Here are the welcome messages from
January 2005

1/6/05 January 6, 2005
1/18/05 January 18, 2005
1/31/05 January 31, 2005

January 6, 2005
2005Happy New Year

Well, that's sort of how I'm feeling.  This 2005 has brought some fun things already.  Yesterday morning I woke up fifteen minutes late.  I must have hit the "off" button instead of the "snooze" button.  So, I was a little discombooberated when I got up.

I turned on the light by the sink for my husband and went back to wake him up, as I normally do.  I told him it was time to get up and warned him that it was fifteen minutes later than usual and POOF the light went off.

For a split-second I thought my husband didn't want to get up just yet and he turned it off.  That would make his arm about three yards long because that is how far away that switch is from the bed.

The second half of that split-second I realized the power went out.  Our power goes out rather frequently.  It's not as bad as it was the first ten years we lived here, but still goes out a lot.

I have put flashlights in almost every room because of it, but when I am all of a sudden in the pitch black and my brain goes on "What the heck? mode" it is hard to think about where I put them.  So, after the last blackout I bought a flashlight that is called "First Alert" and plugged it into the outlet in the hall.  It is supposed to come on when the power goes out.

So, I felt my way to the door, opened the door, and expected to see a light shining in the hall.  Nope.  It was pitch black there, too.  I pulled that "Not First Alert" light out of the plug and pushed the on/off switch about five times and it finally came on.  However, it kept going off.  Wonderful.  I threw away the box after I tested it a couple of times since it seemed to work fine.  I can't find the paperwork on it anywhere.  I must have left it in the box when I threw the box away.  Ugh!

So, that threw yesterday into a tizzy.  The sun was out most of the day yesterday for the first time in over a week (which is very very unusual for where we live -- I mean NOT having sun is unusual).  My laundry had been piling up and I had to wait over two hours for the power to come back on so I could wash clothes.  That gave me a late start.

I had planned on updating this yesterday morning.  I had started on it on Tuesday and was prepared to finish it yesterday.  But, my late start on the laundry messed up the rest of my day.

Since we had been having so much rain lately I spent most of the rest of the day cleaning up.  Our patio leaks and I had to empty all the buckets (5 large and 6 small buckets) and put a bunch of stuff out in the sun to dry.

I had to open up the barn doors for it to dry out.  My husband hasn't finished it around the doors and it isn't sealed yet where the wood meets the cement so it gets wet in there.

I guess we are supposedly getting two more large storms in the near future.  The one coming in tonight is supposed to drop a LOT of water.  We aren't equipped to handle a lot of water around here because we aren't supposed to get a lot of rain in this portion of the world.  It's like Someone left the faucet running in the bathtub!!

We had a crazy hail storm a couple of nights ago.  We got about two inches of bigger-than-pea sized hail.  A lot of it was still around in the morning even!  We only get hail here about once every ten years or so!  I videoed it and got some still shots off the video for you to see here.

We've had more wind than usual and even had a nasty combination wind/rain night that we've never had before.  We've had night after night of freezing temperatures when we usually get only a few each winter.

Then the excitement continues.  This morning we had an earthquake at 4:10AM.  It must have been a local one because I flipped on the TV news and they weren't saying anything about it.  We are about an hour's drive from Los Angeles (if we don't hit any traffic jams, which would be a miracle) and the reporters ignore us unless something really big happens.

I just felt an aftershock.  Earthquakes are weird.  Sometimes they sound like a giant train coming right at you.  Other times it is just a big BOOM.  They can feel like you are in a small boat on a rough sea or they can feel like someone picked up your house and dropped it again.  Sometimes I just know we're having an earthquake because I hear my pots and pans rattling on my pot rack.

I love how they are now categorizing earthquakes as pre-shocks and after-shocks as well as just plain earthquakes.  Let's see, the earth moves... no matter what, it is just a plain old earthquake!

It's awesome to hear and feel the power of an earthquake.  They usually cover a lot of territory.  A lot of people are scared of earthquakes.  I'd rather have an earthquake than a hurricane or a tornado any day.

WOW!  We had another, bigger, earthquake while I was writing to you.  It was a rock and roll one and lasted a long time.  Finally the TV news reported it.  I found some web sites that have information about current earthquakes, too.  It was only a few miles from here and is reported as a 4.4 magnitude.  No damage here, thank God!

So, when I went online to look for information I ended up getting an email that I had to answer right away.  Then, I looked at the clock and realized I needed to do some tidying up because my prayer partner is coming here this morning.  So, here it is, about two hours later and I'm not done with this.

If I don't get this finished and online before she comes then it won't be until later this afternoon.  I have to go to the store after she leaves.  We are totally out of margarine.  I thought I had more in the garage, but was very surprised to see I didn't.  I guess all my Christmas cookies took a lot of margarine.  I'm usually pretty alert as to what supplies I have.  I need to fire my cook for not telling me.  Oh, silly me, I'm the cook!

I hear my cat, Bug, trying to get into the kitchen cupboard below my sink.  I keep the cat food in there.  I have a Tupperware container with some special kitty treats in it.  He goes in the cupboard and pulls that container out onto the floor and tries to get into it.  There are claw marks all over it.  He is so funny.

He is always hungry.  He likes to eat and will get very fat if I let him.  I used to keep the dry cat food out all the time.  Most cats regulate what they eat, but not my Bug.  I have to feed my cats three times a day now and keep them separated while they eat.  My older cat, Reeboks, wasn't real happy when I began rationing the food.  He was used to nibbling any time he wanted.

My prayer partner came while I was typing and now it is late afternoon.  My cats are sitting in here staring at me.  They know it is close to dinner time.  So, I will finish this and go take care of my fur balls.

I put together some information on dying-to-self and holiness from things I've gathered from different authors.  I finally got them all typed up and on line.

Death to Self Holiness
Link to the 1/6/05 Bible study.
January 18, 2005

The fun continues around here.  So far this rainy season we have had two inches more rain in Southern California than any other year since 1887... and that was only the year that they started keeping track!  Who knows how many years before that there was this much rain?

The wash behind our house was like a rushing river.  The water came up to our fence line.  Our chain link fence is going to have to be repaired because it is leaning out worse than ever because of the erosion under the posts.  I took some video and captured some pictures for you to see here.

It rained hard hard hard for four days in a row and then a little more the fifth day.  It was horrible!  Our patio leaks and I had rows of buckets that I had to keep emptying.  When I walked across the grass to look at the wash the ground went "squoosh squoosh" as I walked.

The poor earthworms!  It was a fisherman's dream!  The last couple of days they were crawling everywhere!

Anyway, the sun finally came out and I spent days cleaning up the mess.  I had to open up and sweep out our barn.  My husband hadn't finished the thresholds on the doors and the water went it.  He hadn't sealed the bottom where the wood meets the cement and water went in all along the sides, too.

Then, I also was putting away my Christmas decorations.  It took four days since I only did it in bits and pieces.

I've been having loads of fun (NOT!) going through all the homeowner association files and re-organizing them.  It was one of those things where it took a lot of brain-power to figure out just how to set up the filing system.  Then, once I had a system it got easier.  It was just time-consuming.  At least now I can put my fingers on something when I need it instead of fumbling around.

Yesterday I moved things around to make room in the closet here in my computer/craft/sewing room.  Fortunately I just bought some of those space bags where you can put blankets, pillows, clothes, etc. in them and vacuum out the air to make them smaller.  So, that freed up some space in my linen closet.

I had not been keeping track of everything I was doing so I had to reconstruct a time line of my activities.  It is important that I be able to show what days I did what things as I am a representative of the 151 homes in our association.

It's funny.  I keep thinking that things will settle down so that I won't be rushed and won't have to put things off for a long time until I have more time.  Then, something arises to take my time.

I was thinking about that today.  Are there more people that have the bizarre and ridiculous things happening to them that I have happening to me?  I don't know of any.  It is just one thing after the other.  If you 've been reading these welcome messages for any length of time you know what I'm talking about.

Like the other day, for instance.  I was bringing in clothes off my clothesline and I heard someone or some thing walking across my neighbor's garbage next to her house (she is piling up her trash outside because she isn't paying her trash bill).  My dog, Moo Moo, ran over to investigate.  It was on the other side of the fence/retaining wall that I helped build a couple of months ago.

I heard a BLAM and Moo Moo squealed.  I turned and saw a large, plastic milk carton had been thrown onto the cement on my patio from the direction of my neighbor's house.  There was about 3/4 of a gallon of rotten, chunky, milk all over the place!

An awful lot of abnormal things keep happening to me.  I wonder what God has up His sleeve!  I'm pretty sure He isn't just using me to provide you with interesting reading material.  Right, Lord?

I need to sit down and write a letter to the president of the insurance company that STILL hasn't paid my son's medical bills from his August 23rd accident.  We are making progress, though.  The California Department of Insurance is now helping.

Today the claims adjuster told my son all the same things she told him in October and in December as if she never talked to him before.  She acted like she didn't receive what my son sent her although she was reading off of some of it.  Then, when my son told her he wanted to talk to her supervisor she said she didn't have one.  He asked for the name of the president of the company and she wouldn't give it to him.  When my son told her he no longer wanted to talk to her and that the next thing he wanted to hear come out of her mouth was a name of someone he could talk to besides her she hung up on him!

In the meantime my son called the guy at the Department of Insurance and he gave my son the name of the president of the insurance company.  A few minutes later the claims adjuster called my son back and told him that she was going to pay the medical bills today.  If the medical bills were paid as many times as my son has been told they would be paid "today" they would have been paid more than three times!  She did not apologize for hanging up, either.

Once again, the name of the insurance company is Coast National Insurance Co., a division of Bristol West.  I feel bad for any people who have paid their premiums and expect their insurance company to take care of any claims in a business-like fashion in a reasonable length of time and, instead, have paid for claims adjusters to act like they don't know anything.

Oh, yes, she offered my son about one-sixth of his lost wages!

Remember the name, Coast National Insurance Co., a division of Bristol West.
(In April 2005 I put together a page about that insurance company to warn people.  I found out lots more information about them and they treat a lot of people horribly.  If you want the full story it is here.)

We started an adult Bible study at our church.  We are using a booklet and there are questions at the end of each section.  I think you'll like the answer I gave on this question, "What comfort does the grace of God give you in light of your sins?"  My answer:  "I asked God about it and He said, "WHAT SINS?"
Link to the 1/18/05 Bible study.
January 31, 2005

Wheeee doggies!  (Did you ever watch the show "Beverly Hillbillies"?  Jed Clampett used to say that.  Quite a few years ago I mentioned something about the Beverly Hillbillies  to my son.  He didn't even know what I was talking about.  I was sure that he had seen that show, but it turned out that he was too young.  So, how many years did I miss??  Just how old am I??  Oh, never mind.)

I've been flying around here at (I'm being conservative) about 100 miles per hour!  Every single day last week I had a list of phone calls to make, appointments to make, letters to write, and house or clothes to clean.

Two of the days I spent the working on homeowner association stuff.  We had a board meeting Wednesday night at my house and I was putting together all the information.  Now I have a long list of things I need to do as a result of the meeting.  I must have something stamped on my forehead like:  Give it to me... I've got nothing else to do.

I did get to take a break, though.  My husband referees high school wrestling.  Last Friday night and Saturday he refereed at a school that is about and hour and a half drive from our house.  So, I went with him.  While he was refereeing I was in my camper in the parking lot catching up on email and working on web pages.

It's amazing, though, how little I feel I accomplished.  I could use a week or more to type my notes, finish reading my email, finish the studies I started, finish the site map I started, check all my pages for ease in navigation, etc. etc. etc.

I'm sorry this didn't get updated last week.  I must not notallow anything else to interfere!

It sure would be nice if I could make my mornings last the entire day.  It is in the mornings that I get my best work done.  Yet, it is also in the mornings that certain things have to get done.

In order to hang my clothes outside I have to do the laundry in the morning.  In order to avoid bad traffic I have to get all my shopping done in the morning.  In order to be able to think properly I have to do all my letters, web pages, stuff for my husband, business phone calls, and any other things that take thinking done in the morning.

In the summer I need to get any outdoor work or hard indoor work done in the morning because it is so hot outside in the afternoons.

When I spray the yard with bug killer or weed killer I have to do it in the morning before the breeze picks up, and so on, and so on, and so on... ad infinitum.  (That is "to the point of infinity" in Latin.  Speaking of Latin, I hear it is coming back as a language you can take in high school.  Wonderful!  Latin was a huge help to me in understanding the meanings of words.  It also helps in learning other languages because most of them have their roots in Latin.)

So, if any of you have any morning left over, or if you don't use yours would you please send them to me?  Thanks!

I found out some bad news last week.  The trial that is coming up because of the accident my son was in almost three years ago is supposed to last a minimum of two weeks!  I thought sure it would be done in a week so I booked a flight to visit my in-laws in northern California.  My niece is having a wedding shower and I was going to attend.  I had to cancel my trip because it was during the second week of the trial.

My son will have to miss work which could cause him to lose his job.  One of the three that worked together in the warehouse quit two weeks ago and that left two.  Now, when my son is gone, there is only one to carry on the work of three.  That isn't good.

I can't go spend any time with my mom until it's over as I go there for a couple of days in a row.  It is going to cost us money as well as time.  I need to go buy my son at least one nice suit to wear to court and a bunch of dress shirts.  Then, my son will be out his income for the time of the trial.  He has been saving his money to buy another car since the one he had was stolen and wrecked last November.  That will be on hold along with our lives for the duration of the trial.

Anyway, the trial starts next Monday, February 7th.  I would sure appreciate your prayers.  I need to have peace and my son even more so.  He will have to re-live the accident all over again, minute-by-minute.  How horrible.  I just want to cry every time I think about it and, the closer the trial comes, the more I think about it.

What is really horrible is what the lawyer that is representing the widow and the passenger is doing.  He has caused the widow and passenger to think they are getting a large sum of money.  I wonder if he ever told them that they would be responsible for court costs if they lose.  After reading their depositions I am pretty sure that the widow, at least, doesn't have a clue as to what is happening.  She doesn't speak English and was virtually in the dark about where her husband worked and even what kind of work he did.  So, that indicates to me that she is uninformed about what is taking place.

Her oldest son might have been able to benefit from us anonymously paying for any fees for activities at high school in which he wanted to participate.  I felt bad for the family losing the bread-winner and wanted to help the children.  It wasn't their fault that their father was not smart enough to stop at the stop sign, or have life insurance, or have car insurance, or provide for his family.  My lawyer said it might make us look guilty if anyone found out about it.  So, we didn't.

I found where you can look up things online about court stuff.  Now get this.  Here's another sample of the moral character of the other lawyer.  He will be trying to convince the jury that my son did something wrong:  either not paying attention (which will be hard to prove since drivers should not have to be responsible for having to drive around people who run stop signs) or speeding.  That lawyer, himself, got a speeding ticket exactly four months prior to the accident date!

Anyway, I can't imagine that God would want to reward those people with money based on the fact that the other driver only had to stop at the stop sign to prevent the accident from happening and that he was responsible for his family, not us.  Yet, may God's will be done, no matter what!

Well, the letter went off to the CEO of Coast National Insurance Co., a division of Bristol West, the insurance company that is dragging its heels paying for my other son's injuries due to when he was rear-ended on August 23rd.

We haven't heard from him yet.  I finally figured out a way that I can pay for my son to get more treatment on his hand.  I had a decreasing term life insurance policy that is used up this year.  So, instead of turning it into more insurance, I am cashing it in.  As soon as the check arrives I'll be able to loan my son the money to get treatment.

Our family doctor gave us a name of a physical therapist.  My son went there last week and they examined his hand. Prior to getting x-rays they felt his hand and thought it might still be broken.  However, the x-rays showed it wasn't still broken.  So, he will be going in for treatment.  The x-rays show deposits in his joints that wouldn't be there if he had been able to get physical therapy right after his cast was removed.

All he wanted was to get his hand treated until it was well and go back to work.  That horrible insurance company has basically refused to pay for his bills.  They wouldn't arrange for any doctors to bill them directly, either, like other "normal" insurance companies would do for someone.  All the signs lead me to believe that they are actually trying to force people into financial ruin so they can settle for lots less money than they actually owe.

It also sounds like they are trying to let health insurance companies bear the burden of the medical bills that they owe.  The claims adjuster actually had the gall to suggest that they were doing my son a favor by paying his medical bills.  My son was rear-ended by their insured!!

Whatever you do, don't let someone from Coast National Insurance, a division of Bristol West, run into your car!!  You will be very very sorry!

(In April 2005 I put together a page about that insurance company to warn people.  I found out lots more information about them and they treat a lot of people horribly.  If you want the full story it is here.)

God is capable of overseeing everything.  It is He that will take our efforts and multiply them ten-fold.  We must not by-pass Him.  We must make sure that we allow Him to guide our steps.

We must slow down just a bit, long enough to see which direction He would have us go.  We must wait long enough to make sure we are doing the right thing.

OK, you can go on to the Bible study if you like.  I'm going to spend a little more time learning from what I just wrote! 

Link to the 1/31/05 Bible study.

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