Here are the welcome messages from
October 2004

10/6/04 October 6, 2004
10/12/04 October 12, 2004
10/27/04 October 27, 2004
October 6, 2004

Oh my goodness!  Just when you think things can't get worse...  I've had a horrible week!  I'm going to spare you the details.

Well, there is one thing I will share.  It was kind of the icing on the cake.  Monday morning I went outside to sit by my fish pond to relax and to be able to free my mind from thinking about all the icky stuff that has been happening.  I sprinkled some fish food in there and nothing happened.  I didn't see any fish.

I had noticed over the weekend that the fish were acting kind of strange.  The big ones were zipping back and forth across the pond over and over.

I started to poke around among the rocks and moved the plants that float on top and found there were only four little fish in the entire pond!!  The three big ones and the other ten small ones were GONE!  Sad face

The only thing that makes sense is that another egret came up under our patio and ate my fish!  As I was poking around I found the tail half of a small fish.  Sigh!

So, yesterday I went to the hardware store and bought some chicken wire and made a cover for my pond.  I still need to do more work on it because it got too late to finish.  I also went to the pet store and bought a bunch of goldfish.  I had the poor employee chasing after the prettiest ones.

I have all the new ones in there now and sat down to feed them this morning.  They ate for a while and then I noticed a large fish that was bigger than the ones I just bought.  It was one of my three big ones that I thought got eaten!  I guess it was hiding under the rocks and refused to come out when I was poking around.  Then, as I sat there a while longer I saw the other two big ones!!  They are still alive!!!  Yay!!!

You ought to see some of the new ones I bought.  I'll have to take more pictures.  Some of them really look cool!

I'm going to have to make this short.  My husband brought home some homework for me.  He got his new DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) information for his Driver Education class and some of the things have changed.  I have to update his quizzes and tests.

I have my computer set to download any updates from Microsoft and to ask me when to install them.  Well, the last one it did was Service Pack 2 for Windows XP.  Little did I know that even Microsoft knows there are problems with it.  It causes certain programs not to work.  It also changed my display properties on my monitor.  It made the monitor really bright and I couldn't adjust it.

So, I wrote to Dell, the manufacturer of my computer, and they said they recommend I uninstall the Service Pack.  I spent the last half of the day fighting with my computer and uninstalling it.

Microsoft!!  I've got to say that I appreciate the fact that I have my computer and it has a lot of Microsoft stuff on it, but.... Microsoft seems to me to be a company that is solely interested in making money.  Sad.  It certainly says that the people in charge are not Christians.  There doesn't seem to be any indication that they care about the people that use their products, does there?

Link to the 10/6/04 Bible study.
October 12, 2004

Winter must be coming.  I saw and heard a flock of geese flying south yesterday morning.  They sure are noisy!  Sound like a bunch of old cars stuck in a traffic jam and honking at each other!

It's kind of dumb how the movies portray bunches of people honking when they get stuck in a traffic jam.  That doesn't happen out here.  Maybe we are so used to it that we just wait until it clears up.  What good does it do to honk, anyway?

I was honked at once when my car stalled in a left turn lane.  If it ever happens again I am going to get out of my car, go back to the honker, and ask that person to go get my car started for me while I sit and honk for them!

Yesterday I caught up on my ironing.  I didn't realize how far behind I was!  I spent most of the day over the ironing board!

I needed to make room in the closet where I hang things to be ironed for my oldest son's clothes.  He is coming next Saturday to stay for a week.  I may or may not update this next week.  He and I are driving to Las Vegas for a couple of days.  He has been wanting to visit the Star Trek exhibit ever since it opened.  So, I decided we should spend two days there seeing the sights.

Then I'm not sure what else we will be doing, so we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

I have something for you.  It is a small flame.  After I hand it to you, fan it and see what happens.  This week's Bible study is a lesson I've been learning.  I'm finally putting it into practice and the results are already powerful!

Link to the 10/12/04 Bible study.
October 27, 2004

I'm back!  I had a nice visit with my son last week.  The week just flew by.  Now I am facing piles and piles of things that didn't get done last week.

He and I went to Las Vegas for two days.  Like I said last week, he is a Star Trek fan and has never seen the Star Trek thing at the Las Vegas Hilton.  While we were gone it rained and rained and rained here at home.  We got a little rain in Vegas, but nothing like it was doing here.

On Wednesday morning, the day we were leaving, my husband called and said it was still raining here and that I should call to see if the mountain pass was open.  I couldn't find any phone numbers that gave me any information.  I even called the main California Highway Patrol office in Sacramento.

So, we ate breakfast, said a prayer, and began driving.  We ran into some fierce rain on the way.  As we were about an hour away from home the sun came out and there was blue sky everywhere.  Then the traffic stopped.  We ended up getting directed off the freeway.  There was no where to go but back the way we came.  As we drove back we saw the freeway was getting backed up farther and farther out.

We found a restaurant and had lunch.  We could see the freeway backing up even further.  I kept trying to find a phone number to call to find out how long we would have to wait.  I called a friend of mine who lived in the mountains that we were trying to get through.  She checked and all the alternate routes were closed due to rock slides.

So, my son and I found a motel and spent as much for one night in a nothing-town as we did for two in Las Vegas!  We found out later that there were over 40 cars involved in accidents and the freeway was completely closed for four hours.

We ended up finding a mall that was right across the freeway and did some shopping.  I had been looking for navy blue shirts for my sons and my husband and some kind of navy blue outfit for me.  I had scheduled a family portrait for last Thursday.  I found shirts for the boys (on sale) and had already found a shirt for my husband (on sale).  I looked and looked and couldn't find one long-sleeved navy blue shirt, blouse, or sweater for me.

After we got home on Thursday (finally!) I went shopping to find me something and finally found a great outfit for me and it was on sale!  Praise God!

Friday my son was helping me to set up our two computers on a router and wireless network.  It took three trips to the store to get all the things we needed.  The last trip was because the USB ports on the family computer didn't work and we couldn't plug in the receiver.  Traffic was terrible so we decided to stop for dinner and wait it out before returning home.

We finally got seated and ate the bread and salad and waited and waited and waited for our dinner.  Then we noticed that people who had been seated after us were already done eating!  The kitchen lost our order!  So, we didn't have to pay for our dinner.  That was a blessing because it ended up paying for the extra parts I had to buy to get the other computer hooked up.

Funny, isn't it, how a simple thing can turn into a major production?

So, my son left for Tennessee on Saturday.  I hate how it hurts every time I have to say goodbye to one of my sons.  It doesn't matter how many times they come and go, it hurts every time.

However, it sure is a lot easier knowing that God is taking care of them!  He is a lot better at it than I ever could be!

Whew, I'm tired!  I've been playing catch up.  Last week I didn't do much around here because I was doing things with my son.

I had some cleaning up to do because of the hard rains we had.  I hadn't been here to do the things I normally do when it starts to rain.  I go out and look to see what is out in the rain that shouldn't be.  Unfortunately, my family didn't think of that while I was gone.  There was a wheelbarrow full of tools and other stuff.  There were some buckets of junk (don't tell my husband I said that) that were left out in the rain.  There was a container of firewood left out, too.  The trash cans didn't have their lids on and they filled up with rain.

We're having another big storm.  Yesterday I got my buckets ready (our patio roof leaks) and fixed the barn door so water wouldn't get in.  I brought some firewood up although it still was damp from last week's rain.

I just now went out and checked on the wash behind our house.  The water is pumping through there pretty fast.  If it keeps raining this hard much longer it will fill up and come up into our back yard.  Pretty soon cars will come wandering down our street because the main road will be flooded and people will be looking for an alternate route.  The water running through our wash fills up a big field and then the pipes under the main road can't handle it.  Would be nice if the same people that put up the "road closed" signs would also put up a few "can't get through this way" signs on our streets.  Speaking of which, there are quite a few cars going up and down the street.  Yep, they look lost.  The main road is closed.

Yesterday I also spent half the day working on a letter for my son.  I told you before how he was rear-ended and the insurance company for the guy who rear-ended him is being a stinker (that's saying it mildly).  We had to have our mechanic come out to our house to verify that the insurance company's appraiser lied on the appraisal.  I'm telling you, the guy said the NEW tires are worn, the NEW belt is worn (yeah!  The engine cover got pushed against it and it spun and frayed!), the windows are broken when they are not, and added 100,000 miles to the odometer.  That last one was the biggie.

Oh, you'll love this... the adjuster made the comment, after my son complained that the mileage was wrong, that it is probably true that a car that is over 30 years old would have that extra 100,000 miles on it.  OK, that makes sense, except for one thing.  The odometer on 69 VW Bugs only has room for five digits so the extra "1" in front of the five digits was added because the appraiser is careless or because he made an assumption based on the age of the car.  The adjuster didn't add that 100,000 miles to the comparable VW's they are using for a comparison!  (In case I didn't tell you they are using a car in Florida and a car in Missouri to get a value for my son's car and we are in California!)  Apparently, according to the adjuster, 1969 cars in the eastern United States are not over 30 years old like they are in California.

The good news is that somebody at that insurance company (Coast National Insurance Company, a member of the Bristol West Insurance Group) apparently has taken notice of the fact that my son is not getting a fair deal.  They are going to send out another appraiser.  We're not going to let him off easy, that's for sure!

(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.)

One last thing about accidents.  The court date for my youngest son's accident is supposed to be next Monday (if it doesn't get postponed again).  That's the one where the other driver ran the stop sign in front of my son and died.  The widow and passenger are suing us although the guy who died ran the stop sign and had no insurance, driver's license, nor car registration.  I would appreciate prayer that God's will be done.  Thanks!! 
(It is over now.  You can read about it here.)

I got a bunch of great Christian music at www.christianbook.com.  There were a bunch of wonderful prices.  They even have samples so you can hear them first.  I got some praise music cd's for $1.99 and a couple of boxed sets for $6.99.  They are wonderful!  You can do a search based on price.  That's my kind of shopping... know what you are buying and get a great price!
Link to the 10/27/04 Bible study.

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