43 Things about Us, A Work in Progress

This may take awhile to put together.  Statements are not in any order,  just how they came to mind.

1. We were both born in California about 30 miles apart, Selma for him and Fresno for me.

2. I have never lived more than 4 hours away from Fresno, He spent 2 years in Portland, Oregon for college.

3. He is 8 years 2 1/2 months older than I am. It has never seemed to make a difference, I have felt old all my life.

4. He has spent    years in college, I have taken 6 classes.

5. We have had 9 addresses, Shaver Lake, Rancho cordova, 3 different spots in Carmichael,  Sacramento, 3 more different spots in Carmichael.

6. We have 5 children, 3 girls, 2 boys; 2 daughters-in-law; 9 grandchildren 7 boys, 2 girls (we’re kind of light on girls)

7. We have had numerous dogs, most notable: Buddy, the beagle; Charlie, a black-faced shepherd; Rosie, the escape-artist basset; and not least, Silky Dude, a long-haired mini doxie.

8. Cats, we’ve had a few. He would say a few too many. Sir Thomas Dooley, a Siamese mix, we’ve had the longest of any cat, Taco, a black cat, Digit, my first multi-toed cat(I think he had just 6 on each front foot), and my favorite, Seymore Toes, the cat with 27 toes, he loves me!

9. Cars, I think this is the right order of ownership; jeep, ’63 Pontiac, Banana Dodge Van, chevy van, Suburban, green chevy truck, Buick Park Avenue, Suburban,  seems like there was an odd truck thrown in here or there. We drove my dad’s ranchero,These are the ones I mostly drove.

10. We moved to Carmichael , July 4, 1968, and really don’t want to live any place different.

11. We both garden, me in pots flowers, that seem to dry out faster than I expect them to, He in the dirt perfectly.

12. His favorite flower – tulips,  mine – yellow roses

13. He does things habitually. I do things whenever I feel like it.

14. He a morning person, yep, I’m a night owl (just not wise).

15.  He reads political news religiously, I could not care less about politics. In fact, I just sign my ballot, he fills in the blanks.

16. Neither one of us wears a watch.

17. His phone is always on,  I’m doing better at having my phone on since we don’t have a land line.

18. He usually lets me drive.

19.  We both love traveling in our rv.

20.  He has gone mainly vegetarian, I still love my beef.

21. As of October 20, 2010, we are living cozily in a 27 Komfort trailer.

22. We both are saved and sanctified, and are determined to give the Lord thanks for all He does for us.

23. We both have 4 living siblings, he- 2 brothers and 2 sisters; me-4 brothers.

24. In 2007, we traveled across country for 53 days and visited 32 states.

25.

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Through Four Year Old Eyes

These are the earliest two memories I have. These are mine, I don’t remember them from a picture because there were no pictures of these events.I don’t know which one happened first. I was 4 years old. We lived at Morro Bay in a trailer park, my dad worked on the steam plant as an iron worker. At least three uncles worked there also, Uncle Billy Ripley, Uncle Cecil Ripley, and Uncle Richard Topper (we all lived at the same trailer park).
I started kindergarten in Morro Bay. My mom and I went to the school to meet the teacher and see my new classroom. The teacher showed me around the room pointing out all the toys. She told me I could play with ‘the’ doll. The doll was a walking doll and about 3 ft high. I was excited! But I never got to play with the doll.  Someone always got to her first. Looking back I realize I was a very timid and careful child,  but I always have felt that the teacher lied to me.

Next memory: All the uncles, my dad, and their friends went deep sea fishing. When they got back they had gunney sacks full of fish. One friend, named Shorty asked me if I wanted some M & M’s. I said yes. He opened his hand and it was full of fish eyes.

Wonder why I have trouble trusting sometimes?

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Tomorrows in Jesus Hands

When I was about 15-16 years old, my Dad and I sang ‘I don’t know who holds tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand,’ as a special for church.  It is a precious memory for me.

That was many years ago and I really didn’t know what the song meant. I hadn’t had to trust for myself that Jesus really did hold tomorrow. Now after going through some tomorrows that were really dark, I know, I believe, I am trusting that Jesus to continue to hold my tomorrows, today.

I Know Who Holds My Hand

I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden’s getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood.

Malachi 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not; 
Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm  Comments (1)  
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Perfectly Possible

What is impossible with you is perfectly possible with Him who is Almighty.

A little child at mothers’ knee
Plies woolen strands and needles bright.
Small, eager hands strive earnestly
To fasten every stitch aright.

But soon perplexing knots appear
Which vex and hinder progress’ flow;
Impatient fingers pull and tear,
While ever worse the tangles grow.

How surely then in wiser hands
The roughest places are made plain!
How easy now the task’s demands,
How wonderful the lesson’s gain!

Thus, God, we bring our snarls to thee;
Though human sense and stubborn will
Oft clamor loud for mastery,
We hear alone Thy “Peace , be still.”
Edith Shaw Brown

Jeremiah 32:17  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 9:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Empty Nest?

Random thought from the message this morning: empty nest.

I still have children in my home. They are adults. I don’t care for them, instruct them, guide them as I did in years past.

My place in the home has changed. My focus, I wrote has changed, but really, I don’t have a focus, and I think I’m feeling the ‘empty nest ‘ – what do I do now – unsettledness. Is that a word?

Time to ponder – empty nest . . . where do I go from here and who am I now?

Published in: on February 14, 2010 at 11:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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Can you knit in Spanish?

Ralph and Rosa stopped in Sacramento on their way home Wednesday. They had been visiting family and friends in Washington, Oregon, and in Redding, Ca.

Ralph and Rosa stopped at the shop first and were given the 25 cent tour, then to our house for lunch. Ralph got a load of firewood for their wood stove, Edith and Gene came by to visit, and Mary, R & R, Elmer and & I went to Garcia’s for dinner. Edith and Gene didn’t come with us, that is Uncle Gene’s story.

Rosa wanted to learn to knit. A fly on the wall must have been laughing itself silly watching two ladies whose communication skills would fit in a thimble work on the intricacies of knitting. I would show, Ralph would explain and Rosa had the challenge of figuring it all out. We did a lot of laughing, too. At one point I said, Ralph I need some more words, he said which ones, I didn’t care which ones, just some that would work for our knitting need. I guess we didn’t do to badly, though, when she left she could cast on, do the knit stitch, bind off and she had two new sets of knitting needles. Ralph learned he could go online and find information about how to knit. So if she wants to learn more, they can struggle together. She caught on real quick, her stitches were very even from the start. Could be a knitter in the making.

They left about 9:45 Thursday.

I went on to help at a grammar school library until a little after one, I went to lunch and the to the shop to get Elmer and home again.

Published in: on February 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Even When It Hurts

from: life lessons, Elizabeth Berg, January 2010, Real Simple

…..I know now that the dictionary definition of ragout is “a richly seasoned stew of meat and vegetables.” For me, it will always suggest another kind of mix:  a warm kitchen on a winter’s day, an old friend’s condor and absolute trust, and a new friend’s generosity in giving me a recipe, which is always about more than it seems. That’s because sharing the things that nourish us helps to fill an empty place. Sometimes that place is the stomach. Sometimes it’s the heart. And sometimes, the best times, it’s both.

So thankful for friends and family,  especially the person who will tell me what I need to hear, even when it hurts.

Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 10:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Velma’s 97th Birthday

Saturday, January 16, Velma Crain’s family met with her in Redding for lunch to celebrate her 97th birthday. Elmer, Mary, Emily, Melanie and I arrived at Velma’s (Elmer’s mother) about 12:00pm. Mary and Emily hadn’t been at Velma’s for some years, so I was able to give a tour of the home, the yard with about a half acre of planted gardens. Showing them the shed with our inheritance safe inside, different flower areas (bulbs, cut flowers, propagation pots), vegetable garden plot with fencing (deer out or veggies in), the potting shed and how the watering was done. Aaron and his family arrived about 12:30. So we did a repeat tour. Alyce found use for a shed in their yard after seeing Grandma’s. We then left to meet the rest of the family at the Redding Airport for a Chinese lunch. There were about 40 attending. Velma’s brother, Leonard, 4 of her children and their spouses, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a nephew with spouse and their grandchild, Sam, Barbara and several Garden Club friends. We had plenty of food, a delicious cake, much laughter and merriment. A very typical Crain get-together. We arrived home about 5:30pm, thankful for family and a safe trip.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm  Comments (2)  
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relatively

Evening tidbit

never judge a person by their relatives, they did not choose them.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 11, 2010 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving was good this year. We broke in a new location, Camp Del Oro near Nevada City, CA. Monica, a niece, works there full time in the office, and Darrel works with the kids in the summer.Kitchen was easy to use and dining /meeting room and lodging were very comfortable.
The Crain mother, siblings and families, (plus anyone else shows up) start their visiting Wednesday evening and we go home after cleaning up Saturday morning.
Thursday morning some went on a hike with Darrel in the lead. After lunch David arranged target practice, many guns were brought to show off and try out. Young and old, male and female shot the guts out of large zucchini, narly looking crooked neck squash, apples and a stuffed pig. 48 sat down to turkey dinner.
For entertainment as if people watching wasn’t enough, Darrel received the honor of a talking stick, and continued to talk. We couldn’t tell there was any improvement having received the stick.
Friday a group went to a used book store hosted by Ben. Another group went on another walk. The children were taken outside, even though there was danger of rain, to use up Crain energy; when back inside not of lot of difference in the energy level was seen.
Two jigsaw puzzles were put together, many hands of May I, Uno, SkipBo, Crown 5 were played. Apples to Apples provided laughs.
Saturday Morning we woke up to no electricity. Fortunately, the dining room had a large fireplace, and the kitchen a gas stove. Water was heated for tea, cocoa and dish washing. Eggs were scrambled. Leftover ham, red-skinned potatoes, toast and biscuits were heated, and gravy made from bacon drippings. Equaling a breakfast worth the thanks. With many willing hands, cleanup was accomplished and we were on the way home before noon.
Thanksgiving with the Crains is a tradition that is worth the effort it takes to make it continue, Many memories are made and friendships strengthened. I’m thankful I’m a part of this clan.

Published in: Uncategorized on November 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Count Your Blessings

As Thanksgiving draws near, my mind has gone often to the things for which I am thankful. If you know anything about me, you know that being thankful is a theme of mine. I think a thankful heart is to be nurtured and exercised.

Today let’s count our blessings. Can we write a list of 100 things we are thankful for? I’ll start mine today and post it later.

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

Published in: Uncategorized on November 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Relatives in Burying Ground

October 21, 2009 written October 23, 2009

This won’t have pictures, it takes too long to upload and insert them one by one, since I’m having to buy internet time and speedy it is not.

It was nice not to have to hurry. Elmer and I went up to breakfast about 11:00 at the Grill, a mini breakfast bar with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, pastries, hash, toast, coffee, juice, at the rear of the ship. It was sunny. After we ate Elmer went back to the room, while I sat and knit for a while. One waiter said he’d watch my progress.

We arrived at Boston 12:30pm. We didn’t have a tour planned. I wish we had, because we didn’t

know where we were going and the map we had was tiny and not too clear. Elmer again stayed on the boat and the Ladies went walking. Years ago when the buildings in Boston were built there was land around them, now there are tall buildings and sidewalks and busy roads. We did find an used bookstore that Emily said was how bookstores should be. And we found a cemetery on Tremont Street, King’s Chapel Burying Ground. The stones had skulls and skeletons and father time engraved on them. There was a plaque tell what the symbols meant. When we started reading this plaque, Mom said Joseph Tapping that is the name of our forefather, Tapping was changed to Topper. (For those who don’t know Topper was my maiden name.) I’ll include part of the plaque information:

“One of the first and most famous gravestones, visible upon entering the burying ground, is that of Joseph Tapping, (d.1678). The marker is famed as a work of art conceived by the unknown carver known as ‘the Charlestown Stonecutter. The stone is one of the most elaborate in the burying ground with beautifully carved symbolic images: the skull with wings represents the soul leaving the body, the hourglass represents time running out, the skeleton snuffing out the candle is Death ending life, and the bearded figure is Time attempting to stop Death. The stone’s Latin inscriptions refer to the quick passage of time and awareness of death’s inevitiablity. Little is known of Tapping, a Boston shopkeeper who died at the age of 23, leaving his young wife Marianna, a widow.

Next is the grave of his father John Tapping (ca.1628-1678), a felt maker, and the double tombstone of his mother, Mary (Woodmancy) Tapping Avery (ca.1629-1709) and her second husband William Avery (ca.1622-1686). His mother is said to be the first female bookseller in Boston.”

This was the highlight of Boston for me.

At the ship, we all went our separate ways, Mary and Em pairing off. Elmer and I had a late dinner and crashed. Mom did the same. Mary and Em watched different performers, while playing cards and knitting.

That is the end of October 21, 2009.  Good Night…Sleep Well…Love you

Published in: Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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To the things I’ve done…

I can add; I have walked the streets of New York City.
We did leave at 5am after taking this picture of stuff, 6 suitcases, two garment bags, two carry on bags, three purses, one back pack and a briefcase.

Allpacked up and ready to go.

All packed up and ready to go.


At the airport little snag, one suitcase weighed 63#. Yep, it hadn’t thrown up enough. So some shuffling was done from suitcase to Mom’s garment bag. All was well. We took off on time to Minneapolis, we had lunch, yummy tomato/basil soup for me. On to New York City, I was told by someone in the know to get in the cab and close my eyes. The ride to Hotel wasn’t bad. The cabbie was a good tour guide pointing out Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. I think Renee could have driven us, after riding with her in Philly.
As Elmer said, Ladies went out for dinner, Italian. We walked about 4 blocks. We each had something different that I can’t spell but could taste. If I could remember the name of the restaurant I’d recommend it.

Ladies made plans for Tuesday, again Elmer is sitting this one out. I guess you’ll have to check back in to find out what Elmer missed.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Continuous Caring Vessel

And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, …   Hebrews 10:11
Furthermore, every (human) priest stands (at his altar of service) ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over again,…  Amplified Bible.

I was reading in Hebrews 10 and came across verse 11 stating that every human priest, that’s me according to 2 Peter 2:9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, (God’s) own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Amplified Bible

Christ’s priest or a vessel should  always “set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him”. The verse goes on to say that the priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices. In the Old Testament the priests did do the same caring duties for the temple day after day, and the same physical sacrifices were offered.  That tells me that I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself doing the same duties over and over, giving the same care over and over, even washing the same clothes, dishes, etc, over and over, because that is what my job is today, because that is what my owner has for me to do.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works;
Hebrews 10:22-24
And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care* to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities. Hebrews 10:24  Amplified Bible

May I ever have in my vessel what is needed as I stand at my altar of service.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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To Be a Friend

Evening Tidbit

A brother, or a sister, is a friend given by God.

Proverbs 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Published in: Uncategorized on October 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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