Anyone Hiring?

I found out last night, at 5:00, that my wages are being cut by more than half. I’m bummed. I love my job 99% of the time, but I can’t afford to stay at that rate. I just can’t. By the same token I understand that they can’t afford to keep me at the wage I was making.

I’d appreciate your prayers and if you live close to me and know of any good positions¬†of the Office Manager/ Executive Assistant persuasion, please let me know.

I’ve agreed to stay on until I find something else, and to train whoever they get to replace me.

Needless to say, I’m not having a happy day. ūüė¶

I believe that God has a plan for me in all of this, I truly do. But I’d really like to know what His plan is NOW rather than later. God, if you’re listening…I could use some good news about now. Thanks!

Kung Fu Panda and Joe Satriani

We had the boys this weekend, which is always lots of fun. I love having them at our house and look forward to their arrival every other weekend. The oldest is really into Call of Duty 4 (or as the cool kids call it – COD4) and I think he would play it constantly from the time he gets in the door until the moment we take him home if we’d let him. We don’t, and I think he’s okay with that, but still…if given the chance, I don’t think it would go offline all weekend. ūüôākung_fu_panda

Saturday’s mail brought a package from Amazon.com. I pre-ordered Kung Fu Panda for my hubby for his birthday (which was Tuesday – Happy Birthday Honey!). Now my hubby is not¬† a big fan of going to the movies, but we’d seen the trailers to Kung Fu Panda and thought it looked funny, so we went. It was so funny, in fact,¬†that we went twice! There is something about the slow motion animation that is so hilarious that we had tears running down our faces both times we saw it in the theater. This one is a definite “got to own it” movie. So guess what we did Saturday night…yep, watched Kung Fu Panda with the boys. We all got a good laugh out of it. ¬†I¬†couldn’t help but ¬†think that the dudes would have probably laughed a lot harder at this movie three years ago (especially oldest, who is now 15 and cooler than the other side of your pillow) than they did now, but I think they enjoyed it a lot.

Last night we dropped the boys off a couple of hours earlier than usual because my wonderful sister-in-law bought us tickets to see Joe Satriani at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix. Before the show my husband treated me to a fabulous dinner of prime rib at Kinkaids.

l-westLeslie West and Mountain opened the show. They weren’t bad, but not great either. During the second (I think) song Leslie tripped over one of his cords and crashed into the floor, tweaking his knee and who knows what else. This guy is no spring chicken anymore so there was a lot of concern for him. He got up, limped back to his mike, cussed some, and continued his portion of the show. His bass player (sorry, can’t recall his name) was pretty entertaining. He’d get his 2 ft. braids (which protrude from his mohawk) swinging around his head like a helicopter and I was pretty sure he was going to take flight at any moment.¬† The highlight of Leslie’s show was when he played Mississippi Queen, which was the only song that I recognized of his.

Then came Joe Satriani…Wow! That. Dude. Can. Play! He’s just so amazing. He did mostly songs from his satch1new album. But he also did a few of his old standby’s as well. I especially love his song “Always With Me, Always With You” as that is the song my daughter and her hubby chose for their processional music for their wedding in August 2007. He did one song, “Ghosts” that I thought was pretty interesting. I liked the mystery and emotion that it evoked. “Andalusia”is a beautiful song that is technically brilliant…but of course all of Satch’s music is technically brilliant. He switched guitars throughout the show, but I think my favorite was a gorgeous silver guitar that he played quite a bit.¬†¬†Several of Joe’s¬†guitarsare custom made by Ibanez. Stu Hamm, Joe’s bass player, did an incredible solo on the bass…Wow!! What a show!

The only down side to the entire evening is that I had this in front of me all night, blocking my view!!

dudes-head1

He could have just scrunched down in his seat, couldn’t he? Oh well, the music was still amazing and I had a great time with my hubby. Many thanks to my sister-in-law for the concert. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me!

Mariposa Monarch

Picture 110, originally uploaded by lyndaspix2004.

Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish.

My friend, Jamie, and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to see the Monarch exhibit. We each took hundreds of photos and had a great time.

Unlike the butterflies that are in the exhibit in the spring, the Mariposa Monarch is not a “friendly” butterfly. They get nervous when you get too close and they don’t seem to like the click or flash of the camera. Monarchs also tend to land on the ground a lot, so you have to be careful of each step that you take.

Jamie and I spent a good hour in the butterfly house observing these fascinating creatures and trying to capture a moment where they actually were still. They love the colorful flowers in the exhibit and flit from one to another until they think they’re going to be left alone!

Every fall, by instinct alone, the Monarch butterflies go to the same mountains that their ancestors left the previous spring. Somehow, they find a place in Mexico that they’ve never seen before. Monarchs only fly during the day and at night you might see a handful, or even hundreds of them roosting in trees or on a bridge!

Each winter, the entire eastern population of monarch butterflies in Mexico clusters together on only 10-12 volcanic mountains, in large colonies estimated to contain millions of individuals. Significantly, an estimated 80% of the butterflies concentrate each year in only four core colonies.

All of the colonies are in Mexico’s Transvolcanic Belt, and most of these colonies are spread along an arc from the western face of the volcano “Nevado de Toluca” to the northeastern extreme of the state of Michoacan. The four core sites–El Rosario, Sierra Chincua, Chivati-Huacal and Cerro Pelon–are located in the center of the arc, near Angangueo.

You can read more about the Monarchs’ amazing journey here:

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/

Quote of the Day

 

I think one of life’s great milestones is when a person can look back and be almost as thankful for the setbacks as for the victories.¬† Gradually, it dawns on us that success and failure are not polar opposites.¬† They are parts of the same picture- the picture of a full life, where you have your ups and your downs. (Bob Dole)¬†

I’m Counting My Blessings, Part 2

Our church has a ministry to the homeless in Phoenix. This is something my husband decided he would like to get involved with and something that I’ve always wanted to do.

A couple of weeks ago my hubby spoke to the man who coordinates this ministry and got all the essential information. He gave the man his email address and the next day the man’s wife emailed my hubby the time/date/directions to their home.

We got up Saturday morning, thinking that we had plenty of time to get showered and dressed and over to the meeting place. Hubby decided to check the email once more for the directions and time. UH OH! We were running WAY late. We needed to be at their house at 8:45 to leave by 9:00. We thought it was 9:30 that we were supposed to leave. We decided we just couldn’t make it.

A¬†minute later my hubby said to me, “You know, if we don’t shower right now we could probably get over there in time.” So off I went to get dressed, pulling my hair back into a pony tail. He was ready and waiting when I got downstairs and we sped off to meet the others.

We carpooled downtown to the area where we were going to hand out bags of snacks, a variety of sodas and bottled water. As we drove up the street toward the shelter, before we even got parked, a young man, obviously hurting, started tapping on the window of the car in front of us, which had our pastor and the organizer of the event in it. He shuffled back and forth on his feet, talked to them and then they pulled away and he ran back to the car we were in. Mike, the guy driving, rolled down the window an inch or so and the guy asked for a quarter. Mike told him we couldn’t give him money, but that we had snacks and water for him. Never stopping his shaky movement, the man asked if we could just buy him some crack. Again Mike told him no, but offered him the items that we brought with us. He declined and then told us he was going to steal our tires! The pain in this man’s eyes was hard to handle. He was suffering, no doubt. I said a silent ¬†prayer for him as we pulled alongside the curb and parked.

When we got out of the vehicle and unloaded the coolers and boxes the folks started coming around. I’ve never seen people so grateful! They stood in line, no pushing or shoving. They were very excited about the sodas! They were thankful for the snacks. Some of them asked us to pray for them and some blessed us as they walked away. The pain in this place was incredible, yet these people were flashing toothless grins that lit up my whole day.

One lady especially touched me. As she took her soda, a water and a bag of snacks she was grinning from ear to ear and she told me, “God had just blessed me so much today!! I’m so excited!” She reached into her pocked and pulled out a broken choker with a cross pendant. “My friend gave this to me today! And then, ¬†when I was cleaning the bathrooms, I found this!” She showed me a shiny silver coin that had John 3:16 on it. “She had tears in her eyes as she said, “And NOW you have come here to share these things with us! This day is so full of blessings!” I hugged her and she hugged me back, tightly. She thought we were the blessings, but I was the one that was blessed by her.

Many others filed in, some taking snacks and sodas to their friends who were in wheel chairs and too weak to come over. They offered to let us walk back with them to see that they were being selfish and taking more than their share!

John, the organizer, was asked by a man if he had any t-shirts or clothes, which he did. He had a couple of t-shirts and one pair of jeans. He gave them to the man and another guy walked over and asked for a t-shirt. John told him that he’d given away all that he’d brought with him and the other guy handed him one of the two shirts John had given him. “Here man, I don’t need two shirts anyway. I can only wear one at a time.” he said.

One couple that were at the halfway house spoke to my husband and Mike. They had lost everything. She had a serious heart condition and he is a convicted felon. He’s looked for jobs, but of course is having a hard time finding anything as a lot of companies won’t hire you if you have a felony record. She told us that she would evenutally have to have a heart transplant, but for now she was just taking her medicaiton and waiting. They stood there talking to Mike and my hubby for quite a while.

I watched these hurting people as we handed them the items we brought and I thought about my dad. This could be him. If it were not for the love and care of family members (mostly my uncle), my dad could be, and probably would be, one of these homeless people.

As we drove away I thought about how much I take for granted. Things like my family and friends, my home, my job, my mental and physical health and never having to worry about whether I will eat today all became so vivid in my mind and I suddenly felt more gratitude than I have in a long time! As we drove back to get our car I sat in the back seat praying for the ones that we had served, and thanking God for the blessing of being allowed to give something to these folks.

I went there to bless the homeless people of our community and instead I was amazingly blessed by them!! I can’t wait to go back!

Blogoversary!!

Well, it looks like I’ve managed to blog for a whole year!! Yay ME!!

I’ve not been posting as much of late, but I know that things will pick up again. I need to get out and take some more photos, and write about some of the things that have been happening lately. We haven’t had any major drama or anything, but we’ve had some good things happen and we’re thankful for the small, everyday things that make our lives happy and productive.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I’m off to get my car washed at the Phoenix Fire Department’s Charity Car Wash that is set up in our Costco parking lot.

Be blessed!!

I’m Melting!!! (Well, not anymore, but I was!)

Friday I get a call from my husband informing me that it was 88 degrees in our house and rising rapidly. Our A/C was out. This is not good news in Arizona in August. It was 108 degrees outside and it was FRIDAY!!

Thankfully we were able to get someone to the house to check out the A/C. Bad news. He said it would cost at least $1200 to fix it, but it would probably break again within a year so we should really consider getting a new one. They’re only $5000+!!!!!!!!!

We decided to get a second opinion on Monday (today) and then talk to the bank about financing.

Yesterday, after both of us being hot and crabby for three days, my husband said to me, “Call someone and get them here today!” So I did. I got online and found Redco Construction. It was 1:30 PM when I¬†called them and the very nice girl on the other end of the line said that someone would be out between 2:30 and 3:30. He was there by 2:30!

This guy was so nice and the company is a small mom and pop business (http://www.redcoelectric.com/). He climbed up on the roof and checked things out and prepared his estimate Р$560 to fix the same things that the guy who came on Friday said would cost over $1200! He said that at some point we should consider getting a new, more energy efficient A/C someday but emphasized that it was not necessary at this point in time. This one could absolutely be repaired.

I felt bad for the repairman, it was at least 108 while he was up on the roof working, but within an hour of signing off on the estimate our house was cooling down from a stifling 90+ degrees to a comfortable 78 degrees by the time we went to bed.

Hubby was happy. Kitties were happy. Dog was happy. Fishes were happy.

Ahhhh…what a great night’s rest!