Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought

Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought ~~~ A place to share what I am thinking, reading, feeling & contemplating as I travel on this journey called life.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday School Songs & Hymns

 One of the conditions of our coming to work here at Lone Star Corral was that we have off on Sunday's so we could attend church.  One of the things we realized last summer was how much we missed being in fellowship with other believers on a regular basis.  No problem we were told.  This week our days off were Saturday and Sunday.  Starting next week our days off will be Sunday & Monday's.

So today we attended First Baptist Church of Hondo.  It is a pretty big church and they have a school associated to it.  We don't know if this is where we will settle.   There are a few other churches in the area that we would like to check out.  We would appreciate your prayers as we seek where the Lord would have us settle while we are in the area.

Back to today's service.  Today's service was designed to honor those turning 90 and 100 this year.  There were 7 or 8 people being honored.  Between all of them they had over 650 years serving the Lord with 465 of those years serving at FBC of amazing and encouraging statement for sure.  One thing we noticed, at least today anyway, they sing hymns.  We sang Standing on the Promises, The Old Rugged Cross, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder and Only Trust Him.  And they did a special medley of Sunday School songs: Do Lord, I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, I'm in the Lord's Army, The BIBLE, I Am a CHRISTIAN, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, This Little Light of Mine, Hallelu, Hallelu and closed with If You're  Happy and You Know It.  Oh the memories of singing these songs as a young child in Sunday School at the little Assemblies of God Church in Rancho Cordova that flooded my heart.

And more surprising was the tears that flowed when we sang "Jesus Loves Me."  That song holds special meaning to me ~ it was sang at our son's, Royce, funeral.  It is hard to believe he has been gone from us for almost 34 years and yet every time I hear or sing that song tears just start to flow.  And when the tears flow I think of that precious little boy who was only with us for a short time yet I have so many strong memories surrounding his birth, his time here on earth and his death and the service we had for him.  One thing that always comes to mind is the fact that my mom came to the service.  I have only known my mom to attend a service at a church three times in my adult life: when I married Ron, when Royce died and when Ron and I renewed our marriage vows on our 25th wedding anniversary.  And then I say a prayer of thanksgiving that even though my mom did not attend church after she divorced my dad she never stopped me from attending church and for that I am thankful.

I first new at the age of 12 that I wanted to follow Jesus.  I made that commitment when I was 17.  Because of that commitment I was led a a little church in Las Vegas and that is where I met Ron (remind me to tell the story of our meeting and meeting Ron's family ~ that is a blog post in itself).  We married and together in 1976 we rededicated our lives to the Lord one weekend in the back of our little pickup truck inside the camper shell.  And we have followed the Lord for the last 35 years.  We have faced some hard struggles, had to climb some pretty tough mountains, rejoiced in the beautiful meadows and sang from the mountain tops.  And for all of that I have to say a prayer of thanksgiving for a mom who did not stop me from attending church when I was child.

Thank you Mom for that small gift.  No not a small gift, probably one of the best gifts I have ever been given.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Disturbing News

In the last two days I have heard that two young couples, with children, are getting divorced.  I am sad to hear this...these two couples were so excited to get married, shared in the joys of parenthood but after just a few short years have decided to go their separate ways.

I don't know the specifics and I don't want to speculate.  It is just sad to see four young people, who love the Lord and who loved each other at one time find they must separate and divorce.  Who I feel really bad for are the little ones.  They are 5, 2 and 1...having grown up in my own family of divorced parents ~ they divorced when I was eight I know how hard it is to be the child of divorced parents.

My parents hated each other.  I never heard either of them say a kind word to or about each other.  I want to tell each of these four young people "no matter how you feel about your ex-spouse, don't say negative things about them in front of your children.  In your eyes they may have been hurtful, mean, crazy, whatever BUT in your child's eyes they are their Mommy or Daddy.  They love their mommy and daddy.  

Maybe you are right and they are bad, mean, crazy, whatever ~ let your children find that out for themselves.  If what you say/believe is true than the truth will come out.

If I could have asked my parents to do one thing for me that would be "please don't tell me how bad, wrong, crazy my mom/dad is"  he/she is my mom/dad and I love them.  And please don't keep me from them ~ I need and want them in my life.  If the day comes that I don't want to be around them or have issues with them then let me decide that on my own.

I can't say anything to change any of these young people's minds but what I can do is pray for each of them and for their children.  Especially for the little ones.  Their little lives are being turned upside down right now ~ they need all the love they can get.  And that is what I pray for ~ for the Lord to surround them with parents who love them, who can be respectful of each other in the presence of those little ones and most importantly for the little ones to always know and remember THEY are not responsible for their parents actions and choices.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Just Thinkin'

The view from our campground in Kerrville. 
A lot of things have been going through my mind today ~ time to put them down on paper and do some reflecting.  The above picture is the sunset from last night here in Kerrville.  It just evokes thoughts of change.  And I have lots of changes in recent months, in the past year, in my life.

I don't want to get too heavy in this post but want to think about the many changes I have had in my life in the last year ~~~ (note anything that is underlined is a link to another post or link to a different page)

~~ January 2010 ~~ Ron came home and we did some serious talking about our work future.  Our plumbing business was failing more each day.  Ron had two plumbing jobs in January.  We both were stressing about how we were going to pay our bills.  Even wondering where and how we could get some groceries.  And that is what proceeded his question/directive: pick a place to go and lets see if we can get jobs with the carnival.  So that is what we did.  You can read about our we came to make the decision to join the carnival and our time with the carnival beginning here.

~~ February 2010 ~~ we got ready to go to work traveling, working and living the carnival life.

~~ March to September 2010 ~~ we worked, traveled and lived as carnies.  We had lots of fun, met lots of neat people, made lots of friends and got back on our feet financially.  God answered many prayers: providing meals, money for motor home repairs, blessing us as we shared His love with others.  Yet working for the carnival was really hard work with lots of long hours especially for Ron.  We learned to trust God not just for the little things like having the money to buy groceries but for the big things like when the drive shaft fell off the motor home.  God encouraged me in my thoughts to learn how to drive the motor home.  And I did and now I drive with confidence most of the time.  (Haven't driven in heavy traffic yet).  He answered specific prayer.  As I walked across the yard to pay the mechanic I told the Lord we only had $645, please don't let the repairs cost more than that.  The repairs were $642 and change!

~~ May 2010 ~~ We rode the roller coaster of emotions.  Finding out we were going to be Grandparents again on Mother's Day and then learning the next evening that Tory went home to be with Jesus.  It was hard to be so far away from Brandon & Danalyn as they mourned the loss of their precious baby.  Yet we were thankful that Danalyn was okay.

~~ October 2010 ~~ We took a well deserved four week vacation.  Taking 5 days to get to Lewiston, ID and then spending three weeks with Brandon, Danalyn, Max & Christopher. Starting here you can read about our time with family and what we did after carnival life.  Again we were at a turning point in our work situation.  Now with both of us unemployed we needed to decide what we were going to do.  We started sending out applications to campgrounds, spoke with Rob with Funtastic Show about 2011, and sought the Lord for where He would lead us next. 

~~ November 2010 ~~ We returned to Whatcom County and I started back at Northwood as church secretary.  And we continued to seek new employment.  We enjoyed being back with family and friends yet felt anxious about what were we going to do next.  We had the opportunity to share our testimony at church.  We were showered with love after sharing some of our struggles and reminded how precious our Northwood Family is to us.   Ron mentioned he wanted to sell Christmas Trees.  Well the Lord answered those prayers by providing work for us selling trees for Noel Christmas Trees in Edmond, WA.  That adventure begins here.  

~~ December 2010 ~~ We sold Christmas Trees and continued to apply for work.  We sought the prayers of many for the Lord to open the right door for us in the area of employment.  We saw God working as we ultimately had four job offers.  Two from Texas and two from California.  We felt the Lord leading us to Lone Star Corral as the Office Manager & Property Manager.  We finished selling Christmas Trees on Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m.  We went to a wonderful Christmas Eve service at Edmonds Lutheran Church where we were reminded of God's ultimate gift for us ~ his son, Jesus.  We thank the Lord for giving us his son, to lead, guide and love us each day.  We then took another two week vacation and went to Post Falls, ID to see Brandon and his family at a basketball tournament and then onto Lewiston for more time with the grands and their parents.  

~~ January 2011 ~~ We returned to Whatcom County for Ron to serve on jury duty and to get get ready for our trip to Texas.  We anticipated leaving on February 13 and arriving in D'Hanis, TX on March 11.  But once again God challenged us in our faith and belief.  Were we as flexible and trusting of Him as we said.  Again we rode the roller coaster of having plans set and then having those plans changed and then changed again within a matter of two hours.  

We finished what we needed to do in Blaine, saw as many of our family as we could, had a few meals with friends and even got sick before we actually got on the road for Texas.  Again the roller coaster was in full swing ~ anxious to head off on a new adventure yet feeling sad leaving friends and family for a place we have never been and where we knew no one.  I knew we were heading where the Lord was sending us ~ all the pieces to the puzzle fell into place to be anything but from the Lord.

~~ January 26 to February 19 ~~ we have been on the road.  We have seen family and old friends as well as made new friends as we have traveled.  We have had motor home problems leading to thoughts of "Lord are you really here?  How the heck are we going to get to Texas if all our gas money is spent on repairs?"  Seeking prayers from many and crying out to the Lord in wonder.  

One day specifically comes to mind.  Tuesday, February 8 was probably the hardest day I have had in a long time.  We had already spent two days at the mechanics in North Bend, WA had replaced some parts in Middletown, CA with each of those costing us what I thought was precious money ~ money we didn't have to spare for mechanical issues.  We needed all the money we had to get us to Texas. We had borrowed money after the first issues in Washington and now we were using some of that to pay for the repairs in Fresno.   I remember sitting at the table while Ron was outside working on the motor home with tears streaming down my face.  Feeling like I was ready to give up ~ but then again that wasn't an option either ~ couldn't stay at the Fresno RV Park we were at indefinitely.  I once again sought the prayers of others, cried on Ron's shoulders and just wasn't sure if we had made a mistake or not in heading to Texas.  My heart ached, my head hurt with a headache and my eyes hurt from so much crying.  I just didn't know what WE were going to do.  And then it was time to go to dinner at Jim & Sharon's with Belva. I didn't think I would be good company but I went with Ron and I put on what I thought was a happy face.

I wasn't a very good actress.  At dinner Jim prayed for us in our travels, for the Lord to provide for our every need, for us to enjoy our time of traveling and of course for us to have a good dinner.   Little did I know how God would provide for us.  And once again I was reminded that God is in control and it is his timing not mine on when things should happen and how they would happen.  The Lord has blessed us over and over on this trip.  He has provided funds where there were none.  We have gotten groceries from those we did not expect any.  We have been taken out to eat to share in family and friend time.  God has truly blessed me/us over and over again.

I can't say that enough ~ God has blessed us over and over again.  Not just on this trip but in so many ways.  It's just right now the blessings we have received as we have traveled from Blaine, WA to Lewiston, ID to Bend, OR to Corning, CA to Middletown, CA to Fresno, CA to Phoenix, AZ, and onto Tucson and McNeal, AZ and now as we near the end of this journey to Texas.  

I keep telling myself my vacation is almost over.  Tomorrow is the last day of that vacation and then we start a new adventure.  The adventure of being Office & Property Managers of a campground ~ something else we have talked about doing and God is blessing us with the desires of our hearts. 

I think about the new changes coming our way ~

~ we will have regular days off
~ we will meet lots of new people
~ we will once again have regular paychecks and get back on that stable financial plateau 
~ we will not be moving all the time; don't get me wrong I enjoy moving around but I am ready to be in one place for awhile
~ we have a new grandbaby coming in May, that is always exciting
~ we get to see new parts of this ole country where.have never been
~ we will make new friends

and we get to do all this with God's blessings on our lives.  He guides us each day if we let him.  That's the key ~~ trusting and seeking God each day.  Living out our faith in our actions and words.

I want to close with this prayer: Thank you Lord for allowing me to blessed with so many Christian friends through the years.  Thank you for a loving husband who has an adventurous soul and showers me with his love every day.  Thank you Lord for Jamie & Brandon and their families.  For expanding my family, for surrounding me in love and for special friends who have walked with me through the hard times and the good.  Thank you for loving me Jesus!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Love the sunshine!  And the warmth!  It always helps me to feel good.  But so do good friends, loving family, precious time with little ones and enjoying the many blessings of the Lord.
Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that God is the one in control and not me.  I learned that lesson again last Tuesday.  I will probably have to learn it a few more times, okay lots more times.  

But God is a loving and forgiving God.  Last Tuesday was a hard day for me.  I spent the majority of my day in tears (see the previous post).  I was frantic about issues with the motor home, how were we ever going to make it to Texas and concerned about a couple of friends who were struggling with illnesses.  I fretted and figured and figured and fretted some more.  

The motor home finally got repaired late in the day on Tuesday.  We had dinner plans with Ron's cousins, Jim, Sharon & Belva and I was just not in the mood to be "happy and social" yet I knew that would be the best thing for me.  So while Ron drove to Jim & Sharon's I sniffled and wiped my tears.  

We had a delightful dinner sharing lots of laughter and good stories about our children ~ you know those teenage years you wonder if you as the parent will survive them.  And we talked about the joy of grandchildren and how special they are to us grandparents.  And we talked about our families and some of our struggles and yet each time a struggle came up that we talked about each of us were able to say "but God did...." or "God showed me how to do...."  and in the end we were all able to say that we were each blessed time and time again.

And you know what.  God continues to bless us even in our humanness.  I can say I prayed a little on Tuesday but did I spend time on my knees seeking God's wisdom and not mine.  Nope.  Just a few arrow prayers.  But God is an awesome God and he works things out a whole lot better than I ever could on my own. 

I talked with a friend that night, three times to be exact.  And each time I hung up just thinking "Lord, thank you for loving me and showing me that love in so many ways."  And when I went to bed that night I prayed for the Lord to forgive me for trying to "fix" things on my own once again.  He is so much better at fixing things.  I need to remember to go to Him first.  Turn things over to Him first.  Not fret and worry.  I slept so well Tuesday night.  God forgave me for trying to do things my way.  He gave me rest so I woke feeling so much better emotionally on Wednesday morning.

My pastor, Charles, used to tell me to reign in those wild horses Alice.  Don't let them escape out into the wild blue yonder.  And I thought a lot about that on Wednesday.  Boy were those horses out running amuck on Tuesday afternoon.  So glad that God helped to bring them back into their corral.  

I have had a good rest of the week even though there were a couple of bumps along the road.  Wednesday we went to Edwards AFB where we met up with Jenn and Mike, Ron's niece and her family.  We had a fun time playing with the little ones and getting in some more kisses and hugs.  One can never get too many hugs and kisses from little ones.

 Thursday morning we got on the road about 9:30 a.m.  We drove to Quartzite, AZ.  While on the road I got up to get us something to drink and while getting back into the passenger seat I hit my head quite hard on the TV.  A little later I started feeling sick to my stomach and my head was pounding so I went and laid down on the bed.  I slept for over two hours.  I woke up just as Ron was pulling into Quartzite.  It was about 4:00 p.m.  Actually it was really only 3:00 p.m. but because of the time change it was 4:00 p.m.  So I guess it really was around 4:00 p.m.  We found a campsite for the night and got parked and set up.  Then we had dinner and dinked around on the computer for a few hours.  I did not sleep real well even after taking Tylenol for my headache.  

When I woke up Friday it was still there. I also felt like I was getting a sinus infection. We slowly got on the road about 11:00 a.m.  It was a short day for driving, just over 160 miles to Scottsdale, AZ.  I still had a headache but it was not too bad.  Once we got settled into our camping spot at West World - a huge horse complex we decided to go into Old Town Scottsdale.  We walked around and went in/out so many little gift shops things began to look pretty much the same.  After stopping at the local Safeway to pick up some groceries we came back to the motor home.  We had a nice dinner and then Ron headed off to bed.  I think the stress of traveling and the motor home issues were getting to him.  I read a few blogs and got the advice from three or four friends to put some Vicks on the bottoms of my feet and then sleep with socks on.  So with some thoughts of "those crazy friends of mine...I am so gullible...but gooped up my feet and put my socks on and crawled into bed.

And you know what? This morning I didn't have a headache, my sinuses weren't hurting and the bottom of my feet were kinda soft.  Guess those girlfriends of mine know what they are talking about.  That and asking God to relieve me of my headache helped tremendously.

We have had good days of travel and now a couple of good days of rest.  Tomorrow we get back on the road and go to Tucson for two nights.  We are going to be able to spend some time with Ron's Aunt Tine and Uncle Ken.

Thanks for listening as I rambled on tonight.  I am so glad that I am a child of the King!  And that he works in ways we could not imagine.  And that he knows what is best for us and when we should be where.  Thanks for praying for me, for us and for our motor home.  God is faithful and he is answering your prayers.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Hard Day

Today is a hard day!

Tears are flowing.  I am feeling like just giving up today.  Maybe that is what I need to do is just give up and let the Lord take over.  Though I thought I was doing that my life and each day to the Lord.  Guess I needed to let go some more.  So today I sit here at the computer with tears streaming down my face, wanting to just cry and wonder why do we have so many issues with this darn motor home.

So we have put a new starter in and now Ron went and bought a new battery as well.  And all I can do is cry...what are the tears for I ask myself?

Because I feel like most every turn we have made the last two weeks has cost us time and money to fix this motor home.  And we are running out of resources.  We have worked, borrowed and been gifted money to make this trip to Texas and yet it seems like more is expected and needed.  We know that we are going to a job that we believe the Lord has allowed us to be given.  We just have to get there.  

We have made plans and changed those plans and made more new plans.    We have gotten it down to 1659.9 miles from here in Fresno. CA to D'Hanis, TX.  I am glad we have seen our kids and grandkids, my aunt & uncle and also Ron's cousins.  We are cutting corners every where we I just have to hope and pray that we have cut enough to get us there all in one piece and without any more tears.  What good are the tears any way?  None really.  So now I have quit crying and wiped away my tears.  I will take a deep breath and pull up my "big girl panties" as my friend Heather says and move forward.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.  Now I think I will go work on my pictures for my blogs.  That will bring me joy!  Happy memories and beautiful scenery.  All will bring a smile back to my face and my heart.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Choices ~ people always have choices.  Choices to do things or not do things.  Choices to say things or not say things.  Choices ~ life is always full of choices.

As we made the choice to take these new positions in Texas I realized that we would be going through the San Jose area where my sister lives.  She has not spoken to me since September 2008 when my older sister died.  She had barely spoken to me in the three years prior to that after my Mom had died and I could probably count on one hand how many times she had spoken to me since my Dad died in 2001.  Her not speaking to me has always been her choice.  So I made a choice.

I sent her a card telling her we were moving to Texas and would be traveling through the area on February 6th and if she would like to see me all she had to do was call either Ron or I, drop us an email or send a card.  She made her choice ~ she did not contact me at all.

I was prepared for her choice but it still stings a little.  Besides her I have my aunt and one niece on my mom's side of the family along with a few cousins and a uncle that we have not connected with in many years.  

I had a choice to reach out to her and I did.  She had a choice to respond or not.  She chose not to.  Yes it makes me sad that she chooses not to communicate with me or my boys or know her great niece and nephews.  She is missing out on so much.  All I can do is continue to pray for her.  I love her, she is my sister.  Do I wish things were different ~ of course.  But they are what they are right now - no communication from her.  And since that is how she clearly wants it I will let it be that way.  Maybe one day God will see to bring us back together.  Only time will tell.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Being Without Internet or Cell Phone Service

We have spent the last four days without internet or cell phone service.  We were at my aunt & uncle's place on 1500 acres just north of Middletown, CA on Highway 29.  It was so quiet and relaxin there.  We wish we could go there for two or three weeks to relax and also help around the place.  Maybe next year.

When we first arrived I tried to access their wireless internet service but alas it was not to be ~ no one could remember the password.  But that was okay.  I did use their computer to send out a couple of emails just to let people know we were going to be out of contact via the normal ways: email, Facebook, cell phones, reading & writing blogs.  If I had thought about it I should have been writing my blogs in Word so I could have just done a copy & paste once we were back on line.  But I didn't think of that.

Instead we talked and visited with my Aunt Joan & Uncle Don for hours in the evenings.  We went to bed at a decent time, like 9:30 p.m. instead of midnight or 1:00 a.m.  We got up early, at least for us, between 7:30 & 8:00 a.m.  They are pretty scheduled oriented.  Breakfast was at 8;30 a.m. with lunch at 1:00 p.m. and cocktails & hor d'ouvrs at 6:00 p.m. with dinner at 7:00 p.m.  And of course after each meal we had sharing to do.

Thursday afternoon my aunt & uncle went down to Napa for the night as they had some appointments on Friday morning.  We did laundry, gave Ron a hair cut and he shaved off his beard (will put up some pictures in the next couple of days) and then we watched a little television before calling it a night at 9:00 p.m.

Friday we went into town.  Now you have to realize that it is 7.1 miles on dirt road from their house to the paved road and then another 4 miles to the main road.  We cross over three cattle guards, go through four gates before getting back to civilization.  It was an interesting ride into their place with the motor home and a fun ride with the Jeep.  Anyway, we went into Clearlake on Friday morning to the parts store.  We went to one, had lousy service and then went to Napa Auto Parts Store ~ should have gone there in the first place.  Ron had to buy another solenoid for the motor home.  Yeah the motor home starts now like its supposed to!!

We then did some site seeing...we saw the little jail for Lower Lake which was built in the mid 1800's and then went to the old school house museum.  Both of them were quite interesting.  And then we went through the little Tuscan Village and Winery.  I will be posting pictures in the next couple of days.  I had over 450 pictures to load onto my computer.  To end our time out and about we went to the Butts Canyon Cemetery.  The earliest recorded death was in late 1860's.  So many babies and toddlers were buried there.  It was interesting to see how the markers have changed over the years.

Friday night Aunt Joan came back to the house.  Uncle Don stayed in Napa to work on their rental house and take a class at Verizon Wireless to learn how to work his Droid.  Saturday we just read and visited throughout the day.  The weather was so nice while we were there...warm during the day but kinda cool in the night.  It is so nice to be able to go around without jackets.

We left my aunt's this morning about 9;30.  We were barely on the road when we blew another fuse in the motor home.  This time to the cigarette lighter and stereo.  This meant no Maggie (our trusted GPS).  Thank goodness our phones have VZ Navigator on them.  Once we were on the 780 freeway I pulled out the computer and MiFi card and got on line to get the directions to San Benito Thousand Trails.  Need to write them a note on our comment card that they need to update their directions as roads have opened and new ones go every which way.

Once we arrived here at the Thousand Trails Preserve we got hooked up and settled in and then went to the family lodge to join others to watch the Super Bowl.  It was so fun as we were all rooting for the Green Bay Packers.  Lots of cheering was happening for much of the time.  

Now back to the motor home for the night.  We will be leaving here around 10:00 a.m. and heading to Fresno to spend a couple of nights to see some of Ron's cousins.  I hope to have some down time to do some writing.  

Hope you all have had a great weekend and that you have a good week!