Monday, October 13, 2008

In most of Southern California, we don't get to see fall colors as they are seen in other parts of the country. Today it is dry and sunny and the Santa Ana winds are blowing. This is a dangerous time for many of us. Where there are dry grasses, weeds and old trees, the fire probability is very high.

This morning I have been tuned to a local Los Angeles station. All regular programming has been suspended as they report on fires in the San Fernando Valley, Porter Ranch, Santa Paula and one that has started somewhere in the San Bernardino area. None of these are very close to us, thank God. The closest is a little more than 17 miles away. Right now they are reporting that 10 people are stranded in their homes and ranches as they try to get their horses out. The road is closed now. Horse trailers are waiting at the entrance to the canyon to help move the 60 horses.

It makes you think. Knowing that this happens nearly every October/November, why are the grasses not cleared? Mobile homes and businesses have been destroyed, hundreds of homes are threatened and 1 man and his dog have died. Other than Mexico, I have never lived anywhere but Southern California. I was evacuated from my home because of a mountain fire. I wasn't afraid because I was so young and we didn't lose our house. My mom was frantic to protect me. I cannot possibly imagine what these families are going through. More than 1,200 have been evacuated and more have just been ordered out. It's dismal, yet I continue to have my eyes fixed on the television.

Blogger is harder for me to negotiate than my AOL blog. I haven't learned how to do things as easy as placing my signature graphic at the end of my post. I need to learn all over again. And you know . . . as some of us get older new technology is really a stumper. Before, we could add a picture or graphic anywhere we wanted to. Some of my J-Land friends have already figured this out. I really hope one of them will post some instructions for those of us who are technologically challenged.

For my friends who are following or finding this blog; I love you all and you are daily in my prayers.

Blessings, Penny

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Good Afternoon from sunny California! Rob and I had to go out to buy a new battery for the Explorer. He wouldn't believe me the other day when I told him we needed a new one. He said we just needed new connector ends for the cables. He charged the battery for a day, added water to the cells, took it out this morning for a spin. All good except when he parked it and tried to start it again. I hate always being right ;)

Yesterday it drizzled, rained, drizzled all day. Kind of unusual for this early in the year. The sun is shining again today as I write this. Oh! How I love the California coast. I tried the mountains for about 3 months earlier this year as AOL journalers will remember. It was cold and miserable for two months, almost tolerable for the next month and I left before it got hotter than hades. My daughters and family suffered up to 117 degree heat for most of the summer. Now it is cooling down again and has been raining for three days up there. UGH! I am so happy to be home.

During the the drizzle and rain yesterday, we let mom and puppies come in. They love the outside, but they are all so small that cold weather and rain could make them sick. Of course the puppies were too ignorant to get out of the rain, even when their mama barked at them to get in the dog house. Precious (mama) won't go out in the rain, drizzle or what have you until she absolutely has to go potty. The old lady (14) refuses to come inside at all, but is wise enough to stay in the dog house. I enjoyed playing with Precious and her pups. Precious always comes in for prayer. If we start without her, she cries. She sits very quietly next to me and seems to understand that this is a special time for us. We call her our "praying pup".

A couple of people have asked me about my son John Scalzi, who was our journal "guru" for some time on AOL. His latest book "Zoe's Tale" came out around the first of August. He and his wife and daughter are doing just fine. You can find him at: His adventures are there, however he may be setting up a second blog for personal entries. If so, you can find it at Whatever.

I hope to be blogging more regularly than I was at AOL. I get lazy sometimes, but since so many of us are going to be here now, I hope to suit up and show up, as it were, to this new journal. I hope that any of you that find me here will post a comment so I may find out your new home as well.

Blessings, Penny

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks

This is my first post over here at Blogger. It may take me a while to get adjusted to the new lifestyle. Right now I feel betrayed by AOL. I started journalling there in our J-Land. I pray that my old J-Land friends and I can keep up the community spirit. Many thanks to Sugar for this graphic.

I've decided to name it Growin' Old Gracelessly because that's just what I am doing. My ascent up the ladder of life (or is it down?) has been rugged. Currently my back is fractured, my hip may fracture from osteoporosis, I have polyneuropathy, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, degenerative spine disorder and chronic depression/bipolar. I'm also more than 50 lbs overweight. Get the picture? I probably won't mention it again.

My Husband Rob and I live on the central coast of California where the weather is darn near perfect. We are retired missionaries. I/we have 4 children, 15 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Little by little I may post pictures of all but our youngest daughter who is 14 and lives with her 41 year-old sister. We have 4 dogs, 3 Pomeranians (mother and 2 babies), an aging Shitzu and 2 Cockatiels.

There's so much more I want to write about, but the words are not coming. Oh! I am writing a book about my experiences as a missionary in Mexico. It's started and I have a few chapters done. Heaven knows when I will finish it.

Be blessed in the Lord today, Penny