Monday, December 21, 2009

The Difference is Like Day and Night

Here are a couple of photos of Laughlin, Nevada, just across the way from our camp site. The look of Laughlin during the day is a picture of a regular city with tall buildings across the river, but at night when the casinos are lit up and enticing it is quite a different view. The same place, the same view, same street. Day and Night.
I thought it was an interesting picture of my faith walk. Sometimes brightly lit and joyful. Other times, same me, same heart, same head, but quite a different view. I am thankful my salvation does not rely upon my own view but rather the blood of Jesus who views me as a dear child and worth the price of the cross. He feels that way about each one of us - both Day and Night.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


This is a challenging game that I never win. Dave is quite astute at coming up with seldom-used words of vague origin. Bananagrams has moved from the game cupboard to the fruit bowl and always at the ready. Wanna play?

Thank you Fred and Karen for the great gift.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Memorial Garden

At Risen Savior in Chandler, Arizona, there is a Memorial Urn Garden. The statue in the garden is a reminder of where our salvation lies and the comfort of knowing our loved ones are in the arms of our loving Savior.

Thankfully, there is never a fence around the comfort Jesus brings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dazzo's in Wikieup Arizona

We spent two nights in Wikieup (Sounds like Wick - E - up), on our way to Bullhead City, which is just across the river from Laughlin, Nevada.
Dazzo's boasts of having Chicago dogs. So we had one "all the way," which means everything. Does a Chicago dog come with jalapenos?

I thought the "Stop Check" sign was funny - like Dave would not notice I was missing, how would he drive without me?

The campground was not much, but we enjoyed interesting characters, an outdoor laundromat, and Chicago dogs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The extended Fitz Family

We were thrilled to present a few Christmas programs with the "Fitz Family." It was great to be honorary members. Mark's juggling and antics are wonderful and his love of the Lord and Gospel presentation is inspiring.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

San Diego

Here are a few views of our campground in which we enjoyed a two-night stay.
Please note the semi-truck and red car are both traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour on I-5. Just so you know, traffic on I-5 is never, ever quiet when you are 30 yards away.

Sometimes websites and photos just don't tell the whole story or do a place justice. :)

Did I mention the commuter train runs on the other side of the campground?

The highlight of our stay was a visit to Pacific Beach, CA, a place we called home back in 1989 -1991. Dave served as a Navy Chaplain and at was sea most of the time - the kids and I became part of the St. Paul's Lutheran School family.
This picture shows the classrooms. When you open a classroom door - you are outside! Coming from North Dakota, this was mind blowing.
In August of 1991 our family moved to Juneau, Alaska. Change, what is change?

It was a treat to sing for the St. Paul's students and connect with friends.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The house on Blom Street

Our house in Pacific Beach used to have decorative brick on the outside wall (closest in this photo). Travis, our son, who was in kindergarten at the time said, "Mom, look the house wants me to climb it because there are places for my feet." The interlocking decorative brick made a nice pattern on corners of the house which said something completely different to a little boy: "Ladder!"

The house has been updated and the shrubs are much bigger, but the good memories remain. As I recall, the view was great from the roof of the house, or so I've been told - now how did I know that?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rain and Hail in Fallbrook, California

It never rains in Southern California.... it hails, man it hails.
We enjoyed a refreshing, wet, rainy day. Fallbrook had not felt such relief since June 5, so November 28 was a day to give thanks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Truck Issues

So here we are in Ramona, California and our truck dies. And you know what comes next - Fernie, a diesel mechanic and a member of Ramona Lutheran Church. He was able to fix the fuel filter gaskets, and install new batteries. Fernie was able to do all of this without a garage, without a waiting list, without a tow truck and with much good humor and was happy to be of help. Just so you know, not every church has their very own diesel mechanic.

Persimmon Fruit

Another new food for me. Persimmon's are a wonderful fleshy fruit without seed or pit. It is a little bit like a meaty tomato or a melon, but with a citrus taste. I lived in California many years ago and I can't believe I missed this little treasure!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Atlantis Launched

I remember as a child watching Walter Cronkite explain with diagrams and models the Apollo missions and what was happening in space.
I usually lasted about five minutes before I was off to something else very important - like read Nancy Drew.

Today we watched the Atlantis launch online, how compelling to watch now (older/wiser) as opposed to the Apollo missions of the late 60's and early 70's.

These pictures were taken from as close as you can get to the launch site last December. Dave and I were privileged to be staying near Cape Canaveral, FL. Okay, so the one picture is from the NASA site.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The "Hollywood" Sign

Here it is... just like in the movies, except at night. AND the nice folks who live around the the sign DO NOT want you to stop. In fact, there is a friendly man with a bright light and "security" embroidered on his shirt who will help you find your way OUT.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Part of Dave's duties this past Sunday included a Baptism - I love a baptism. It reminds us of where we belong, who we belong to, and how we simply receive the gifts Jesus won for us.

Pictured here are twins Ethan and Sydney and their proud parents.

Dave meets Dick Rutan

While in Lancaster, California, which is next door to Edwards Air Force Base, we were able to attend the Veteran's Day Parade. It was a highlight for Dave because here he is shaking hands with the parade Grand Marshall, pilot Dick Rutan.

Dave, who loves all things aerospace - was excited to actually see someone about whom he has read. Dave got a hand shake, I got the photo.

The following is an excerpt from Mr. Rutan's website, an account of the historic flight of the Voyager, which was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager...

"On a cold December morning in 1986, the fuel laden Voyager struggled to become airborne to begin her journey around the world.

On one tank of gas and without refueling, the carbon composite honeycomb sandwich airplane, designed by Burt Rutan [Dick's Brother] would fly around the globe. Taking off from Edwards Air Force Base in California on December 14, 1986 and landing 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds later on December 23, 1986, the Voyager set absolute distance records and many other world records that remain unchallenged today."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Love Artichokes

I did not know that I loved artichokes. Who came up with the bright idea to eat an artichoke. I think it must have been a dare.

They do not look tasty, just pokey. But, oh my, in the hands of a person who knows how to prepare my new favorite food - what a treat! Thanks Cindy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A new bird for me

The Phainopepla, (I can't say it either) but I saw it; therefore, it is now on my list. This bird can only be found in the southwestern desert areas of California, Arizona, and Mexico.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Steinbeck Vineyards Harvest

Everything in due season. At just the right time comes the harvest.

In our travels we have watched as cotton, strawberries, blueberries, alfalfa, oats, sweet corn, many varieties of melon, tomatoes, zucchini, and grapes are harvested. Look at this cool stuff God has given to us. He did not make all of our food look like manna. He showers upon us an abundance of color and texture. He gives us food we peel, shell, and shuck. What kind of God would provide a creation where we can continue to marvel in the work of His hand? The kind that loves us so much He delights in providing an interesting harvest.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Steinbeck Vineyards

I will post a few more glamourous photos next, but these photos show the guts of the harvest!

On the left is a trailer which holds 6 tons of grapes.

The harvester on the right passes directly over the vines, while the white hoses vibrate causing the grapes to fall on to the lower conveyor belt to be lifted up and onto another conveyor belt that drops them into the trailer, which is hauled alongside the harvester.

Some of the grapes cannot be harvested in this manner and are harvested by hand. We'll look at that next...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking on the Heights

I know that you can't tell from the first picture, but there is a path along the top edge of Moro Rock in Sequoia National Forest.

Dave does not like heights, but today he conquered a fearsome trek. Way to go Dave. Well done.

Moro Rock rises 6,725 feet above sea level which seems a lot higher when you have only a small rail between you and a long fall.

Sequoia National Park

You just can't get a picture that shows the size and scope of these big boys! What a magnificent park.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

At the Ranch

We parked our house at the Lange Ranch, in Merced, CA over the weekend. Although we did not get to ride the horses we certainly were entertained by them. We also enjoyed the joyful noise of being with a family. Thank you Pastor John and Tami for the warm hospitality.

I am continually amazed by the open, kind, and helpful way we have been treated by God's people. "Sure you can park in our lot." Then there's "Please stay at our KOA - no, there is no charge." Or this..."there is an empty lot next to us, we can rig up the electric and water for you, stay as long as you want." And, "We have land, I'll show you on the map, just park there whenever you are in the area." Oh, how about... "My parents have a ranch, they would love to have you."

You do not know how encouraging it is to hear these comments. Every day miracles involving every day people who lead with God's love and open arms. I love my life. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I know what you mean



The photo on the upper left shows Half Dome taken from Glacier Point at the end of the day when the reds glow.

The other two photos celebrate FALL.
Being in California, I have missed the colors of October. Palm trees, pine trees and cactus just don't cut it when you are after the brilliant colors of fall.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sea Lions at Pier 39

The Sea Lions at Pier 39 are a sight to behold. The sea lions started arriving shortly after the earthquake in 1989. At first there were 10 - 50, soon there were nearly 300. Some winters the population can top 900 of these roly-poly swimmers.

If you get to Fisherman's Wharf check out pier 39.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blue Angels - Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco

Seeing the Blue Angels was thrilling and caused for a busy waterfront! We paused to have fish and chips on the waterfront, you know, while we were at Fisherman's Wharf. I had to include the photo of the pelicans who flew over in formation just after the Blue Angels had passed by - the crowd cheered for them too, then burst out in laughter. The pelicans were quieter. With every pass the Angels caused car alarms to sing. (so to speak)