The first Pilgrims sailed from England in 1620 — seventy-two men and thirty women (eighteen of whom were adults).  During the first winter in the New World, almost half died.  Governor William Bradford found it necessary to ration corn; five kernels of corn per day per person. When Captain Jones readied the Mayflower for its return to England, he invited the survivors to return with him.  When he set sail on April 21, 1621, not one … Read more

Kincaid Fire Evacuation

Rick and I received warnings on our cellphones that we might have to evacuate due to the Kincaid fire northeast of town.  Geyserville, Healdsburg and Windsor had already been evacuated.  The blaze was out of control, consuming acres of grass, brush, trees, and some houses and businesses.  PG&E was shutting down power all over the state, and Sonoma County was on the list. A few days before the inferno, people had lined up at gas stations … Read more

Friends Fleeing California

Over the past year, several couples in our Bible study have moved away.  Why?  Here are some reasons (and something to consider if you long to live in California):             Highest state income tax in the US             2nd highest gas tax in the US             1.3 Trillion dollars in debt             Highest homeless population in the US             Highest poverty rate in the US             One out of three welfare recipients live in California             … Read more

Shrek the Sheep

My daughter, Shannon, sent me a link to a story about a ten-year old New Zealand farm-owned merino sheep who managed to evade shearing by hiding out in a cave for six years.  By the time Shrek was found, he looked like a wooly giant beach ball with a nose.  He could hardly walk with his burden of sixty pounds of wool – enough to make 20 men’s suits. Another sheep, Chris, was separated from the … Read more

Girls’ Time Out with Shadia Hrichi

Every couple of months, our church throws a fun “Girls Time Out” which usually involves a terrific speaker, lots of yummy food and plenty of time to hang out together.  Always lots of laughter.  We’re a small congregation, so we all know one another.  So, this is also an evening when we can bring friends or acquaintances to join in the fun. This latest GTO was a special treat because we had Bible teacher, Shadia Hrichi, … Read more

Road Trip – Yellowstone

Rick took our eldest son to Spring Training in Phoenix, and our younger son on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion.  So, I asked our daughter where she would like to go and her quick answer was “Yellowstone!”  My quick response was “All right!”  We met in Las Vegas, overnighted, then flew to Denver and on to Jackson Hole where we picked up our rental car. Our first two nights were spent … Read more

Creative People

One of my favorite things to do at the County Fair each year is wander slowly through the buildings displaying arts and crafts, landscape design and new or improved inventions.  I’m always amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of people.  Ornate, hand-made clocks, oil and watercolor paintings, photography, embroidery, quilting, rug making, needlepoint so fine it looks like a photograph, bread-cake-cookie baking, wood carving, poetry by young and old framed for our delight, canning, gutter guards, … Read more

Sarge and the Tick

We’ve had Sarge on medications that are supposed to repel fleas and ticks.  Well, one day I was scratching his back and noticed a strange lump.  Upon further investigation, I found a swollen, tidily tucked in tick buried deep in his flesh under all that fur.  It was pretty big, and clearly full of Sarge’s blood.   I know better than to pull off a tick.  The head can remain inside the flesh and spread infection.  … Read more

Living History

Each one of us has lived through historical events.  Some flow on by without making an impact.  Others shape us.  Some “events” don’t have a specific date – but the time is remembered. The Cold War, for example.  Fear seemed to reign.  In grade and high school, we had “duck-and-cover” drills to “prepare for” nuclear attack by the Russians. As if hiding under your desk would help you survive a nuclear blast.  Even kids knew you … Read more

Sound Bites

I tend to collect interesting tidbits of information from our newspaper, a magazine, or something in conversation that I can’t wait to look up and confirm.  Here are some examples: Baby brain facts: babies can hear at 24 weeks into pregnancy, and from then on are hard wired for relationship.  Our babies recognized our voices.  Rick used to read to them when they were nestled in the womb.  I talked to them all the time, rubbing … Read more