Thursday, February 22, 2024

Storm Blew Down Tree and Ripped Away My Skylight

 Oh friends, earlier this month we had wild winds and heavy rain in my area of California. 

 The neighbor's large old tree in her backyard fell on her redwood fence, across the alley and then on my redwood fence, landing on a canvas awning and hanging over my patio. The tree landed one foot from my house and no damage was done. It brushed my brand new gutter but did not hurt it. The second photo is taken while I am on my patio. Even the yellow solar lantern survived.

One of my skylights was ripped off the roof during the rain storm. It is the type of skylight that opens and closes and it was 40 years old and the metal hinge rusted through. So I spent a lot of time mopping the floor. The roofing company came over quickly and put in a new glass skylight.

Above shows where the skylight was, that is the clouds you see.  Not too dramatic in the photo but rain poured in and I mopped and mopped.

I said lots of prayers of thanks to God that no damage was done to my house when the neighbor's tree fell and landed on my fence and patio. In the same storm a young man was killed in his house when a tree crushed his house. That is shocking and sad. So I am counting my blessings.

The two photos below show my neighbor's tree on the right hanging over her fence, blocking the alley and leaning on my fence on the left side of the photo. The tree had a huge six foot root ball and was a big job to remove. The neighbor called her tree guy and had the tree removed. Earlier this year her other large tree fell so she knew a tree company.

In the photo below my house is on the left and you can see that her tree is a foot from my house and new gutters.

On a happier note the photo below shows that my patio, fence, canvas awning and pink camellia survived beautifully. The tree landed right on that section of fence and on the awning.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Amit Sood and His Ideas to Increase Our Resilience

 Dr. Amit Sood has some great and easy to start ideas to increase our resilience, our ability to get through trouble, loneliness and sadness. He wrote "Just as trees grow their branches toward the sun, spend more time with people who are your source of light." 

One idea of Dr. Sood's I like is "Greet at least one person each day as if you haven't seen them for a month, with enthusiasm and energy."

Here is a picture that might make you smile, it makes me smile. This is a painting of my pup, Bounce. Yes, he has a Hawaiian shirt like in the portrait, and he is holding a ukelele in the painting, the artist's creative idea.


Dr Sood also says try to notice one new thing each day. I find that takes a bit of work, it is not as easy for me as I might have thought. Another of his ideas to build resilience in us is to send a silent good wish to someone you're connecting with. He does this all day, which makes him feel uplifted. Dr, Sood is a former medical professor at Mayo Clinic and is now CEO of the Resilient Option.

Me in 1966 riding a donkey to a picnic spot on Buyuk Ada, an island near Istanbul. My Turkish friends planned the picnic which included a carriage ride and they cooked shish kebabs and other goodies outdoors. Fun. New Things. Let's Do It.

Monday, January 22, 2024

My Fight Smog Guitar From College and the Ocean

 I was ahead of my time, fighting smog, with this sticker on my guitar case back in my college days. I still have the guitar and case and took the photo recently. I sang and played countless English folk songs (Silver Dagger which I still sing around the house when I am alone), the Civil Rights movement (Follow the Drinking Gourd), and lots of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan songs.

Above is the view from a favorite restaurant near my house. Friends took me to birthday lunch there in April. Parking is expensive and hard to find near the beach and this restaurant has free parking for customers, a valet parks it for you. Of course I give a tip. More photos taken near my home near the ocean. I moved here more than 40 years ago and love the sea, it is a balm to my soul and body.

Two above photos taken at 10 a.m. this month, on a foggy slightly drizzly day. The temperature here is 59 degrees F today and a low of 51 degrees last night. My sister lives in Wisconsin where it is reaching a high of 4 degrees F. Brrrr. Stay warm!

How is your January going? Have a great day friends.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Things I Hope for in 2024

 Strong old trees near the ocean and my house.

There are lots of things I hope for in 2024.


Laughter. I read P.G. Wodehouse for laughter. The Code of the Woosters is a hoot. 

Puppy love. The love of a pup old or young.

Play. Play with pup. Play with friends.

Silliness. Never too much silliness in my life, it is always welcome. Related to play, see above.

Reading. In this way I enlarge my world and my experiences and my knowledge. Reading Greenlights I get to learn some things Matthew McConaughey shares. Look for those green lights in life, friends.

Spend time outdoors. Breathe deeply in that clean outdoor air and send out prayers of thanks for all good things.

Continue to make new friends, welcome new people into church, invite them for coffee.

Pray for my country to turn back to our roots of freedom and faith and to secure our borders.

Change my routine a bit. Visit our Boardwalk and ride the horses on the carousel. See Silliness and Play above.

Plant more flowers and flowering shrubs and plant another fruit tree. I am thinking an apple tree. 

Just some quick thoughts have created this list. What are some of your hopes for 2024?

Thursday, December 21, 2023

The First Christmas Was Simple


The first Christmas was pretty simple. It's okay if yours is too!

A Holy Babe, a manger, a Promise of Eternal Life for those who follow Christ. Simple beauty. Merry Christmas to you all.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Book I wrote "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts"


Some of you recall my excitement when "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday" was published. I had 5 co-authors, all Christian women writers who are friends. Two of us live in Texas, three in Ohio and me Terra Hangen here in California.

It is a hardcover book with full color on each page, with recipes, upbeat true stories from our lives, and all the Scriptures about the Christmas season. It contains my story about Christmas camping in the Everglades and Karen's about her first Christmas with adopted children and many other stories. It was published by the traditional publisher New Leaf/Abilene Christian University Press. See Amazon link below:

Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts

Christmas is almost here and friends and other readers tell me they get this book out each year to share with their families. Some of you blog friends have copies I know. I just decided to share this, I am just so pleased this book is published and full of happiness to share in this season of love. It is a hard world, I know, and we are called to be light and to shine. I hope each one of you finds some joy today and in this season.

Cathy of Acorn Hollow asked where she can purchase the book: and also most bookstores will order it for you. Thanks for asking.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Light Collar for Pup, We Got Our Christmas Tree and a Funny Snoopy

 I received my first Christmas card (see photo below) of the season in the mail today, and share here a cute Snoopy funny that my dad sent to me maybe 20 years ago. I have kept it all this time. The Snoopy comic says "In our family the older we get, the cuter we get." This is so true for my family and for all of you my dear blog friends.

I got these cool collars that loop easily over Bounce's head so he is visible when we are walking at dusk or later. The collars are inexpensive and very visible as we walk and cross streets. I have used little quarter size battery operated lights attached to his harness but these glow lights are more visible from every angle and you charge them like you do so many devices now, like Kindles and lights. I put them on my pup when he goes out in the back yard after dark too, so I can see where he is.

My friend's friend died last month while walking her dog at 8 p.m. a few miles away. It is so sad, a hit and run. They think they caught the driver, she is 58 and in jail. The lady was a grandma, mom and active. So the lights will be a help at night. Stay safe friends.

P.S. My sons took Mr. B out to a Christmas tree farm on Dec. 3, hiked up and down and got a lot of exercise, had to carry Mr. B parts of the way as he is 12 years old, and found a gorgeous tree to cut down and bring home. After church they set up the tree and put on the lights and the angel topper. This is as early as we have had a Christmas tree up. Christmas is coming so fast, each year it seems to arrive faster for this senior lady.