Saturday, June 17, 2017


Sometimes, life goes uphill.  And. It. Is. Hard.  Our uphill travels bring us strength.  And, sometimes we only get strong when we do the hard part by ourself.  

Last evening we went to the Grover Beach boardwalk.  It is one of our favorite places to take a stroll especially on warm summer evenings.  There is a rather big incline that Evan likes to do all by himself.  Sometimes people look at us, like we are the meanest people in the world, because we don't help Evan up the hill.  We don't help him because he wants to do it by himself.  He knows it helps him get strong muscles.  Sometimes, people just encourage him and say, "Great job! You can do it!"  Usually, I walk backwards facing him, and chat with Evan as he rolls his way up hill and Mike is usually trailing behind him.  

Do you see that man in the blue hoodie down there talking to Mike?  Well, he stopped and said to Evan,  "Do you need some help?"  And before Evan could answer he said, "Oh, I see what is going on.  You must be strong willed. I see what you are doing.  That is the most touching thing I have seen!"  He was surprisingly very emotional about it.  He said.  "I really want to help you, but I see you need to do this!"   Mike stopped and talked to the man for a while and Evan and I just kept going to the top!  And then what a view!  
Life is that way too!  There are hills to climb, some are very tough.  We need to continue our uphill battles to get strength.   We meet people along the way, sometimes they really want to help, but they know we will only gain the strength as we work things through on our own.  But, we are really never alone.  There are people here to encourage us.  Sometimes, it's parents, sometimes friends and sometimes just strangers! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Heartbreak and Joy

My family history research lately has been descendancy research.  I come across little Marie Anna Pintal yesterday while researching a 3rd cousin of mine.  She died at age 1 month due to spina bifida.  I was shocked to see those words spina bifida on an 1889 death record!! What mixed emotions I felt!  I am so sad for this family. I am just heartbroken especially for her mama.  There was no treatment available for spina bifida back then, no surgery, no antibiotics to be prevent infection.  Mostly likely Anna suffered a slow and difficult death. I wonder if her mom got to hold her and nurse her.  I wonder if little Anna had hydrocephalus also.  I hope her passing was peaceful and not painful.

On the other side, I feel joy.  Joy because when I heard the words spina bifida as a diagnosis for my son, I lived in a day and age of the miracle of modern medicine.  Without surgery when he was infant Evan would NOT have lived very long, just like little Marie Anna,  I feel Joy, because I was able to spend time with Evan today and watch him enjoy the great outdoors on his handcycle.   He lives a full and busy life and is a just a delight!  We are very blessed!

Rolling on the Bob Jones Bike Trail

I also feel joy for the Pintal family. Gideon and Emmerance had 15 children. Some died young, some lived long lives, some I don't know how long they lived. However, I know that they can be a forever family.  And, what great joy they will feel to be together again!!

Source:  "Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2014), Marie A. Pintal, 23 Jan 1889; citing Lowell, Massachusetts, v 401 p 121, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 960,241.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Friday Hike

It seems that Friday is the day that Mike and I take a nice hike somewhere on the beautiful Central Coast.  We had to be in Morro Bay today to meet a Make-A-Wish family and decided to hike up Black Hill.  We had not been up here in ages.  While the view is still gorgeous, it was so sad to see all the downed trees. 

 The view of "The Rock"!

This is looking south at the bay and marshlands. 

The trees up here just snapped in half.  They didn't fall from the roots. 

I love the monkey flower that is growing all over.

This is a view of Los Osos and Baywood Park. 

Panoramic view from the top.  It was a beautiful day with pretty cloud formations.  

My try at a selfie!  I need more practice!! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Architecture Graveyard

Today we went on a most unusual hike to Cal Poly Canyon.  It was so beautiful with vivid green hills and water softly trickling down the creek.  We have lived in this area literally for decades and heard of this hike but never taken opportunity to go before this morning.  After hiking about a mile you come go through a large stone arch.  This is the beginning of the Architecture Graveyard.  They are just old student built projects.

There are some very unique structures among the beautiful green hills.  

The bridge was built the year of our marriage 1973.  It's not even an antique yet!!

The structure was call The Flower.  Can you see it blossoming?

This lovely recliner offered superior firm back support!

This just yells out "CLIMB ME!"  We were obedient!  I thought the amphitheater inside was unusual.

I thought this was a bridge at first but it the bow of a water vessel!


Where is the water?

This Modular House said this was a private residence!  I really don't think the rodents minded us exploring just a little.

The opposite side of the house was very colorful!  I am not sure if that was original or not!!

The Shell House was interesting.  We are not sure when this was built.

Straight ahead was kitchen!


This was the remanent of some project.

This sculpture looks like it could take off.

This yucca plants are just quietly standing tall over everything.

This was another interesting home.  The dome on the right of the top picture and left of the bottom was an outhouse type building, that included a shower.

It was hard to photograph the inside of the fancy outhouse.   I especially like the little chimney-like things coming out of the roof! It made it seem whimsical. Like maybe little gnomes would live here!

This is the view is you were sitting on the patio.

The pictures do not do the beauty of our green hills justice!


I love how the thistle is growing in the streams.  There is the ship in the back ground.


Walking back down the canyon we stopped to listen to the creek flowing and the birds singing.  It was a lovely morning.


One more unusual thing, a folding card on the creek bottom.  We could not even figure out how to get down there!!

I want to come out here and explore again, soon!

Monday, March 13, 2017


About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  Thank you, Mom AND Dad, it's in my DNA!   I have been casually keeping an eye on it through the years.  Exercising and watching what I eat to control it without meds seemed to work for the most part.  For the last couple of years my A1C has been slowing getting higher and higher.  I was told over and over again that as you get older you will be unable to control this without medication.  I am very reluctant to add yet another med to the three I am currently taking to control blood pressure and cholesterol.   Well, in late November with an A1C of 7.1 (that comes out to about an average of a 157 blood sugar) , I asked my doctor to please refer me to a diabetic nutritionist!  She sent me see Kris Dilworth, who I actually saw when I was first diagnosed.  She spent almost an hour with me in January and gave me suggestions on how to eat better and take control of this disease.

She ordered me a new meter and I took to testing my blood sugar at least twice a day!  I thought I could cheat once in a while and one evening had a blood sugar of 215!!  Well, that scared me!  And, I decided then and there, no more cheating, I am taking this disease seriously.  Certain foods are just going to be poison to my body!!  I started eating a low carb, high fat diet or ketogenic diet! I know it sounds weird.

After two months, today I went back to see Kris and guess what?  The low carb/low fat diet totally worked for me.  My A1C was 6.0 which means an average of 125!  And, I lost weight!!  She said I made her day and she was impressed with my motivation!  Of course, I hugged her and thanked her for her help!!  Below is the little note that she sent home with me!

Sometimes, it is hard to eat this way. Especially, in social situations where high carb food is the norm and many times low carb foods and not available. That can be awkward at times. What is more important my health or being socially appropriate?  Besides there are lots of delicious low carb foods that can be easily made at home.  Have you ever had cauliflower pizza?  It is actually very good!  Yummy BERRIES are on the list along with DARK CHOCOLATE!  What more could you need?

I only have one body!  I know that high blood sugar can cause damage to nerves and kidneys and eye sight and on and on!  So, I am going to keep on moving and eating healthy for me!  The support of my family has been very appreciated.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Have you ever been in situation where you received news that was devastating?  We have.  Twenty-nine years ago we were told our unborn baby would be born with a serious birth defect. It is amazing how fresh those memories are in my mind.  I was laying on the bed during the ultrasound, when the room got really quiet and the doctor's face just said it all without any words.  We were shocked. How could this be!  We felt alone and scared and just cried!  

My how time heals.  We have this amazing young man in our lives.  Not to say life is not without challenges, but certainly the good out weights the bad.  We are grateful for those who were put in our path to help us gain knowledge and ease the burdens.  So, of course we are happy to give back.

That is why when our daughter Rachel shared the following flyer with us, we jumped at the chance to give back and share our story.  

I contacted Orange Socks and when we were in Utah we were interviewed.  We want people to know that all lives are precious even little ones who will be born with birth defects.  They should NEVER be discarded, but rather loved and embraced.  There is much to learn from them! 
 We pray our story gives hope to others that find themselves in the same situation.  

You can listen to our story below by clicking the play button in the top left corner of the collage.  Please feel free to share our story with others who may need it.  Or, please consider sharing your own story.  Click here to go to the Orange Socks webpage to learn more about their mission and to listen to other stories. Thank you. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Calm Between the Storms

We have had a really, really, wet winter.  We need the rain desperately!  So, it's a good thing.   Yesterday's storm brought wind and a lot of rain!  There are a lot of downed trees and some homes are still without power.  Today we ventured out to see what things looked liked in a break between the storms. 

There was tons of debris on the beach.  This is the area where the Pismo Creek and Meadow Creek have converged.  The beach is ever changing.  I think there is a lesson there for our lives which seem to be changing all the time too! 

This is what clever people do with drift wood!  Pretty cool little hut!  


This large piece of drift wood just wants to stay stuck in the sand!! 


It is interesting to see how Meadow Creek had curved around the sand dunes.  

This egret seemed to be enjoying all the water! 

In case you couldn't tell this is area is a hazard. 

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