent, petrified anxiety attach which cause me to organize and clean and cook incessantly and not get any writing done, because then I have to face the truth.
The truth about what I am writing right here and now.
That I am not in control. I never have been. And it sucks.
Jesus, take the wheel . . .seriously.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Safe on the Outside, Telegraph Canyon

For all my loves. Especially my children. I can't believe I only have you for just a little while longer. It goes so fast. I didn't know how far outside of me you'd go. But it's okay. Go.

Advice for T. O.

Get to a church.  Fast. Find one full of Church Momma's that will love you up one side and down the other. It's imperative. You know.
Take many deep breaths and run.
Don't harm yourself.
Know that God loves you. No matter WHAT!
Don't harm yourself.
Remember what you love to do. Play football.
Don't harm yourself.
Know there are people praying for you and your dramatic self.
Play football. Anywhere.
Remember, there is more to life than football.
And God not only loves you. He delights in you.
Be good. Be whole. Stay Strong.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day:The Cave

The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

God Doesn't Care About Football

But he does care about football players. I know, I know, the Rangers are in the heat of a competition and I am most definitely rooting for them. I am 9/10ths as happy when they win and not nearly as sad when they lose compared to the Cowboys. Thank God! The Rangers play a lot more games;)
I blame my mother. My mother, who texted some choice words about her boy, Romo, last game. Basically calling him what he was and telling him what he could do. It was disturbing and hilarious at the same time.
That being said, after a game like he had against Detroit, I often wonder what God is teaching him, and if he is listening. I wonder if I were Mr. Garrett if I would have let him go down like that. Here you have a guy playing injured, who at half time has his team up 23 points. Then he starts tanking. He throws one interception. Then another. How about we focus on running. how about we give him a rest, and then maybe let him come back in the last half of the fourth quarter? Some people say a team is only as good as their quarterback, but I say, a team is only as good as their TEAM.
What are those back ups like and are they BEING COACHED? Are you putting all your eggs in  a basket with some obvious holes in the weave? I'm no expert at coaching football, it's true.
And I am VERY sick of the hard core choke for which Romo is becoming famous. SO much so, that I am threatening to put Heimlich on the back of my next jersey. (Basically, whoever can perform it, is my favorite player.) But still, it felt like the last game could have been saved with some better decision making on the sidelines.
This Sunday, we face the Patriots, Rob Ryan's old team, which could be to our benefit. Romo practiced sans restrictions this week and Miles will be back on the field.
Still, I wonder, when things are so erratic for a player -one week, on top of the world, and the next week, uhm, not-(I couldn't even watch Romo speak to reporters afterwards he looked so down trodden, and I am not a pink, Romo Jersey wearing, kinda chic.) I wonder how they survive as spiritual beings and  I pray for them to be healed in all ways, physically and emotionally. Doing this makes it much easier to be a fan even when we are losing. That being said, I hope our boys are inspired by our other boys who rocked the state last night! I'm hoping for two awesome games in one weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

What you got?

Skinny days here mean skimming off what we got and making a meal. Gleaning what's already been gleaned, you feel me.

Leftover chicken and some canned veggies Chris Grandmother sent home, some home mage gravy juice and enough stuff to make a RING Family, flaky pie crust, well almost enough. I substituted margarita salt in the crust and had to use a strainer that couldn't sift Satan outta Heaven, but we made do. And still et' good.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: These Foolish Things- Billie Holiday

I like trinkets. They hold things for me. My mind is often too full. My heart overflowing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Reluctant No Home-School Momma, Part 4: Toot-a-ledge

My kids rallied against my pouting at the end of last year and re attending school outside the home this year. Mainly because Chris decided we needed two incomes, and quite honestly, I think he wants more of my attention. (Which isn't gonna happen if I get a job, because I tend to disappear when I am overloaded. But hey, he'll figure that out AGAIN in a couple of months when I've engulfed myself into some new endeavor.)
We found a school for Caleb and Chloe that holds classes four hours a day, four days a week and it happens to be walking distance from where we moved. AMAZING.
Chaz went back to Notre Dame for the Vocational Program and already has a job at a law firm, stocking the drink stations and will be volunteering at Camp Summit as an assistant counselor in November! He calls me five times a day still, but he's so cheerful and full of confidence most of the time, well, except for the recent face plant into the air vent which garnered him a touchdown and two stitches, I look forward to hearing about his day.
Handsome, huh?

I did not know how quickly I would have to get un-afaraid about Chaz's new life without me.
I did know, that it was time. No matter how many nightmares I had, I sucked it up and let him stand by the busy street to wait for the Dart Handi-Ride, BY HIMSELF and go to work a zillion miles in the air and only asked once who was responsible for making sure her gets evacuated in an emergency.

I did not know how much I would miss my two little kids the whole 16 hours they are away at school.
I did know I was in need of help with higher maths and sciences.

I didn't know how long homework would take them-forever. ( I still get to help a LOT!)
I did know they would work harder for someone who isn't their mom.

I did know they would make new friends.
I didn't know they would be of the opposite sex and they all might want to hang out somewhere public, without me, or any adult. (I don't know how I didn't know that. Straight up denial, I guess.)

I didn't know how much I'd enjoy making cookies and veggie trays and hot pastrami and cheeses and sweet tea right when they came home for lunch.
Algebra Cookies!

I do know that I am already mourning this part of the day, when they come home at noon with the stories of the moment and I sit on the other side of the counter, shove food towards them and listen. They still WANT to talk to me. Yay!

I know, I know. Everything changes. But changes are coming so fast lately my face is starting to twitch  . . . . .again;) I am working hard to make my heart not beat so fast so I can still hear God whisper in my ear: Don't give up, It will be okay, I"M the rescuer, Be present, GO TO SLEEP!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Windows are Rolled Down by Amos Lee

Heard this on a bad day and even though I'd heard it before, I didn't it love it 'til the moment I pulled up to the doctor to get Chaz's stitches out.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

To Make a Long Story Long.

I had planned on going into deep dark depths about our trip through the Southwest, into California, and up to the Redwoods, however, upon our return, I came down with shingles. Yes, I know. I am not over fifty, but apparently, a bad sunburn and a few days of hard core stress put me on the roster to receive a vengeful version of the pox de pollo, and I was majorly lowdown for four weeks.
While all the while pretending to not be too ill, and avoiding all the squishy babies at church lest they get the pox and not the shingles (this virus is complicated) I had time to contemplate my life and get a bit too sad about our state of affairs: no house, no money, not much of nothing.
So, when I recovered, to cheer myself up, I applied for a job at The Fatted Calf in Rockwall. My first waitressing job:) The food was great. The people SUPER NICE and the tips were starting to pick up. BUT three days in, I turned to get help figuring out my till, when I slipped on a wet floor, and fell to the right, bashing my head and ear on a door jamb, and then over corrected to the left, slamming my left elbow and knee into the wall and floor. I laughed until I saw blood. I stood up and almost threw up. Honestly, five weeks later, I am still limping. Needless to say, I quit the job, and too soon, because they would have paid for me to see a doctor. I just blew it off because these forty year old bones are new to me in a way. They used to heal MUCH faster, but then again, I used to be a bit more agile.
I didn't quit just because of the fall, but also because, Chris answered an ad on Craigslist about bartering his  cleaning service for a free apartment in Lakewood and BAM we moved.  (This apartment happened to be five addresses down from where the kids were already enrolled in school and one address over from this property I have been lusticating after.)
The apartment is super nice and the courtyards are gorgeous, and we are appreciating it all.

We moved too far away from Rockwall for the drive to make sense, but, in reality, I wouldn't have been able to work for three weeks anyway. I didn't know it took so much time for old bones too heal.
I am looking into supplements.
I hopped up the stairs two at a time this week and did a Rocky dance at the top. SO right now I am just being grateful for working knees and working disposals and trash finds and friends who give us furniture  and help us move stuff and and cool kids and a sweet husband and a God
who blesses me, even when I am a whiny brat.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Someone Like You by Adele

Okay, so I know this song is all over the place, but Chloe is in love with it and I guess I am, too.
However I will say this: Sometimes love lasts, hurts, heals, gets glorious, lasts, hurts, heals, gets glorious, and so on.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Come Thou Fount by MUMFORD and SONS

I will confess that I went to Youtube looking for Sufjan's version of this song and found this one hovering around it.  Not to worry. Christmas is coming, and Sufjan will get his turn.

These guys intrigue me. When I listen to their music, I think either they have been greatly harmed by  attempting a Christian walk, or greatly served by it. If their walk has been anything like mine, I will assume both.

These lyrics always get me:
"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love
here's my heart, Lord,
take and seal it.
Seal it for the courts above."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Laytonville: Ethan's Portion

           Laytonville, California: My new home. For the last few days I’ve been placed here with the Curiels. The fact that tomorrow will mark a week in the same spot really doesn’t mean much to me. This being because of the incredible surroundings: wooded mountains, cold nights, and “all the stars”.  I’ve learned many things through God, the Curiels, Dan, and Patti.
            Dan and Patti are the sweet people whose house we’ve been parked beside. Dan is one of those people who always has a story to tell and an opinion about all things. He’s like my dad, a guy that primarily works and can never get the grease out from under his nails, but has done more stuff in his lifetime than most. Thanks to him, I learned how not to stack wood and the difference between a Doug Fir and an Oak, I think.
            I’m working on not taking the beauty around me for granted. Reading the Word with a mountain in front of you can bring passages in Psalms into perspective; Psalm 121 is about looking to the mountains for help and I had definitely been looking at mountains that day.
            Our time in Laytonville might have been one that others would see as a time to panic but God put us here and I think our little gang knew that. It’s been great seeing how God has used the people and settings around us to supply our needs. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Reluctant Home-School Momma, Part 3: Colleagues

Last year, for literature during the second semester, I wanted to focus on the short story. I requested my friends give me their favorite short stories to give me some ideas or else we would have been reading a bunch of nerdy science fiction. Here is a list of the stories we read:
     The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
     The Girls in Their Summer
                    Dresses by Irwin Shaw
     All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury
     Forcing The End by Hugh Nissenson
     The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
     O Youth and Beauty by John Cheever
     The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Basically I win the award for choosing the most most morbid, narcissistic short stories. Not sure what I was thinking, but in almost every story there was a point where we all looked at each other and said, "I feel sick to my stomach."
And I had read most of the stories before;) But, because they evoked such great emotion, albeit bad, they are memorable, and come up in conversation often. It is nice when your children also feel like colleagues working together to understand more deeply and to see more clearly.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Middle Name is Barbosa

The story goes, my parents couldn't agree on a middle name, so I didn't get one. When I married Chris, I just moved my maiden name to the middle. I think in hopes to keep something I never had a real chance to grasp as a kid growing up, and that was pretty much the Barbosa family.
Due to my parents' divorce when I was six and some various other issues, I only saw this side of my family briefly and not often. Everyone's story is different on this issue and I don't choose to explain it here or now, but what I will tell you is this: The Barbosa's have always made me feel welcome, and like I was never gone for years at a time.
Last week, the patriarch of the family, known to me as Pop- a cigar smoking, tortilla eating, Mexican ballad belting, always-clean smelling, ho, ho, ho laughing instead of ha, ha, ha laughing, hard working, Saturday napping, King Kong and Godzilla watching Grandpa, Louis Vazquez Barbosa passed away.
It was a privilege to watch his family, my family, gather together, mourning while cracking jokes, seeking a private place to cry and then holding each other hard, putting differences behind them, (the man had twelve kids-who could expect them ALL to get along?) and honor their father's memory, continuing his legacy of laughter and love even when times are hard.

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie by TRHCP

This song dropped today. It rained today. Coincidence? Maybe.
We were on the beach the day they filmed it. Sweet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Laytonville Love by Chloe Curiel

Never in my life, have I been treated so well, by people so unfamiliar. God blessed us an enormous amount as we pulled into Laytonville Auto Parts to find Richie and Jr. chilling in the front of the shop at about 7 o’clock at night, our motor clanking and chirping to a halt. A couple of wrong guesses of the problem and finally a diagnosis arose. The alternator was giving way and should not have even made it this far.
We felt invited, so we stayed and talked to these guys for several hours into the night. For a little town it sure had a lot of history that we apparently needed to know. Everyone can safely say they felt welcomed to Laytonville. We parked on the side of the beauty shop and decided to go no further until we could get Jubilee sounding normal again. The next day we shifted our weight onto Dan’s property, the ultimate diesel mechanic in the county, and parked in his driveway. That night we met the broken yet beautiful eight-year-old grandson, Marcus. We instantly stopped feeling sorry for ourselves.
Ending up in this small town wasn’t so bad.
The next morning, my mother and I made friends with Patti, Dan’s precious wife, and rode with her to Ukiah to take her grandsons home. The more time we spent there, the more friends we made, and the more blessed we felt. We attended the “Dome Church” that was in fact a beautiful building shaped like a dome. The believers there were wonderful and nice, and we even got a glimpse of Albert, the one hundred and two-year-old man, who was looking pretty good in my opinion. Later on we got to talk to him when he came for dinner, or more like yell into his left ear, the only one still working properly, and quickly found out that he was quite the roustabout in his younger days.
The hospitality never ended. Richie drove by to visit almost everyday. I found the bright sides quick because there were so many! The people, the country, the mountains, the weather, the new friends, the swing set that I spent hours on everyday, the dinner that was made for us every night, the laughs, the night swims, the camp fires, all of them huge blessings and all of them able to lift burdens.
Today we saw some of the Redwoods, but we couldn’t get enough, so tomorrow we will go back with Patty and Richie and enjoy a true gift of beauty. Not everything has gone as planned or like we wanted, but I can’t wait to see what is ahead on that open road.
Tomorrow marks the seventh day, the official week we have been in Laytonville and I am seeing that God will help us find the home in our hearts so we don’t have to start missing our real one. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: You are the Moon by Hush Sound

Sweet little song Rosie mentioned in her blog. Makes me think about our love affair with the moon. Who doesn't feel like this sometime? Who doesn't need to be reminded we have beauty in us. We have love to give.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Greenhouse (Part 2)

This is the second half of our awesome interview with Shun Lee and Caren Bream. Sorry for the delay. I had computer difficulties, as usual.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)

Chris took me to see this movie on my 25th birthday. It wasn't planned. I didn't want to see it because I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was a puny choice for Romeo. By the time Romeo entered Juliet's tomb  I was a fan and Chris was wincing because he realized he already knew the ending. He leaned over and whispered loudly, "Ugh, this sucks."
Not the movie, just the way it made him feel. Hopeless.
This song however doesn't make me feel that way. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tonight . . .

I am remembering to be grateful. Good worship service and dedication of friends' new baby. Beginning a new resume'. Some hang time with Mimi. A lot of chauffeuring my kiddies-(Hey, they're liked!) Constant love and rubs on the back from Chris. Encouragement from a good sister and at least six friends, some of whom weren't even aware I needed it. Some of Chris' awesome chicken wings and Aurelia's gumbo and Virginia's brownies and Aubin Hospitality. And Twinniemoo telling me the highlight of her trip to the east coast was flying her princess kite. Guess what I'm hoping to do tomorrow?
Thank you Lord. How could I ask for more?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Greenhouse Interview: A Hollywood Ministry

We met Shun Lee Fong and Caren Bream when they were visiting the One Thing Church in Hollywood.  Chris explained what we were doing in our interviews and they were happy to allow us to ask questions and pick their brains. about a ministry they run for artists in Hollywood called the Greenhouse and another ministry they partner with, Hollywood Connect.

I strongly encourage you to check out their website as well. Inspirational stuff.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patti Vanoven

Patti and I spent about six days together and became fast friends. Before we left for our journey home, I caught some video of her in her sewing room. (Jealous;)
I like the reason why she quilts. Not just to make something, but to give something tangible, that brings comfort and warmth.
She did that for us for a week. Thanks Patti!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Extraordinary Machine

I'm not the baby of the family, but this song is for me, today.
Making the most, of the most of it.

Bus Clean Up. Pee-eew!

Second and third day in Laytonville, CA and we needed to do some clean up. We actually needed a hazmat team, but we were too far away from civilization;)



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today: August 1st

Chris and I had a sweet time this morning before starting up Jubilee and heading out. We were going the opposite way of traffic, thank God! We made it to the suburbs and stopped to grab some transmission fluid when we stumbled upon Ramona, also known as Moca D, who seemed skeptical but said she had asked for discernment and the Holy Spirit told her to say " alright, tell me the story. What's the story
behind the bus."
We talked for an hour and were mutually encouraged. She was spreading the love to us on our last legs of this journey.
She almost convinced us to stay in California and gave us some cool ideas for raising funds. Her family has a website called They mainly encourage entrepreneurs. Which is awesome because I am coming back with a new version of an old idea.
Down the road a ways Chris saw a young girl hitching a ride, so we turned around and picked her and two friends up.
They were fresh off a cross, cross country trip and had finally given up on their VW van that they flipped into the side of a mountain in San Francisco. We know about some hills after this trip. We decided to see San Francisco another time;)
Riley, Joe and Tim hopped on with their Dog Brody and we were off to Flagstaff!
It got really HOT for awhile , but we knew we were headed for mountain weather;)
Our conversation ran the gamut. Rainbow Gathering, God, organic farming, bus flipping, busking, books, music, dominoes, body funk, the runs, and peace which seemed to fall over us all as Jubilee climbed the mountain into the cool mountain air.
We let our riders out on the edge of Flagstaff, and said hello to Spencer who we met on the way to Cali. He gave us se cantaloupes and headed towards McD's and free wifi. We arrived to find no outlets and with our ghetto copyists that wouldn't fly. We were able to loan Lyle some jumper cables for the short time we were there and headed to Bookmans where I had the best bookstore coffee house service and coffee and we ran into a youth group from Carrolton, TX.
Weird. I told them if they saw us on the side of the road they had to pick us up. They laughed.
I didn't.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday in Hollywood

Technically. We should have been somewhere in Colorado by Sunday morning, but well, we were back in Hollywood. This time not as tourists. The brothers and sisters at The One Thing Church gave us a warm welcome. The pastor, Bryan Chan hopped on the bus and showed us where to park. They had hot coffee and candy bars and plugs and water and music and a Fresh, right on word from God and BOY, were we needing it.
Chris even played with Shun- Lee who was filling in as worship leader . After the service I m not sure if ramen noodles were cingular out of our ears or the look othe fact we looked at the candy bar table like an angel had descended from heaven but someone put enough change in our pocket for a hamburger!
We interviewed Shun Lee and Karen about the GreenHouse and Hollywood Connect. That will be posted soon!
Later that might, after meeting a few people curious about the bus and taking pic, we headed back to Hollywood Blvd.
Chris busked, and made some nice " change!"
We took in the evening sights and cool air. Last night in Cali chillin'.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Laytonville Local: Richie Robinson

Richie was the first person we saw when we pulled into Laytonville, CA with a broke down bus.We sat on the store porch, and listened to him tell stories for a few hours the night we pulled in. So, even though we were far from home, and close to broke, with a busted alternator, we felt safe.
Much love Richie.

He also writes and sings music.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Headz in the Cloudz by Danielson

Bad seeds take us to the depths of darkness. Grace keeps us climbing back up. I see light. Lots of it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Laytonville Welcomes Us

Marcus, the Vanoven's grandson came down to welcome us this morning mainly to see Ethan who befriended him the night before.
We took some time to sweep and make ourselves look respectable since we were now company. Chloe decided this was the perfect time to give us some cards she had stashed away. They were from the Koehls and WOW! Not only were the words perfect for each and every one of us ( Chris' had a man on top of a mountain) there were funds enough in there to replace the money we paid for the first work on the alternator! Amen!
We were in the middle of rejoicing when, Patti, Dan's wife came down to greet us and next thing we know Chloe and I are headed to Ukiah with her to drop her beautiful grandsons back to their parents and shop at the Ukiah health food store. We became fast friends on the drive. She even treated us to yummy salads for lunch! When we returned, we thought Jubilee might be fixed, but it turned out Dan downed us. Our alternator was out and a replacement wouldn't arrive 'til Monday or Tuesday, so . . .
Patti took some tri-tips put of the freezer and we were invited to dinner later that night. Yes!
I pulled some victuals together to prepare later and commenced to re-packing our bus to make it less precarious.
(We have some really odd bruises in really weird places due to falling and sliding objects. Sometimes we are the falling and sliding object;)
Later that night as Patti cooked the tri tip on the grill , we talked marriage, and children, and God on her front porch as the sun disappeared.
Already we were seeing fruit from a setback. I can tell you we only budgeted for gas and brought all our food, so tri- tip was not in the budget! This waiting was starting to not feel like waiting at all. 
 Too sweet, too sweet. (As our friend Ruth would say. )

Laytonville: Day 2

The next morning Chris and I awoke to the sound of a diesel engine at our back door. I was trying to see put of the window when Chris nailed me in the lip with his elbow!
Good start;) Dan seemed to think it was an easy fix and we were ready to go by noon. Chris went down to the resource center to film a local poet while Chaz and I stayed at the parts store to charge phones and cameras.
By the time Chris came back, the chirping noise was back, so we called Dan and waited for him to come back to check it out.
We walked the strip in Laytonville, hitting the thrift store, Pour Girls and Book Bunny before we headed to the resource center to use the free wifi and charge our stuff again.
It was nice and cool in the shade and Chris napped on a table and worked on some art. Chaz caught up with friends at home, Caleb ripped a CD, Ethan checked on his financial aide and I attempted to upload video;)
The bad news was the alternator had to come off and Dan would need to begin again in the morning. The good news was he took us around the corner to his house and downed us as he calls it;)