Record-breaking heat

Friday’s high temperature of 91 broke a record. It’s only the end of March, but this is actually the second day of 90 degree weather in 2015. Makes one wonder what summer is going to be like. Especially since there is less water than ever before.

My next door neighbor got to come home at the end of Friday without a diagnosis. The doctors could find nothing wrong with her except for a buildup of fluid in her lungs that then triggered tachycardia. Terry and I delivered potato salad, fruit salad, pilaf, chicken noodle soup, roasted asparagus, roasted butternut squash, and olive bread for the sisters to eat for a day or so. Hopefully that will hold them over until they can go grocery shopping.

All that cooking and the rising temperatures have made for a very warm house. And humid. Terry got out all of the fans and turned them on to give us a little comfort without turning on the air conditioning. While I was preparing food, I was also doing laundry. Terry was vacuuming in between editing photos from an event he attended last week. He also uploaded the photos to a site for the organization. We don’t have fast internet connections so while he’s uploading those large files, I stay off the Internet. It was pretty easy with all the other chores I had to complete.

What a week it’s been

Whew, what a week. Sure there was all the usual activities going on. Then, on the back burner were plans for next week when the grandchildren will be here. I’ve been making menus, shopping for supplies and food, as well as planning for some fun things to do.

On Tuesday my next door neighbor came at dinner time to ask if I could take her to pick up her sister’s car. Her sister had gone to the doctor earlier in the day and been sent, by ambulance, to the hospital. Totally unexpected even though she had been sick off and on for two months.

The car was sitting in the doctor’s office parking lot, and my neighbor needed it to be able to get to the hospital to see her sister. The sisters have lived next door to us for over 10 years and we often help each other out as well as doing a few things together.

I’ve been cooking all day so as to take food next door. The sister who is still hospitalized with tachycardia and fluid in her lungs usually does all of the cooking for the two of them. I’ve been so busy with my school chaplain duties and planning for next week that I’ve not had time to provide anything until today. We had hoped the hospital would release her by now, but it may be awhile longer. Her daughter will arrive over the weekend from back east but I don’t think she can be away from her job for very long.

Another friend who I’ve been helping sent me a message that after having her second hip replaced within six months she now has a fracture in the newly replaced hip. No idea how she did it, but she is pretty much bed-ridden for six weeks.

One more shocker this week was the arrest of the deputy police chief after an FBI investigation that found he was running a drug dealing business, using his medical insurance to buy the drugs and his family members to distribute them. Fresno has so many problems, many tied to drug use and the surrounding crime, that this  just blew us away.

Yesterday I accompanied a home liaison in taking a boy home. He was being suspended for the rest of the day and today for fighting. I didn’t think she should go by herself with this boy, a sixth grader. So much has been happening with school employees lately around here. None of it good. I didn’t want her putting herself in a compromising position. I’m sad that a sixth grader is being suspended. Sure wish I could figure out how to make that stop.

Okay, the next week is Spring Break here. I will not have Good News Club or school chaplaincy next week. I will be busy with the grandchildren. Hopefully it will be very non eventful. and no more co-pilots taking things into their own hands and crashing airliners into mountains. I really can’t handle another such tragedy.

Thankful for the storage unit

Today I boxed up 8 years of journals–2003-2011–and will take them to the storage unit where journals 1997-2002 already reside. 


I write a lot and can’t bear tossing these out. Wonder if anyone will ever want to read all those pages?  Maybe in 100 years there will be some historical value to my 20th and 21st century musings. 

God laughs when we make plans

I wrote these words two years ago, after attending City Summit 2013. Right now, City Summit 2015 is in full swing but I didn’t sign up this year as I have been too busy doing the work I first learned about at the 2013 conference–school chaplain. Funny how life turns out.


I have read many books over the years, attended many conferences, presented to many groups, taught in an inner city school, lead in an inner city church, cooked for a women’s shelter, raised awareness for a number of local organizations that help the poor, the downtrodden, the less affluent, all the time wanting to learn more about how to do a better job in making a difference. Terry and I have also volunteered in San Francisco, at Glide Memorial, Year Up, Emerge, and Rebuilding Together San Francisco. While living in San Francisco, the homeless were camping right below our apartment and so I packed meals and distributed them as I walked the streets.

My goal, upon retiring from the inner city high school, was to work for a nonprofit in San Francisco, helping those in need. I applied to every organization that had a job listing where my skills could be used. I got one interview out of the whole lot and was told I would be bored. Finally, I gave up, left San Francisco, and returned to volunteer in Fresno where the unemployment rates are high, the poverty rates even higher, and the needs are overwhelming. But, our home is paid for, unlike in San Francisco where the rent on our tiny studio apartment was $2400 a month, so I don’t need a salary. There are many agencies to whom I can give my time and skills.

This is a bit of advice I follow: Do not lose heart,; do not become faint. When you seek to perform a good work that God asks of you, you will always find an ample supply of God’s grace to sustain you.

Fun in the old part of town

I packed a lunch, along with a small table, a couple of chairs and a bottle of essential oil spray, and headed across town to a historical street. In the early 1900s there was a trolley line that ran down the middle of the street connecting this first subdivision with downtown. The trolley is long gone, replaced with a wide swath of grass which provided a spot for lunch with a friend who works only a few blocks away.

After our sandwiches, we took off for a two mile walk along this historic avenue where large homes are found. Most of the homes have been owned by the famous city members.

Here is my friend Delores at the beginning of the street. You can see where the streetcar ran down the middle of this broad avenue.

She had to return to work; I got to return home and do laundry.

Living in the past


Three years ago I was doing research for The Allied Arts Girls novel I was writing. The “book” is finished, but it’s fun to think back to the details that went into writing it.

Today I am meeting a friend and we will walk the Huntington Boulevard. Maybe I’ll stop by Harriet’s house and see how it’s doing.

Originally posted on Dkzody's Weblog:

I have been living  in the 1940s this past week while doing research for my historical novel–Allied Arts Girls. I’ve been thinking about rationing of food and gasoline, no nylons, Gray Ladies, victory gardens, weekend passes, military hospitals, World War 2 (reading “Pearl Harbor Christmas,” by Stanley Weintraub), and today I went out to look at the houses these “girls” lived in during the ’40s.

I came home very depressed, having found the homes to be in rather disreputable states; and then I remembered, it’s been 72 years, what did I expect these houses to look like? The neighborhoods, though, on the whole, were still in good shape. One of the women lived in one of the best neighborhoods in Fresno, and it’s still in good shape, and still upscale. I decided, though, in seeing the actual house, that I would move her down the street to a bigger house.

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Friends in small bodies

Every day that I am chaplain at the southside school, I first check in with the cafeteria manager and pay for my lunch. This takes place during kindergarten lunch so I often see these munchkins coming and going. They head out to the playground just as the first and second graders come in the other side of the cafeteria.

The first graders are my initial responsibility so I spend most of lunch time with them. Last week I had a second grader, who was at the miscreant table, ask why I didn’t read stories to the second graders. He was disappointed to learn that I only go into first grade classrooms.

Today, as I was leaving the first grade wing, after reading my story for the day, the kindergartners were marching through the hallway on their way home. I stood and watched them, keeping a bit of order while teachers caught up from the back of the lines. Many of the kids recognized me, and they said hi as they passed me. One little girl, coming along with her group, stops in front of me, points to me, turns around to the girl behind her and says, “This is my friend.” So, now I am friend to a kindergartner whose name I don’t even know. Hopefully, she will be one of the first graders next year and I will know her name.