Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Old is Nearly Gone, Hail To 2014

We all need new beginnings. It is another opportunity to "start anew". Happy New Year everyone. It is my sincere wish that each and every one of you has something, no matter how insignificant, to look forward to.

We here in Corvallis have had a stressful 2013. Loved ones have gone on to be with the Lord, great for them but hard for us. But there are signs that life continues with new jobs, new homes, & visits from far away family to look forward to.

One grandson has completed specialized training and is starting to find work in his field of choice. One granddaughter and her young family are moving into a new home. Several other grandchildren are hard at work at universities around the globe and a couple of others have landed their dream jobs.

While we no longer travel, we can look forward to visits in 2014 from loved ones who live both across the county and across the globe. The Lord is good. He provides for ALL our needs. As we close out the current year, let us not forget that we are but a grain of sand upon the beach. It is only God's grace and love that holds us together. He makes us each important, don't forget to give Him praise for we are nothing without Him.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cristmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Another year has come and nearly gone. Seems that as you get older, the years pass with increasing speed.

This year has brought joy in that everyone in the house has been relatively well. There have been no trips to the ER. No hospital stays. No debilitating illnesses. But there has been sadness, as well. This year several friends and members of our extended family have passed away. The latest was Richard's brother Benny. His wife Christine died in late September, a first cousin and a dear friend both died about the same time. There have been others as well. Our generation is rapidly coming to a close. We need to prepare to meet our Lord Jesus. He alone provides hope of life, life without fear, pain, or strife. Hope of being united with our loved ones who are in Him.

Richard and I have stuck pretty close to home this year. Just leaving the house has become a challenge for Richard. His power wheel chair allows him to get around the neighborhood and to a local pond where he enjoys feeding the wildlife. But if he needs to go anywhere else, he must use his manual wheelchair. It is very heavy to lift in and out of the car trunk. I was able to travel to Washington to celebrate our oldest grandson's graduation from training as a deep sea diver. But other than that, we have not left Corvallis more than a couple times all year. However, we have not been isolated.

In the summer, we hosted the family of a dear friend from Taiwan and our daughter Amy, along with one of her sons came for a visit over Thanksgiving. Then too, there have been many visits by other friends and family spread throughout the year. They brighten the day and give a sense of connectivity.

Last summer also brought a flurry of activity as we had both a plumber and carpenter busily working on a remodel for our back addition. Both bathrooms had their floors replaced. The plumbing was relocated for the toilet in the master bath and the sink in the main addition. The entry stairs for what we call “Harry's Room” needed to be torn down and a new set of stairs and porch built. It all turned out great. Then there was the garden. We had a fairly good vegetable garden this year. It provided many a great salad, summer squash, and other seasonal produce. The flower beds got a nice layer of compost and were weeded by kids from our church. That was a chore I am glad I didn't have to do. Rick gave me an electric mower so I no longer have to struggle with the heavy gas powered version. It really helps a lot.

Today we are sitting in a deep freeze. It has not been above freezing for several days. The news says that it is breaking records and was actually down to as low as -10 a couple nights ago. It looks like Christmas out there. I measured an accumulation of 8 ½ inches of snow on the table outside our living room and it isn't melting. Not to worry, we have plenty of food, heat (gas fireplace) and so far the electricity is on. I am taking precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing and so far so good. It is supposed to get up to 33 on Wednesday, followed by another storm. Hopefully it will not be another Arctic blast. Cloud cover actually acts like a warm blanket and holds in the heat.  

We are grateful this year for all of our family and dear friends. We are blessed for our being in our own home. We thank the Lord for our relatively good health and we look forward to 2014 with all the promises that it holds.

Our best to you and yours,

Richard & Nancy Moreno

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How frustrating!!

My daughter goofed up her blog and had to create a new one. I was able to log on to it yesterday and print off a photo and specks for our granddaughter's new home. Nice place, Liss. But this morning, Google will not honor my log in to access my daughter's blog account. Really strange, since there was no problem using the same log in to get onto this account. I hate computers!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Just an Update

Life here at Moreno Manor has been a scramble all summer long. Sure does make time fly by.

Starting in early July, we had a plumber and a carpenter working on the room used by my Uncle Harry when he retired in the 70s. This room has its own bathroom and a private entry and was rented out several times in the late 80s and 90s. But over the past 10+ years the "room" was relegated to storage. So, I cleared it out and had it renovated. What a chore, sorting through box after box of old video tapes, paperwork, photos, and "stuff". There are now no less than 5 big boxes of photos waiting closer scrutiny sitting in the guest room. About a dozen boxes await further sorting in the family room, and a ton of "stuff" was either tossed or given away.

The bathroom floor and entry stairs had to be rebuilt due to water damage. While we were at it, we had the plumber move sink. It was installed in a new counter in the room itself, freeing up badly needed space in the bathroom. I repaired and painted walls, did a ton of cleaning, moved in furnishings to essentially create a studio apartment again. Now that the room is complete, we are advertising it on Craig's List. 

The floor in the master bathroom also had to be replaced because of a failed water heater. The plumber moved the plumbing from a wall-hung toilet to accommodate a floor-mounted one and the carpenter removed the cabinetry so that he could rebuild that floor. Rick and Chris re-hung a sink in that bath so that it is functional. A complete remodel of the master bath will have to wait on funding. The old cabinetry now resides in the basement laundry room.

But life does not stop just because you have a big project to work on. My garden has done well this year. There a lots of vegies that have needed watering, weeding, etc. all summer. These have been so very yummy. We even have melons this year.

Now that fall is here, I am wrapping everything up for the winter. Outdoor furniture needs to be put under cover, hedges need a fall pruning, the grass needs to be mowed a couple more times, you get the idea. We were also blessed with a few yards of great compost that Shelley and Eric delivered as a birthday gift for Richard. I don't have any notion of spreading it all at once. It will slowly go to the planting beds as I get them ready for winter. First will be the small beds where I plant garlic. It needs to be in the ground really soon. Then compost will be added to those areas in the front yard that didn't get any last spring. By Thanksgiving, It should either be on the beds or covered, such that it will be available for early spring planting.

Then there is the anticipated "family meeting" that is scheduled for when Amy is here in November. Years ago, Richard and I created a Living Trust. I have now made a copy for each of the kids. It includes a power of attorney, pour over will, and instructions on health issues, should we no longer be able to make choices for ourselves, and other instructions for burial and distribution of assets. No one looks forward to this kind of meeting, but we do look forward to everyone being on the same page when the time comes. I have previously put together much of the detail outside the Trust that will be needed for the meeting. But now I need to make sure it is all together, copied, and is complete. Never a dull moment around here.

Just to be clear, while I have some health issues, I am relatively healthy. But I don't want to put our kids in the position of trying to locate the information they would need should I fall ill. Hopefully, this meeting will be a way of taking some of the stress off them when and if that day does come.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

prphetic word

Today's sermon was on trusting God. So many in my family are facing situations that will require trust in God. His word says that "He will direct our path according to His understanding of our future (paraphrased). Because we have no way of knowing our future, we really need to trust. He has never let me down, but I have failed to trust and eventually come to regret acting on my own understanding. Trust is so important. But it is necessary if we want to emerge from crisis on top of the game. Hang in there. We don't need to understand, just do our part based on His word, and trust Him for the rest.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

So Tired

A few weeks ago, we were presented with an opportunity to remodel a room in the back of our house, once used by mu uncle. The idea was that front money would be provided to do repairs and would then be repaid out of rent we get for the room. We have rented out this space before, but it has set empty (at least not occupied) for several years. Our rental space has it's own bathroom and entry, so it only makes sense to do this.

However, this room has been a catch all for everything from exercise equipment to old document storage. What a job to clear it all out. My grandson came over and moved the exercise equipment to the basement. His mom helped me sort out several boxes of "stuff". But most of the work has fallen on me alone. I have cleaned the little refrigerator, rounded up the furniture for the rental, hired contractors to build new entry stairs and move some plumbing, and sorted through a ton of old papers (tax returns, school and work related materials, photos, etc), tossing trash can after trash can and re-organizing the rest. I'm still not completely done, but the room has been cleared of everything except what will stay in it. Now to find a spot for the office and art supplies, five boxes of photos, well you get the picture.

The rest of the house now needs clearing. I am on it. Shelves and drawers in my office are my current project. Those in the family room and sewing room will follow. This is going to take awhile. The kids are just glad I'm getting a lot of the work done so they won't have to do it when I'm gone. They shouldn't get too relaxed, there will be plenty left for them to do when the time comes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reflections of Mom

Today marks twenty years since my mom went home to Jesus. You would think it would get easier after all this time, but the waves of grief do still come. They are just further apart. I still miss mom very much.

Mom lived a hard life. She knew nearly every sort of hardship: financial; loss of health; war; trust of a spouse; a child who got into drugs; a father who left his family in need; etc. Still, mom never lost hope or her faith in God. He saw her through all these and more. Mom was a great inspiration.

As I grow older, I look forward to my reunion with mom and all the other loved ones who will be waiting for me. No, I am not ready to go, but someday, most likely within the next twenty years, I will join mom again. In the mean time, I will try to carry on her legacy here on earth. That is the best way I can think of to honor her.  I love you Mom.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Eventful weekend

Saturday began with Richard bringing me coffee in bed, not an easy thing for for a man using a walker. It was wonderful to lay in bed and relax for awhile before getting up and starting the day. What a day it was. By mid morning I had received several phone calls, e-messages, cards and e-cards from family and friends. Dianna and Chris stopped by with a hand made gift and stayed to visit. Suddenly the sound of singing and a burst children through the door sent my heart a-whirl. Two more grandchildren and four great grandchildren had arrived bearing a huge vase of spring flowers. What a surprise. They had driven down from the Olympia area for the the weekend. Later in the day, Shelley and Eric brought dinner and cake. They stayed on to visit after the others had retreated to Dianna's for the night.

On Sunday afternoon, Dianna, Paul, Chris, Doug, Bridget and her four little ones brought Easter dinner and had fun hiding eggs in the back garden. They are such good kids, ages 10, 8, 6, and 17 months. They were all dressed in Easter finery.

Unfortunately there was a down side to the day. Dianna's beloved cat Cinder died on Easter morning. She was old, about 14. Dianna loved Cinder so very much. So there was also a feline funeral among the flowers in the yard yesterday. I am glad Dianna had so much support and so many caring shoulders to cry on. Cinder will be missed.

We have great news that Doug will be starting school (underwater welding/salvage) in Seattle on April 8. He has wanted to do this for a long time, even was certified as a diver while still in the military. The seven month school is paid for by the government and includes a pretty good living allowance. We are very happy for him.

Today all is quiet at the Moreno house. I went back to bed after breakfast for a short nap. Amazing how the unbounded energy of little ones can sap your own, even when you're not the one tracking them. Still, I will look forward to seeing all of them again soon.

Friday, March 29, 2013

has it been that long?

Wow, my last post related to my recovery from a stubborn virus. I have pretty much recovered, still not much energy though. Seems it is really taking forever to be able to work for more than a couple hours at a time without resting. I'm getting old, you say? OK, I concede. Tomorrow I will be 73. Is that old? Well, maybe, but I am relatively healthy and should the Lord will it, I fully expect to live a lot longer.

Having said that, I fell again on Wednesday. My foot slipped on some wet soil in the driveway and I went down, impacting with a sharp plastic support on the inside of a landscape cart I was moving. It cut a gash in my head, right at the hairline that required attention. I went into immediate care where they cleaned the wound, closed it with super glue reinforced with steri-strips. No big deal, until I had been home for awhile and the adrenaline in my system dissipated. Then I discovered that I had also tweaked my left knee and triggered an arthritic flareup. I have done this before, so I know to stay off it and just let it rest. So I iced it down, took some asprin, got a good night's sleep and waited till morning.

Early Thursday I called a friend that I had lent my wheelchair and had them bring it home. So now I am skooting around the house, doing chores from a sitting position that does not put weight on my knee. It is already starting to feel better. Should only take a few days to a week to heal. At least I didn't break anything this time. Thank you Jesus!

It is a busy week (at least the last part) around here.  Yesterday some guys from church came and removed a large old ice cream freezer from the basement as part of a metal drive to send the youth group to Jamaca on a missions trip this summer. They had quite a time getting it out of there. The old car in the driveway has been purchased and will be removed today so that a load of compost can be delivered to the driveway (a birthday gift). A friend is outside now, mowing my lawn. BTW, the electric mower I received as another gift works great.

Plans for the weekend include dinner prepared as a BD gift on Saturday and Dinner on Easter Sunday as another gift. Add to this the repacement of my compuer a couple weeks ago, and it has been a really red letter year. Thank you to family, friends, and others that I don't even know their names. You are all tremendous blessings.