Thursday, May 19, 2011


Life goes on. And I'm still in the thick of it. Thank goodness! I'm awake at an early hour every day and browsing the internet via my Google Reader links. I usually start with my Art links and download images of all the art that strikes me as 'good'. I'm up to 3,500 or more images in that collection, all of which help me satisfy my Aspbergian desire to collect things. The internet has become a great tool for that and I have a separate 1.5 Terabyte hard drive that is becoming choked with my odd image collections. Before the internet, 'collecting' was so much more difficult! Hmmm? I just noticed that my large scrapbook filled with business cards is sitting out again. A physical collection as opposed to a digital one.

Moving? We're still at the same address and interest in the house is low. We've had two lookers since January. Two! We've reduced the price and we are ready to lower it again, this time to below the price we paid for it. That's something we had never planned on…We have to console ourselves with the fact that this would be the first time for this to happen in our long history of buying and selling our homes. We started out by purchasing a 3Br/2Bath house in Newbury Park, CA for $21,000. Now we're dealing with hundreds of thousands. We also keep saying that we don't have to move and we can wait for the market to turn around. That's true but almost unbearable to think about. We are very tired of making the thirty minute trip to Chico at least six times a week.

Speaking of Chico, we were there yesterday for a trip to the Farmer's Market and Costco. That's shopping at the opposite ends on the marketing scale. We bought strawberries and sugar peas at the market and enjoyed a long discussion with the seller about the various types of strawberries (Avoid the Chandler!) and how to deal with customers, a topic that the seller had pursued at college while he lived in Minnesota. He happens to be a Hmong and our community is being blessed with their presence these days as more of them move here and get involved in the local ag businesses. They are great farmers. I have no idea as to why so many of the Hmong's were originally sent to Minnesota as that is about as far as you can get from Vietnam – climatewise.

Now, about Costco…it's the cheapest place in town for gas as it's always ten to fifteen cents cheaper than anywhere else in town. Yesterday was the wrong time to go as we had forgotten about the crowds that would be stocking up for graduation parties this coming weekend. Cal State Chico, the local university will be graduating the class of 2011 on all three days of the weekend. Anywho…we made our way around the store and bought/ground our supply of coffee and we also bought one of the hot rotisserie chickens. Our daughter had raved about them and so we had to try it. It was only $5 and we have discovered that we can have three meals from it and still have chicken left over for salads. Of course, being Costco, we also bought things we shouldn't have. I lose all willpower when I'm there and come out poorer at the end.

I'm still waiting to meet with the surgeon that will do the implant of the Spinal Cord Stimulation device. Just one more week! And at the meeting he will discuss what he is going to do (I already know!) and then he will send me on my way with a promise that the hospital will call – sometime - and give me a date for the surgery. Maybe, after the surgery, I will be able to reduce the amount of pain meds I'm ingesting. Which varies. Yesterday was 4 Norco day and the day before that was 6 Norco day. Oddly enough; I really want consistency. If it's going to be pain, give it to me all of the time. Don't give me pain and then, mysteriously, relieve it for an hour, two hours or a day before returning me to the pain. All or nothing, please! I'm sure that doesn't make sense to the average person but that's how it is…for me.

I'm reading the Koran, or Qur'an these days. Just half a dozen pages a day as it's not easy reading. It's somewhat like reading Leviticus or Deuteronomy in the Bible. And it makes just as much sense. There are lots of contradictions in it; very much like the Bible in that respect. We attended a seminar at our church on Islam. The speaker was Jon Armajani of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint Johns' University. He was a fascinating speaker, being of Iranian descent, a Princeton Seminary Presbyterian pastor and teaching Islamic Studies at a Catholic university. So I'm reading the Koran as interpreted by N.J. Dawood, that was Jon's recommendation.

I've been quite surprised by the all of the references to Moses, David, Mary and her father, to Jesus and Apostles. In the Koran, Christians and Jews are lumped together as the People of the Book. That 'Book' being the Old Testament or Torah. In the Koran, the People of the Book are respected…as long as they behave exactly as the 'Book' orders them to. Impossible.

My art projects have come to a halt, all except for the most minor ones. I'm sure it's the drugs that have robbed me. I have half a dozen large and blank canvases in the garage and spider webs are growing around tubes of paint. Sigh.

Well, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and it's time to do something else. I've sat here too long!


  1. Hi Steve,
    The Hmong were sponsored by churches that agreed to house, feed and clothe them, so they were sent to the areas the churches served. There are large communities of Hmong in the Central Valley, but also St. Paul, Minnesota.
    I'll send you a link to several stories I've written about them, if you like. Also, did you see the film Grand Torino?
    Sorry about your house. I think your positive attitude will help you through this situation.

  2. Paula,
    Now that you mention it, I do remember the story about the churches and there sponsorship. I guess you don't look a gift horse in the mouth even if the horse is from Minnesota.
    Life goes on here and we make an effort every day to be positive...gotta do it!