Thursday, November 21, 2013

Settling In.....and birdies from above...

We are moved in. ahhhh. And internet is up and running again and our broken computer(s) are fixed. As I type, Jack is napping in his little bed at Gigi and Papa's...I rocked him in my favorite rocking chair.... t.h.a.n.k.f.u.l. Last week was full with BOXES and MESS and PILES and cleaning out Maxine (sniff). There were moments of tears and craziness and laughter and headaches and backaches and ...feeling overwhelmed and feeling blessed. Everything all mixed into one. Moments I said, "why in the world did I pack THIS?" Moments I said, "oh, I remember this." sigh

One morning last week I woke up to feeling tired. Overwhelmed at the PiLeS EvErYwHeRe. I looked up to the window above my head. I saw bare branches against the grey sky. "Would you send me a bird?" I asked Him. I got up----went through the day, and got a ton of things accomplished and plopped into bed late that night. The next morning when I woke .... I opened my eyes. I remembered what I had asked. You know those moments when you want to peek -- at the same time you don't want to look -- because you don't want to be disappointed. That's how I felt.

I peeked. And there she was. One little bird, perched on the branch. NO WAY!!! Yes way. HE   Something so tiny.  So HUGE.

 He is here in this land of new beginnings, with all, in all, of my feelings that come with change and starting afresh. And I am thankful for His presence here. ... and the journey continues!

His eye is on the sparrow...and I know He watches me.

Time To Move To Paso Robles.....

God gave us a beautiful present tonight ♡ dazzling sunset at Morro Bay. Well... Tomorrow is moving day~after 1 year.2months.7days in our sweet Maxine, we are turning yet another page in this
incredible journey and moving into a little home in Paso Robles. Feeling thankful as I look ahead and thankful tears as I reflect on all He has provided along our journey.This sunset seemed the perfect way to turn the page. ♡♡♡

Photo: God gave us a beautiful present tonight ♡ dazzling sunset at Morro Bay. Well... Tomorrow is moving day~after 1 year.2months.7days in our sweet Maxine, we are turning yet another page in this 
incredible journey and moving into a little home in Paso Robles.  Feeling thankful as I look ahead and thankful tears as I reflect on all He has provided along our journey.This sunset seemed the perfect way to turn the page. ♡♡♡

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sandy Feet Welcome

Judi, how we loved having you in our tent.....

It has been far too long since we have shared time together like this. We met when our children were babies, and now our babies have babies. ohmy
We've talked for years, dreaming about the day we would at last be able to put our toes in the sand and sit by the seashore together. And this week was our time ... to enjoy our friendship, and all the sea had to offer two friends. Thank you for the warm conversation, the crazy spontaneous run 'n jump into the waves in our shorts & t'shirts, brown sugar cookies, sidewalk art, seashore strolls,
sand dollars, wine, The Rock, campfires, love. All so good.



Here's to the view~and the scallops ;-)

Friends ~ Thankful 
(if you look closely...Morro Rock is right behind us... Isn't God so kind?!)

Blessings to you dear friend as you travel north on Hwy 1
along the dazzling coastline!
Enjoy the journey!
a hui ho
PS..Judi, you will laugh at this.  I WILL post the pics of our wet-ocean-heads, and sandy toes.  However, as I type, I am remembering that those pics are on my phone and I THINK my phone is in the car with Keith in Morro Bay. I think.

Be our Guest....Barb

When I type "be our guest" heart starts humming Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Barb, thanks for joining us. So much fun to have you. Though we all met when we were kids at CampSugarPine, with all the craziness of being on staff at a summer camp, it wasn't hard to pick up in conversation, or in our hearts, wherever we left off last. Love is like that. Friendship is like that. Thanks for sitting with us around the campfire for a few days ~~ for the love and laughter and real conversation.  Through all the years, I am so thankful we each discovered... we like real & messy most of all (oh and brown sugar cookies ;-)   Love, wags, big hugs to you!  Already looking forward to the next time!

Buddies.  Beach.  Barb.  Beautiful.

Thinking we are right next to the SRIMP TACO sign....they were srimply delicious.
"This is just wrong.  What if someone needs me?"

A seriously slammin' s'more


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The GrandTreasures Sleep Over.

Having Kai and Jack for sleepovers is ....well, it's the best. Sometimes they come when mommy and daddy have date night. Sometimes just because Gigi and Papa would like to have a sleepover night!(and their mommy and daddy are gracious enough to say "yes")  This week has been sorta extra special.   Kai had a sleepover by herself.  Then Jack, a sleepover by himself.  It has been fun to have the one on one time. To remember and notice and celebrate how each is so different. Each so uniquely Handmade by God.  

These past few nights, I find myself wanting to freeze-frame each moment. I don't want to forget the pictures in my mind, the memories in my heart. And so....I write...

Kai 5 yrs old ~~ She comes with her pink otter, her doll, and a pink bag with treasures.The first thing she does ....she pulls out her pens and markers. She sits at our table, and writes me notes, on pink, heart shaped paper. She cuts more heart shapes with her pink scissors. She writes squiggly lines that fill the page.  Then she reads to me, "Gigi, you are the best Gigi in the whole wide world. I love you more than there is sand in the car :-), more than there is hair on Chester, more than there are stars in the sky.....and on and on."  She puts heart sticky notes all over Maxine, and reads me each one.  We read the 6 library books we just picked at the library ~~ straight through in one sitting ~~.   Still sitting at the table, together we work through 8 whole pages of a kindergarten workbook (with a puppy on the front) and she deee-lights to show me all she is learning at school. Sight words.  Sounds. I teach her how to make a 5, with a straight line, a big tummy, and a hat on top. (she is VERY SMART!).  Time for dinner, she colors and draws and reads to Chester while I cook. She chooses to eat outside at the picnic table.  She helps Papa carry silverware and cups and napkins...and sets the table. We eat and talk. After dinner she and Papa look at books.   Then....we take a walk and she gets to decide where...we walk all the way to the very end of the park...a long ways. Sometimes we hold hands. We talk about birds and trees and notice pine cones and feathers. There is a wedding reception at the gardens, music playing.  We dance and boogie and twirl and she giggles at Papa's silly moves.  It is getting dark, so we head back to Maxine. Kai puts on her pink pj's, and dresses Charlotte (her American Girl doll) in matching jammies. I braid Kai's hair. And Charlotte's. A fancy french braid. With a pink bow. Campfire. Smores. She likes Papa to cook her marshmallow. After campfire, it is snuggle time/movie time in Papa 'n Gigi's bed. We giggle that Papa falls asleep.  She says her daddy does too on movie nights.  After the movie...I tuck her into her bed with her best buddy Chester. Prayers. Snuggles. Kisses. Sleep.  And I check on her over and over throughout the night. Just to watch.
Jack 2 yrs old ~~ He arrives with his blue puppy backpack that has his Elmo puppet book and blue blankie. The first thing he does....have a yogurt snack.   He picked mango yogurt for him and blueberry for me.  After snack, toy box. He finds a truck.  He can make amazing truck noises.  I cannot make truck noises.  I cannot. We play with a fishing magnet puzzle. He fishes all the fishies out of the puzzle 4 times. He is good at it. Really good. We build with legos. We look at a book for about 20 seconds, his favorite book, the Elmo Puppet Book. Then we perch the Elmo book in the window so Elmo can look outside and watch Jack...after resttime. He takes a nap with Papa and Chester.  After nap he rides his tricycle to the park, down the campground road, to the path, over the bridge, and across the the park. He steers, peddles, negotiates bumps, and figures out how to get unstuck and how not go tooo fast down the hills. He slides down curly slides and climbs ladders. Over and over again. Papa climbs and slides too. Jack holds out his hand to help Papa off the slide...everytime.   On the trike-ride home, Jack discovers a green plastic disc/lid in the field, one that covers a sprinkler water pipe thingy. He pulls off the cover. We look inside. Papa, Jack, me, ...we all bend down and look inside. I say wow. Jack says wow. Papa says oooh.  Jack says oooh. We found 4 green cover-thingies in the field. Jack stopped at each one. Took the cover off....we all bent down, we all said wow, and oooh. And paused.  Dinnertime. He sits next to Papa while he eats. He holds a spoon in one hand, and the other hand rests on a napkin...that he uses often. (smile)  He helps clear the table, every spoon and fork and plate. AND THEN, another walk. He pulls a red wagon around the campground, with his sunnies on because it is bright out. "Bright" he says. "Sunnies On" he says.   He helps Papa carry wood to the campfire. He wears his sunnies when he roasts his marshmallow because the fire is "bright".  Bathtime. When did he start wanting to wash his own hair? Striped PJ's with a fire truck.  And shoes.  He points to his sleeper's feet and says "shoes".  A little more campfire time in pjs w/blankie and sunnies and Papa. He waves to Elmo who still watches through the window.  Rock with Gigi. Then bed. Snuggles goodnight kisses hugs prayers a blue blankie & Elmo Book. Gigi lays down until Jack's eyes get heavy.  Sweet dreams.   And as I type this....I have gone to watch him sleep...just one more time or two.

Kai and Jack, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Unique. Special. Amazing. So different, yet so much the same... kind, tenderhearted, loving life, funtobewith.  Thank you for having sleepovers with your Papa and Gigi.  We love love love you. More than there is sand in the car, more than there is hair on Chester.

PS Derek and Abby, you are wonderful kids and wonderful parents.Thank you for letting us be Papa and Gigi. We are blessed.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Be Our Guest.....

Friends... Suki and MaryJane from Tennessee
Our first outta-towners to stay in our GuestTent.

We met Suki and MaryJane in Kailua-Kona during our YWAM days.  Someone once said (I think it was me ;-)  )  ...that knowing someone in YWAM is like dog years....meaning: you may be together for a few days/months/years but multiply it by 7+ or more, because your hearts just get knit together so deeply.  

So good to sit around the camp table and share a meal. Walk through the campground and enjoy the scenery.  Sit by the campfire, talk story & sip wine til late late late.  And laugh. A lot.
And get to see them in the morning.
Cinnamon Rolls at Pismo Beach.
Running through the sand to dip our toes in the chilly Pacific.
Hugs g'bye.
Til we meet again.
Thanks for coming our way!
We love you!

PS....I just read a post on your fb said that when you were with us "it felt like home."  There could be no greater compliment.  Mahalo with all our hearts.
                                                And we feel the same about you. ;-)


Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Life of the CampHost

It is August.
The last time I wrote was March.
How can it be?  oye. Pondering that thought....maybe....maybe because it is easier to write about life when I am movin' ahead on the journey, than life sitten' in one place.  But really, that IS a journey too. I guess parked in one place can be a trip as well.  True that.

So, here we are, still in El Chorro Campground -- CampHosts.  We are planted  1/2 way between San Luis Obispo Small Town Life and Morro Bay by the Sea.  It is cooler than I remember it being.  As in temp's. Maybe just cooler than PA summers.  And Hawaii days.  Here it is usually foggy summer mornings, and blue sky afternoons with a cool sea breeze ruffling our campground trees.

I sort of thought we would be here , Campground Host El Chorro here, through September.  That was my Plan A. Looks like it will be more like through the fall months and beyond. At first I was rather wah-wah about that unfolding-plan, however, after a minor nervous breakdown, God massaged my heart and emotions a bit, and I then felt like I could lean-into this season of CampHosting for a bit longer, and rather enjoy the simplicity and the ride.

We've created a "home" in Maxine, and a GuestHome on the back of our property  :-) ...    A fancy-shmancy, comfy-cozy, tent experience for our friends who love to camp.  And amazingly, our guest-tent is getting pretty-well booked from now through October ~~ so far, friends from Tennessee, Colorado, Idaho, & California are on the reservation calendar.  woohoo.  Bring on the s'mores and wine, warm conversation and laughter, around the campfire.  (still taking reservations  :-)  )
Maxine and the GuestTent.  Oh, and Chester. Such a handsome boy. 
my favorite kind...still taking reservations....

walks by the sea with one of my favorite buddies, my most fav buddy is taking the pic.
In addition to the CampHost part of life. We are making friends. Slowly. Pet Therapy appt's are beginning  (check out .   Slowly.  Life in a new land is beginning again.  Slowly. It takes awhile. It does. To discover friends, to find favorite spots for hiking, relaxing, eating, exploring. Find the dentist, preferred grocery stores, and where the peanut butter is IN that grocery store.  To meet a church family that is a fit,  find a vet for the pup, and the best spot for fish tacos and guacamole.    Just takes time. But life is unfolding.  We are enjoying farmers markets, evening summertime concerts in the park, vineyards and wine tasting, the county fair, walks on the beach, long drives up/down the coast & through the vineyards, visits from family , time with kids and grand kids who are close by, the sounds of the sea. And often, I am jaw-droppingly amazed at how God orchestrates a meeting with a new friend, or a pet therapy appt., or a camper that just needs something more than a campsite.

Still reading to Chester.... a favorite.

exploring....Keith and I worked here in the late 70's...still standing, (it and us)

Fair Fun.

Time with our grand-treasures.

About CampHosting .....We are learning much .... and life is NOT dull at the ole campground.
Each day is different. Summer weekends are packed and overflowing with tents and motor homes and people and parties and campfires and laughter and some craziness and family reunions and beer fests  and bikes and dogs and selling endless bundles of firewood and answering countless questions oh...and bathrooms to clean and trashcans to empty :-/ . 

Here are some stand-out-memories  & of course they are wrapped around the people we meet....

*Our friend Chris, who found himself homeless after college days. Living out of his car, daily, he would come to El Chorro to begin his day with a run in the canyon & a hot shower. Keith invited him for dinner ~~ twice he joined us at our table. You know, we all have stories to tell.  God Bless You on your journey, Chris.

*There are the children who shout...."HI CHESTER" as they zoom past on their bikes and skateboards. Somehow they all know his name & he thumps his tail and grins at each one. 

best campdog ever. totally.

*And dear Kelsey. Her "boyfriend" drug her behind her car. He was raging. She tried to get her bag out of the car as he sped away. We found her scraped and bruised hiding in the woods, brought her home to bandage her wounds. And hug her tears. When the police arrived, she would not press charges.  sigh.  If, when, she is ready to get out of the cycle of abuse and violence, we asked her to please call.  She has our number. Please Lord.

*Gabe & Ethan, the little boys who wanted to take Chester home with them. Thankful for this dear family. Dad has served 2 tours of duty in Iraq. Loved watching and listening to them p.l.a.y. together for a weekend. How thankful we are for your service and sacrifice.  Blessings to all xxoo

Gabe & Ethan, boys and dogs...match made in heaven
*Each time Danny the butcher visits our campground,  he brings us the best cut rib-eye steaks, always delivered with a firm-warm handshake, and a "good to see you!"   deeeelicious.

*The guys who camped across from us, Bill-Miguel-Angel.  They shared their beer & schnapps with us & toasted to new friends. All because we delivered some free firewood to them.... just because.

*OH, and then, the family whose teenage kids were doing drugs and these kids took off hitch-hiking up Hwy1. The parents asked us for help. A call to the ranger and the police ~~ and the kids were back. We took the family some fresh-fruit, reassuring hugs, and words of encouragement ~~ though they didn't speak English very well, and we didn't speak Spanish too well, we had no trouble communicating kindness.  As Keith and I sat around the campfire that evening, they brought us THE MOST delicious plate of freshly baked corn tortillas, Cornish hen, and yummy broccoli salad.  Expressions of a thankful heart.........

*Gabriel  & his family, they've  camped next door to us twice.  One hot afternoon, when Keith got off work, Gabriel came by with an ice-cold Corona  laced w/ hot sauce & lime.   A Hispanic favorite. bueno.

*Let's see...There was the night we called the police because NO ONE in the whole flippen' campground could sleep --- too much partyn'  and &%$#^ going on from a large group in a certain campsite in the "c loop", and bummer for them they were camped too close to the sleepless in El Chorro CampHosts  ...  And let's just say these partiers were not too welcoming to a Ranger Rima's midnight  request, thus, the police were happy to come on board and lend a hand. ooof-tah

*Angela a returning camper who waved Keith down saying "Hey, Keith, I'm back! " She told her friend, that Keith was "the one who saved her".  Earlier in the summer, Angela & group arrived to find El Chorro FULL.  It was late & Keith squeezed her in, even though it was a tight fit in the overflow camp area.  Then...he loaned her tent pegs. ...of course he did.

Add caption
*Oh and the couple we shared the Hawaiian Lilikoi Drink with.  We were taking Chester for a walk & said Hi! as we walked past. Noticing this giant bottle of vodka on their camp table, I said that a splash of Lilikoi would go great in their vodka. After our walk, we brought them a splash.  They asked us to toast with them. :-)  They got hooked on Lilikoi and are now ordering their very own from our Kona friends who market this yummy treat. .aloha friends are everywhere.

*And then there was Chuck and Louise.  They stopped by one morning to talk story a bit. Chuck was the last one to sit in "that" camp chair.  It ripped....and he fell through.  To the ground. ooopsie daisy.  Chuck was a good sport, and didn't spill a drop of coffee in the process.  Amazing.

I smile at the memories, the people,  the kindness of so many campers to share their personal favorites with us.    As long as it's legal (haha), we graciously taste test. And enjoy. 
                                                         Of course we do :-) .


So, that is a bit of the life and times of Rima's in August.  CampHosts and beyond. 

Thanks for continuing to share the journey with us. And for those of you who enjoy reading, thank you, still blesses me to know you are "here" ....and who knows, maybe, I just might write again before 6 months flies by.

                                       Love to all ~~~ and Here's to Friends! clink.