Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sweet Dreams

Have you ever been wandering through an antiques mall and stumbled into what you thought was a dream? Kathy and I did Saturday afternoon while hunting for Christmas ornaments. All we could do was stand there and dream..."what if that chandelier were in my room, or that gorgeous mirror was hung above my fireplace." The possibilities became endless.
That's Kathy's reflection with the dreamy expression on her face.
I of course am the one staring into the camera.

There was a sweet faux mantle in the space with old doors painted with roses.

A lovely white painted dresser with delicate details.

The black iron Urns look sweet against the blue of the dresser.
Wouldn't a little Christmas Tree
look darling in one of those?
Hm...I may need to go back and take a better look.

Don't you just love all the creamy whites
against the old brick wall and chipping plaster?
It feels so serene and peaceful that
we both agreed we could be perfectly happy
living in this dreamy little space.

My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.

1 John 2:1

Dwight L. Moody once said, "There are two ways of covering sin-man's way and God's way." The difference, he pointed out, is that sin covered in man's way is not buried at all, but sin covered by God is buried for good, never to be uncovered again. As a finite man I cannot grasp the magnitude of that redemption. How God can forgive me I do not need to understand. All I need to do is accept the fact of that forgiveness. Then I should live a life worthy of His calling, knowing that I have an "advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous."

Taken from the book, "Today, LORD, I Will"

My own thoughts:
This mornings devotion reminded me of the story of Adam and Eve in the garden and how once they sinned they tried to cover that sin behind the leaves. They were trying to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord like a soldier wears fatigues to blend in with the terrain. But God in His love and mercy WENT LOOKING FOR THEM. He knew exactly where they were, He knew exactly what they had done, and He knew exactly what the consequences of their actions would result in, but He STILL WENT LOOKING! If we truly understood in our hearts that He wants His absolute complete total best for our lives wouldn't it make it easier for us to come boldly to the throne room of Grace?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Note to Self!

Wendie Monrroy on Main

Sweet hubby was enamored with the Spanish Cannons from 1872.

I used to be one of the most organized people I knew, but somewhere in my 46 years of life something changed and I have become the most scatter-brained individual I've ever encountered. Whenever sweet hubby and I would go on a trip I would start packing three days in advance and I always prided myself on the fact that I never had to make a list. As I would think of things we needed I would simply gather them together in the guest room and by the time we were ready to leave everything would be ready. This is no longer the case as evidenced by our little outing yesterday.

For the past several years I've been trying to get my husband to drive out to the Mission Inn in Riverside to enjoy their Christmas "Festival of Lights". Finally, this was the year he agreed to go so off we went to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Knowing that we would most likely be there until after dark I asked sweet hubby if he needed to take a jacket..."Nope." I should have known better but then I decided he's a grown man and should know whether he'll need one or not. Me, I decided to take one "just in case". And of course I took my camera so I could record the entire event.

When we finally arrived it was like finding ourselves in an enchanted village with old world charm. All the buildings were decked in holiday splendor from the grounds to the roof tops, across balconies, and spilling into the window boxes of the tiny shoppes. It was truly magical.
We wandered down Main Street meandering through the gift shoppes and Antiques Stores while enjoying a hot cup of coffee to the sound of Christmas music.

Hubby found an old book store while I set my sights on a cute little boutique called "Wendie Monrroy on Main". I don't think I've ever seen a store packed so tightly with Christmas decor... or people. The entire ceiling was covered with hanging ornaments and twinkle lights. Did I take a picture of that? No I didn't! Did I take a lot of pictures...No I didn't. This is where my note to self comes in...I left the house without charging my camera's battery. Year's ago I would never have done such a thing, but now? Oh, and sweet hubby who didn't think he would need a jacket was freezing so we got back in the car and drove around Riverside to look at the old Victorians.

Needless to say we missed the Festival and learned a couple lessons in the process...
1. Never leave the house without a back-up battery and a fully charged one as well and,
2. Always take a jacket whether you think you'll need one or not.
We did have wonderful time though and plan to go back in a few weeks to look at more houses.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm: 119 verse 105

Image taken on my visit to Roger's Gardens

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Image courtesy of:

Praise the LORD!

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 106 verse 1

I pray that each one of you has a Thanksgiving filled with many blessings,
new memories, and Thankful Hearts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One of my favorite color combinations is made up of creamy whites against dark woods mixed with rusted metal and garden statuary. Wouldn't these look beautiful against a shingle style Cottage on a bluff over looking the sea? Sometimes it's fun to dream about the possibilities of what might one day be.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Foto taken while on my visit to Roger's Gardens

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

1 Peter 1: 6-12

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Roger's Gardens

There's a beautiful garden center named Roger's Gardens that I love to visit during certain times of the year. It's especially gorgeous during the Christmas season when every inch of the grounds and stores are covered with decorated trees, white twinkle lights, and more ornaments than the imagination can dream up. This year one of the rooms was completely decorated in white.

I loved these little Paper Mache Angels with their sweet faces and whimsical pale green skirts.
Ssh! I don't think they know their skirts are inside-out so we wouldn't want them to be embarrassed by bringing it to their would we?

How's this for a birthday crown? It was made mostly of paper and cost a small fortune, but how lucky is the lady who gets to wear this on her head?
This was one of my favorite displays...Mica Christmas trees, silver stars, white candles, and giant glass jars filled with silver orbs. Everything was so beautiful and festive just in time for Christmas.
There were rooms decorated in red with more traditional ornaments and one section done entirely in Gingerbread...makes me wonder why I didn't get a picture of that since Gingerbread is my favorite Christmas treat! But the Piece De La Resistance was a big chair made of red roses.
I wandered around the outer gardens breathing in the scents of the pine trees until it became dusk...time to go back home to my cozy little cottage.
If you're in the Newport Beach area you should take the time to enjoy the magic of the gardens during the Christmas season. And for those of you who can't I've included a link...enjoy!

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant: later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:11

All of us encounter chastening at one point or another in our Christian lives. Sometimes it's a matter of our having to give up our "good things" to make room for God's best. I am convinced that God has a plan for my life. What I need to do is to look to Him and listen to His message to me, letting His discipline in my life chip away at me until His plan emerges clearly. It's as if my life were a shapeless chunk of marble. It can remain that way - useless and not too interesting to look at. Or I can allow God to creatively chisel the useless part away until He makes something beautiful out of what is left.
If you've ever watched a sculptor at work, you notice that in the early stages of his efforts he may work quickly and remove large chunks, but the closer he comes to completing his task, the more careful and cautious he is. In the final stages, he sometimes removes only tiny pieces after careful consideration. In a sense, I think God might sometimes work like that, too. I wonder how big the chunks He next removes will be. Then I will yield "the peaceful fruit of righteousness"?

Taken from the book: "Today, Lord, I Will"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In the silence of the night
When the snow lies soft and still
You can see a magic light
And hear the ring of Christmas bells
Though the night seems long and dark
It is the earth just gone to sleep
The stars that dot the sky above
Hold you in their precious keep
So close your eyes and come with me
The Christmas bells will lead you home.

Now with song we fill the night
While magic dances in the light
To wish you now and all the year
The joy that comes with Christmas cheer
Hear our voices fill the air
To drive the winter's cold away
And so our hearts with all will share
The love that comes with Christmas Day
The love that comes with Christmas Day
The Christmas bells will bring you home!

Lyrics: Loreena McKennitt

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pink Saturday...cute as a bug!

I spied this cute Pink Bug the other night at the Down Town Disney parking lot.
Isn't it the cutest!

And look at the darling custom plate.
"Pretty in Pink"
You can't get much cuter than this.
Hm...I wonder if there's a pink rose in the bud vase.

For more pink visit our sweet hostess Beverly
@ How Sweet the Sound

Curse the Day!

These are my thoughts every time I look at this...
"the cook book project that never goes away."
Curse the Day I took this upon myself!"
When I happily volunteered I didn't take the time to count the cost of how many hours it would take to complete. All I knew was that I had a brand new laptop and needed to do something with it...until I discovered the blogasphere...SO MUCH MORE FUN!

My pastors wife and I sat down to figure out the logistics of how and why, and came to the conclusion that it would be best to do all the work and printing ourselves. That way we could place it in a small 3-ring binder and make additions with each years event.

Our event is called "A Taste of Zion" where the ladies gather together for a night of feasting, fellowship, and to sing praises to our Lord. Each woman is to bring one of her favorite dishes along with a copy of the recipe to be entered into the cook book.
The funny and frustrating thing is that all women record their recipes differently. I noticed that the older women don't use exact measurements while the younger do. Some place their names on the recipe cards while others don't. Some ingredients are left out, for instance "sausage" in a sausage soup with no measurements, but it serves 50 hearty bowls...WHAT?
Luckily it was my friend's recipe who is a total dumper when it comes to cooking. What's a dumper you might ask...someone who never measures anything, but makes everything to taste...a recipe is more like a guideline. You begin with the basics and then build from there.

OK, back to the recipe book. This is where I'll be sitting for the next couple hours plugging and chugging on the old computer keys. My goal is 6 pages per day in order to get done before Christmas, but I'll still be checking in with all of you to see what's going on in your worlds.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Fun Book Tag

I have been tagged again by my sweet friend Pat over at Mille Fiori Favoriti.
This time it's a Book Tag and the person being tagged is to post 7 random or weird book facts about themselves. This shouldn't be difficult for me as I love to read books...and magazines.
Other rules include linking back to the person who tagged you and then once you're done you have to tag 5 other people.

So let's begin:
1. As you can see by the SMALL collection above I love to read magazines. I have 5 magazine subscriptions, which is a small amount for me. I just noticed Old House Interiors is missing as well as Old House Journal. I'm an old house fan so any magazine that has to do with restoration I own a subscription to.

2. Victoria Magazine was first published in 1988 and I have all but two issues. But then came the years of sadness when the new editor took over and managed to bury the magazine within three years of being at the helm...Hello! It's about VICTORIAN LIFE, HOMES, STYLE, etc. Not everything unrelated to anything Victorian. Thankfully the new editor has resurrected her in grand style.

3. I love to read curled up on the couch with a steaming cup of coffee and a cozy blanket. This is my reading spot in the living room. We have an old faded denim couch that is the comfiest I've ever curled up in.
My favorite reading lamp. It's frosted shade diffuses the light and cuts the harshness of the bulbs. There's no overhead lighting in our little cottage so we have lamps in every corner and on every table.

4. When I was single I lived in San Diego where one of my favorite haunts was, the Book Star on Rosecrans Blvd. They stayed open until well after midnight and many evenings when I was unable to sleep I'd roll out of bed, throw on some sweats and head for the Book Star. I could always be found in the Religious Section reading books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Jewish Traditions, and Customs. I even read Cabala a few times. Very interesting.

5. When sweet hubby and I were dating we spent a lot of time in the book store. I always drug him off to the children's section where I would sit him in one of those little bitty chairs and I'd read him stories. A man in love will do anything for you.

We are a family who reads. The TV is hiding behind the screen with the painted bird houses.

6. This is probably the weirdest book fact about me. Well, maybe not, but whenever I read a magazine I have to touch the pages and outline the fabrics, tiles, furniture, whatever with my fingers. I wasn't even aware that I did this until one day, at the book store, my hubby looked over to find me with my fingers all over the page. When he asked why I was exhibiting such a strange behavior all I could say was that I was feeling the texture of the fabric. Yes, I feel the textiles through the printed paper...weird, I know, but there you have it.

7. Another weird fact. Lord of the Rings is my absolute favorite book in the entire world (excluding my Bible). I read LOTR's for the first time while in the eight grade. I then re-read it every year for the next 30 years. Once I married my hubby I didn't think it was fair to him for me to have my nose continually plastered in a book. Now I read it every other year. I start in October and end in February.
I would much rather read fiction/fantasy then any other literature.

Just for fun I'm going to add an 8th:
I'm one of those people who always carries my Bible to church. I prefer to read from the good Book then the overhead projector. The only problem with this is when the pastor says, "let's turn to such and such." I'll turn there, but something else catches my eye and I'm off doing my own study. Rarely do I hear what he says.

Ok, those are my random/weird facts...what are some of yours?
If you would like to be tagged just let me know so I can find out more facts about you.
Thanks Pat, this was a fun tag.
Yesterday I came home from work with a small but tolerable migraine and decided that even though my head was throbbing I would start work on my recipes. Two hours into the process I had completed 6 whole pages...a HUGE YAH! but the little tolerable migraine had become a full blown "I think I may hurl experience." I'm so sorry about the lovely descriptive word, but I truly thought it was going to be "one of those" so I took two Excedrin migraine pills and curled up on the couch with my favorite warm fuzzy binkie and my ever faithful pups.

I awoke three hours later, let the puppies out, and got ready for bed. The only problem was that the minute my head hit the pillow I was wide awake with a million thoughts running every which way in my brain. Finally around midnight I stumbled out of bed and decided to catch up on some of my favorite blogs that I have been desperately missing of late. BUT, first I thought I would take a look at mine..."Oh my gosh! That RED IS SO BRIGHT!!!" Were you able to see that from your computer? Why did no one tell me that I was an obnoxious shade of hot pink?
Well, I decided to tone it down a bit...way down as you can see.

I was trying for a nice Christmas colored theme, but then after playing with more colors last night I came to the conclusion that White is very "Christmasy."
Those pesky reds and greens are the worst hues on the color wheel to figure out, so I'm hoping this will be more pleasing to the eye.

The picture above? I don't remember where I got it, but hopefully whoever I borrowed it from will show a lit of grace if they ever come across my blog. OOPS!
It's a picture of the same little cafe two posts below (my shot) of a street in Quebec.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Letter R

So I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
Joel 2:25

For more ABC's of the Word
stop by and visit Pam @
Grey Like Snuffie

If I could be anywhere...

If I could be anywhere in the world right now it would be right here. Sitting in one of these little blue cafe chairs sipping hot coco smothered with whipped cream. I might even ask the waiter to include a peppermint stick with some chocolate sprinkles...Ibarra Chocolate...YUM!

Sadly this is not where I am. Instead I'm sitting at my kitchen table that's littered with bills, maps, and motorcycle magazines. Along with these lovely items there's a HUGE STACK OF RECIPES...37 to be exact...that need to be entered into my computer for an ENORMOUS project I willingly volunteered for...stupid me! What was I thinking? Don't ask, but I think I bit off a little bit more than I can chew. Anyway, these recipes need to be completed by the end of December so I can go to print the beginning of January. Everything has to be wrapped up and available for sale by January 10th, 2009.

If you find my posting sparse over the next couple weeks it's because I'm unhappily plugging recipes into their sweet little formats and praying for the day I've completed this project of mine.
Believe me when I say, "I would much rather be with all of you."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mark 3: 35

Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Mark 3: 35

Jesus is expressing a concept here too vast for me to grasp. Imagine being as closely related to Jesus as a brother or sister. Then Jesus gives expression to an even deeper relationship--that of mother and child. Somehow it's difficult for me to picture myself that closely related to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But way back in the Old Testament Solomon said, "There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). I like to capitalize that word Friend and think of it as a reference to Jesus in my life. What is the key to this close relationship? Obedience, for the first part of today's verse reports, "whosoever shall do the will of God." As I obey, and then make it a daily, ongoing practice to continue obeying, I am drawn into a closer and closer relationship with my Elder Brother.

Taken from the Book, "Today, LORD, I Will"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

California Fires

The view from my front porch.

This was taken about two in the afternoon.

Ash falling from the sky.

When Kathy and I came out of the Coffee Bean this morning we could see the brown billowing smoke drifting from the Yorba Linda Fires. By the time I made it home twenty minutes later the sky was completely enveloped in smoke except for a bright blue strip of sky beneath the muddy haze. We have never seen the fires this close to home before and I have to admit that it's a bit unnerving. While my house is about 5-10 miles from the fires I have several friends who are within a mile of the blaze. Several of them have packed up their belongings as well as their pets and are ready in case they have to evacuate.

While we are fortunate to only have to deal with smoke there are so many people who have lost there homes and property. Please keep them in prayer.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pink Saturday...Got Zills?

Saturday mornings my friend Kathy and I attend a Belly dance/workout class in the city of Anaheim. Typical clothing for this class consists of a Choli (PINK velvet top with embossed floral pattern around the neck), Leggings, and bright colorful hip scarves. Mine of course are all in varying shades of pink.
My sweet twin Fiffer Lou was gracious enough to model for me, but this is the only picture where you'll see her darling face (I hope she doesn't read this post or I may be in trouble Monday morning).

A little History on Belly Dance:
The term 'belly dance' is said to come from the French 'danse du ventre' - dance of the stomach - a phrase coined at the turn of the century after the introduction of Raqs Sharqi at the Chicago Exposition in 1893 by a dancer called 'Little Egypt'. Little Egypt danced in less revealing costumes than those worn today, but her performance was too exotic for Victorian morality, and the dancers who followed added much to the negative image of Raqs Sharqi.

Arabic dance is characterized by its intricate hip movements, though it incorporates many techniques, from many different parts of the Middle East; Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Morocco to name a few. Each country has its own style.

Baladi, or folk dance, was developed in rural Egypt where the dancers wear full length robes often with their hair covered as well. The stick dance is based on the Tahtib, a form of self defence practised in Upper Egypt where the young men would prove their manhood using a Shouma, a long, heavy staff.

Classical oriental dance is believed to have emerged as an art form in the courts of the Ottoman Empire. The movements are refined, and characterised by soft, flowing actions of the arms. The music is composed with the dance in mind, and often includes a drum solo.

Egyptian Cabaret is most associated with 'belly dance' and is a very controlled style often including ballet. Muscular control is emphasised, with the movements small and internalized. 'Less is more' seems to be the working philosophy. It is still technically illegal in Egypt for the abdomen to be exposed in public. Therefore, most professional dancers cover their stomachs by wearing body stockings or a 'cholis', a fitted midriff length vest which fastens underneath the bra. Leotards, bodies or teddies can be worn as a substitute.
The above information was taken from this website:
Here in the US a new form of Belly Dance has been developed called American Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion which incorporates snake like movements.

In the above foto Fiffer Lou is modeling my favorite hip scarf. It has four rows of looped beads that are pink on one side and red on the opposite. The scarf weighs about 2-3 lbs. I love the way it shimmers and moves. 6 ft. silk veils are often used in belly dancing to create an ethereal or otherworldly effect while the dancer gracefully spins and twirls within the veil.

Another scarf with triangular rows of coins.

Ah, my gold coin belt...this one is a lot of fun to wear with the hot pink fringed scarf.

In the past few years Belly Dancing has taken on a more Vaudevillian look complete with twenties style hair and make-up. It's a lot of fun as long as they keep it cute and clean.
One of my favorite Tribal troupes has done a routine to one of Herb Albert's songs which is quite's a link: The Indigo at Tribal Fest. Hope you enjoy the show.

For more Pink Saturday visit Beverly at: How Sweet the Sound