Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pretzel's Christmas Gift

Wow! What's this?
It smells good!!

Grab it.....

Mmmmmm, sniff, sniff, mmmmm....

Yea! Pig ear...yummy, the perfect Christmas gift ;-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I love gifts, giving them and receiving them, finding the perfect thing to say in a card and sending them to loved ones. Then there are the gifts that God sends in unexpected ways, a clear day in the middle of rain storms arriving just in time so that you can visit with your family. Hearing from someone you haven’t seen for awhile. All those little places where God meets you and you know you are loved. This is a picture of one gift I received from God earlier this month, not packaged in red and green, but beautiful none the less.

I call this one an Angel Hawk, because the wind was blowing the feathers up like angel wings ;-)

Tonight we remember the best gift of all, that God became man and lived among us because He loved us. Merry Christmas and love to you.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Never Enough

There is something that those of us who have used drugs understand and it is this: the first time you get really high you will do whatever it takes to experience that one perfect high again. You will use more and larger doses chasing the elusive high, but it is never enough. The same thing pertains to drug money, people have this idea that all drug dealers get rich, what they don’t know is that drug money is an illusion just as much as the high the drug creates. Sure there are some dealers and smugglers that become wealthy and hang on to their money through violence and corruption, but on the whole most people in the drug world use their money to buy more drugs.

In California we are voting on legalizing marijuana and taxing it as a way to balance our budget. Proponents claim that there is so much money to be made off of marijuana that it will solve our statewide deficit. They also seem to think that it will stop the criminal activity that comes with illegal marijuana sales and distribution. Sounds like an easy answer, but if you look behind the smoke and mirrors you’ll see major flaws in this idea. Legalization would have to be world wide for it to stop criminals from robbing, maiming and killing people to sell it. As long as there is one country that wants it and can’t get it, there will be someone willing to break the law to acquire it. Also people who are loaded make poor decisions, such as driving under the influence, and stealing to get money to buy more drugs. Just look at Mendocino County, whose economy is dependant on marijuana, they allow growing pot for “personal use” and they have had an upsurge in criminal activity. Families are leaving, and users are pushing the boundaries when it comes to how much is enough: one plant, a yard full, or a warehouse is never enough.

As Californians we have tried to balance our budget in other easy ways. The lottery was supposed to help our schools and yet we are in worse shape now, shutting schools, teachers being laid off, and classrooms without basic necessities. I asked one teacher how the money is used, and she told me that she hasn’t seen the money recently; it was only during the first few years that they received small checks to help the classrooms. A few years ago we passed additional Indian gaming to bring in more cash. Where did that money go? Are we better off now?

To look deeper into the problem of legalizing marijuana, we only have to look at how the State implemented the use of medical marijuana. What sounded like a compassionate implementation of a law to give some long suffering cancer patient’s access was turned into a glorified candy store for drug addicts where anyone with an ache, pain or bout of sadness can get Dr. Feelgood to write them a prescription. The last time you had surgery did your doctor give you a handful of poppy seeds and tell you to grow your own morphine for pain management? And yet that is how medical marijuana is being handled. One reason is that some people think that marijuana is a benign drug, and yet when it is smoked or ingested it alters reality, perception, judgment and reaction times, and in some people causes paranoia. Why isn’t it being treated like any other prescription drug--picked up at a pharmacy with a legitimate prescription? And just as important, why do we pass laws in our States that go against our Federal laws? Think of our law’s as stop signs; some people are going to run them, but most will obey the law keeping themselves and others safe.

We need to stop before we make another poor choice. Let’s do the right thing this time. It isn’t that we lack money: we have some of the wealthiest people in the world living here, and we are talented and resourceful. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get rid of government waste; make better decisions on how to use what we have, and create jobs? Take it from someone who has battled addiction: the easy way always seems like the right way but in the end it is never enough.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Message from Heaven

Mom was gone. My husband John and I sat by her bedside in the hospital as she took her last breath. Gone in an instant was my prayer partner, my friend and the one person who shared my sense of humor. Prayed out, cried out, numb, the following weeks I just put one foot in front of the other and went about, with check list in hand, doing what needed to be done. Memorial-check, Rosary-check, funeral-check, burial-check and then onto pack up her house; to do this item on my list I needed to find some tiny zip-lock bags to store individual pieces of her jewelry. At home I looked through our office, tearing it apart, and finally searching through a plastic cart stashed in the corner filled with miscellaneous junk. Reaching inside one of the shelves I pulled out a small flat green box and a padded envelope. My breath caught as I recognized the envelope, inside was a photo album with snapshots from my childhood—an album that my step-mother had sent the year before, one that I thought John had accidentally thrown out. Unfortunately, the garbage truck had already left by the time we realized what had happened. John had been as devastated as I was, imagining my childhood memories buried under piles of trash at the dump. No amount of apologies could take away the sting I felt each time I thought about the lost photos. Now, holding the missing photo album I remembered crying to mom about the pictures, and how she had searched through her own albums to find out if she had any copies. When she found similar pictures she sent them right away with a funny note cautioning me not to throw them out.

That was my mom going the extra mile and always making me laugh. Smiling, I looked down at the other item in my hand, the small green box, trying to remember where I had seen it before. Opening the top flap I realized it was a card, one of those recordable cards, I pushed the button and heard my mom’s voice singing “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Pammmm, Happy Birthday to you!”  I could just see mom laughing, as I sheepishly apologized to John for accusing him of throwing the album away. Somehow even from heaven she found a way to make me laugh.

This is a follow up to what I wrote in an ealier blog called loss, click on the link to read it....

mom ;-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beauty in Rough Places

This has been an emotionally tough summer, last week a friend of ours was in a head-on car crash; fortunately she survived but is looking at three months of rehab. Standing by her bedside in the hospital I wished there was more that we could do to help her recover, but healing is in God’s hands and we just need to give her our love, time, and prayers. Two weeks ago, an old friend died; Tommy had been fighting cancer for many years and was in remission. In December, while visiting my sister, John stumbled across Tommy’s business and we were able to spend some time catching up. Good things came out of seeing him again and we are thankful, even though we had hoped to see him again, it was not to be.

This has also been a hard year for my clients and their families, one recently died: Steve was 54 years old. Many of the others are suffering health problems due to aging and chronic illnesses. My prayer list is as long as my arm. I find myself doing more ministering to their emotional needs then to their hair…It is a blessing to pray for them, but I wish that every one of them could be healed and never have to put up with a body that is no longer young and full of energy. What we cling to, is our hope in God who promised to travel this hard road with us.

I wish that everyone knew that when our life goes through these rough places, that it is only one part of the journey. An artist knows it is the dark and shadow that endows their painting with depth and contrast to bring out its beauty, so it is that in suffering we draw close to each other in those moments of grace. Sadly, not everyone knows this. At the beginning of this summer my client was murdered by her husband who then killed himself. In her early 60’s, this beautiful vivacious woman had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was losing her energenic personality, and her husband had had cancer a few years before. On her last appointment, I spoke with him encouraging him to get all the support he would need for this dark time, I wish I had called to check on them in April or May when they were frequently in my thoughts, but I waited to long. Now I’ll never know if a kind word would have helped him through the darkness, and he’ll never know the beauty of God’s touch in rough places.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Discerning God's Will

If only I could discern God’s will as easily as my dog discerns when I’m going for a walk. He can be sound asleep, in another room down the hall, and he wakes up, runs over to me, sits by my feet and starts to whine “Take me, take me, please take me.” Wiggle, wiggle, wag, wag nudge! Quietly dressing, I haven’t said a word, and yet he knows. Maybe it’s the tennis shoes, maybe he reads my mind or could it be that he has spent so much time with me that he senses what I’m doing because he knows me?

We went for that walk this morning, exploring the neighborhood and enjoying the good weather. We didn’t hurry, I stopped to smell the roses—he stopped to smell the you-know-what. He didn’t even bark at some neighbors strolling by with their little fox terrier. That in itself is a miracle.

Earlier, before our walk, I had spent time reading the Bible. In Hebrews 13:5 it says “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” I think this is what God is telling me today, “Relax. You know me; I want what is best for you. Let’s enjoy the day. I have some great stuff to show you. Don’t worry about what you see as problems. They are just lessons, and you’ll discover the answers in good time.”

Today I have nourished my spirit with time spent communing with God. I exercised my body by walking and pulling weeds, and now I’m writing and problem solving to keep my mind energized. Bringing balance to these parts of my life keeps me healthy in spirit, mind and body.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

We have another Dove nesting on our grapevine this year, but she is so flighty (no pun intended) that she flies away everytime there's a sound or slight movement. She laid the first egg and flew off, then the next day laid another and settled in until she got spooked and flew off again. For almost a week we've watched her, then yesterday a male came by to help out, and their both sitting on the eggs....It's gonna take an Easter miracle to hatch these two little rewarmed guys, but the parents seem determined to try ;-) To read about what happened to the last Easter Doves read the post from April 2009.


More pictures from our garden. We wish you a Happy Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Path

Today is Good Friday, the day when Jesus followed his path-the path his life had been leading toward, death on the cross. His death, which was the ultimate laying down of self in obedience to God's will, needed to happen so that we would be released from the bondage of sin. Jesus knew where his path would lead, yet even he felt fear and sorrow. In Gethsemane, with his disciples sleeping close by, he asked for a different path, one in which he wouldn't have to carry all the sins ever done by mankind. He prayed " My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."* In the end he took the path of suffering that was choosen for him and because of his obedience we can enter the Kingdom of God.

For over a year I have been on a path, a path through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I know this path is part of life-the loss of loved ones and the uncertainty of where to go next. I'm trying to make the most of it, looking for joy in small pleasures, living with disappointment and not being shaped by it, and struggling against frustration when I've lost the vision of God's plan for my life. Even though it looks like the world we live in is coming apart at the seams, it is just a season, and in every season there is beauty to be found along the path. Even death isn't the end, there is more beauty up ahead.

* Matthew 26:39 NIV

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Went to the Embassy Suites today to sell some jewelry at one of those "We buy everything shows" and as I was upstairs talking with the appraiser, John went downstairs to look for a mail box. 15 minutes later I walked out the door and John is upset telling me this man hit him and pushed him down! The man was yelling something about John trying to take his customers from him all week, and the manager was on the phone calling the police! I tried to tell the guy we'd only been there less than 20 minutes and that we were selling not buying, so he had the wrong person. Then we found out he was the guy running the show at the hotel! The police came and long story short the man appologized to John and me, and asked for our forgiveness; I think this was because he realized we could have him arrested or sue him and the hotel.  Well this was his lucky day, we didn't press charges, we are Christians and it is lent, so we forgave him. Unfortunately for him he shook John's hand and John's been sick all week, and of course I'm on Facebook and I can tell everyone to stay away from his show ;-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tales of survival - Living -

Tales of survival - Living - This the article that Sarah Linn wrote for the San Luis Obispo Tribune about my me and two other authors on the Central Coast. Click under Bobbe Tyler's picture and you'll see the pictures they used of us and our books.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Novel Experience

My favorite saying right now is something by Winston Churchill “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Yesterday I experienced my first bookstore book signing. Exciting yes: Successful no. I signed one book, only because some sweet person called in and ordered it because they couldn’t make it to the signing. I think it might have been because of the rain. Buckets of rain for days tend to dampen the spirits of us Californians. I was happy that it cleared up before we left. And I’m posting a picture of how the sky looked on the ride home… Now back to success, how am I to judge the lack of people lining up to grab a copy of Tales of the Titmouse? I sent the press releases, sent personal invitations, announced it and even the newspaper called asking for a copy to add to a feature they were doing. If you do all the right things and no one shows up do you take it personal? Nah. Well for a moment, maybe it stings, but then I added it to the list of experiences that authors go through and looked at it through a different lens. Remembering, as I sat at the little table waiting for readers to stream in, that a young woman ran up with a bouquet of flowers from my loving friend: (gulp, misting eyes) she remembered me and I felt loved.

The time wasn’t a waste; the owner of the bookstore had been reading my book and really liked it, telling me about how it brought back memories of his college days in San Francisco. And there was this homeless guy who walked up and called out “Titmouse” like he knew me, and I spent an interesting time explaining that I didn’t know Timothy Leary or Ken Keesey. When he left the table he asked a man passing by for some money by saying "Master, do you have some spare change?"  The only problem was that the man didn't hear him correctly and thought he called him a Bastard! The next thing we hear is the homeless guy shouting "I said master not bastard!" Then there was the 20-something gang-guy who turned his speaker up on his cell phone to let me hear his mom read the morning headlines about his friends who had just gotten arrested for grand theft auto! He asked her proudly if they mentioned his name and in the same breath said 'No mom I'm not guilty." John’s favorite moment was the college girl walking down the street shouting rude things with an unmentionable item stuck to the top of her head and her fraternity members laughing hysterically and yelling “did you see the look on that guys face?” Novel experiences at The Novel Experience.

If I have to describe what success is, it is what God showed me this morning in church. A woman came up, hugged me and with tears in her eyes, whispered, “Look who I brought with me this morning.” I looked over her shoulder at her daughter, who I hadn’t seen in years. I went over to hug her and she said “Your book came at just the right time for me.” When she read it she told her mom it was like God spoke to her and she stopped taking the prescription drugs she’d become addicted to….success is one person being set free. This morning the scripture reading was about the disciples who had been out all night fishing and came back with their nets empty and Jesus told them to cast out their nets again. This time He filled them. God spoke to me too.

Do you see the rainbow?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thin Places Book Trailer

Revealing spiritual memoir.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tales of the Titmouse Book Signing

I will be signing books at  the Novel Experience on Saturday  February 6th from 2-3pm.  The book store is located at 779 Higuera in San Luis Obispo. The cross street is Chorro and it's by Hands Gallery. We will also be giving away a signed print of the cover illustration.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

From service dog to SURFice dog

Love this awesome video....Focus on what you can do, not what you can't do.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Drawing Heaven

Beautiful paintings by a young lady with a beautiful spirit.