Posted by: Betty | February 18, 2012

Heaven and other thoughts…..

When I was a kid; I had a real hard time understanding Heaven.. I remember asking my mom if we could eat candy when ever we wanted to in Heaven; She answered that we could but we wouldn’t want to.. Huh?   A 6 year old doesn’t think that way and I pondered that for years. Over the 53 years since mom told me that, I’ve had time, ususally when driving, to ponder Heaven.. My favorite song on the subject is “I can only Imagine”.. I consider my “final Review” and hope I do ok on it.. But really, WHAT is heaven; What are our hopes for Heaven if we reach that loftfy goal of our life.. While driving the roads of the Phoenix Valley, I’ve come up with a few ideas of what I HOPE I’ll find there…..

I’d like to really be able to dance; not like an old white chick but really move to the music and move well;  I’d like to be able to sing with feeling and passion without every  window and door slamming in a 10 mile radius;  I’d like to be wise; I wonder if my “spiritual ” body will be MINUS the flab, and chunk I experience now;  I’d like to laugh a lot up there; Mostly,  I’d like to see God and feel his love – I’ve heard about that from people who”ve had near death experiences; Will I be able to “reach” my loved ones left behind?

I’m a long way from that 6 year old who asked about Candy bars in Heaven. I’m going to be 60 in just over a month. I think though, that I CAN have as many candy bars as I want in heaven; but I’m pretty sure I won’t want them. I think I’ll be “blinded by the light” and wonder of it all..

Just saying.


Posted by: Betty | February 18, 2012


I’ve been hesitating for a couple of years now, just falling short of purchasing PhotoshopCS5.. It’s so expensive and I’ve found Lightroom and Photoshop elements quite helpful. I found a book last year .. Photoshop elements 9 for digital photographers written by Scot Kelby and Matt Kloskowski.. Scot Kelby writes in english. Step by Step for um, slower folks like me.. I’ve always been the kind of learner who needs step by step (don’t tell me WHY– just tell me how)  Scot Kelby does that..  There’s a special being offered to me again via e-mail from Adobe.. 60% off Photo shop. And Scott Kelby wrote the same kind of book for Photoshop.. hmmmm.

One of the reasons I haven’t invested in Photoshop is because I am lost whenever I download the trial version;  but with the book from Scott Kelby I thought, YES.. I’m going to be a real live photographer with real PHOTOSHOP!!!. I had my finger on the key this time hovering over “buy it” and once again hesitated. Then… I re downloaded another trial..  While practicing, I realized I’d lost my tablet pen.. I use a tablet now for photo editing.. Once I learned how to use the tablet (Thanks Carla) .. I became dependent on the pen and the mouse became a real pain.. Right there, in the middle of transforming Sabby hitting a ball, I reached for the pen.. and it was gone!  ARRRGGG no where.. I even called my little red head who loves playing teacher in my office to ask if she’d seen it.. “I DIDN”T TOUCH IT ! I SWEAR GRAN”  hmm sounds suspicious to me.. So after digging through trash and crawling around on my hands and knees for an hour.. I went to the computer and ordered a new one.. $70.00 bucks!!!!, wiping out my business account (almost), Giving myself another out on purchasing the full photo shop… Again…  I have the books ( I purchased another book by Scot Kelby for portrait retouching) now.. So since I have invested in those books I really should “invest” in Photoshop CS5.. Really?

Well, you all have a great weekend.. I’ll sit here waiting for my new pen to arrive and trying to figure out what the heck to do about Photoshop.. I think there might me a diagnosis here somewhere..


Posted by: Betty | February 7, 2012

Post Football season blues

Working on the Bar-b-que Saturday-- Ricky's not looking real hopeful

I love football season. Not as much as when our kids were younger, and at home and Paul had weekends off; but I love football season. I have always felt a little “blue” when the season was over. I’m feeling it a little this week.. Gosh now what?  Wait until August I guess.. The Fitz  aka Larry Fitzgerald is a Franchise player in Phoenix now so I know he’ll be here and I can again watch his impossible catches.. There is talk we might be getting Peyton as our new QBack this year.. Lord knows we’ve needed a good Qback since Kurt Warner left.. ANY WAY..

We had a wonderful time; our first at home Superbowl Party in a lot of years.   Ricky and Daniel (his best friend) left yesterday and the house, while awfully quiet, is ours once again.  The harder we tried to be quiet Sunday Morning while “lord Ricky” slept, the louder we were.. Dropping pots bowls etc was at an all time high..  The game was a good one and we were divided as to whom we wanted to win.. I switched sides during the game; choosing to root for the Patriots (since they’d dedicated their season to the owner’s late wife) thus (in my opinion) caused the Pats to loose.. Sorry about that.. though I’ve been told I do not have that kind of power.. We cooked up too much food and will be eating potato salad, chili brautwurst (sp) soaked in beer etc for a couple of weeks.

We also had a wonderful announcement — Katie’s boyfriend called Saturday night requesting our blessing/or not/ for his proposal to Katie.. We gave it, she said yes and the kids (all of them) are very happy..

Lyndsey, my youngest daughter, has morphed into Monica from Friends and hours after learning about their engagement, was at David’s bridal, trying on bride’s maid dresses (she’s been asked to be the maid of honor and seems to be taking all this quite seriously).. Needed a date, colors and budget and has taken over “wedding planning” although Katie and Jerimy  haven’t set much in stone yet.. She’s answering my phone calls with “go for Lyndsey” or Wedding Central…

So all in all it was quite an eventful weekend.. I love these kind of weekends..


Posted by: Betty | February 2, 2012

A few things….

Since coming back to blogging (again) I find I cannot leave a comment on a fellow  blogger’s post when that word thingy is on there unless I comment under my old blogger account.. That becomes difficult as I’ve switched my photo blog to word press too.. I need to work on my “skills” at commenting.. I’m spoiled AND lazy by Facebook where I can just hit a like button. 🙂

Secondly, We’re (Paul and I) are about to start a four day weekend for Paul.. CANNOT believe he got SuperBowl Sunday off, along with all these other days.. He’s worked nearly every Sunday since Football season started.. Really?  Anyway, our youngest, Ricky, is headed out here tomorrow, Katie and Jerimy are coming and Hopefully Kathie and Harold are coming as well.. I’m not a good or imaginative cook and usually “allow” Paul to do all the Superbowl Cooking. This year I’m thinking (or am I) about looking into some cool Super Bowl recipes and doing it all my self..  Larry Fitzgerald along with his fellow AZ Cardinals will not be playing and I have to wait until August to watch him and his magic hands play again… However that doesn’t stop us from enjoying and picking our team for SuperBowl… Party this year.. Does anyone know of any good ideas? Or… should I go to food or something..  The best idea would be to let Paul handle it again this year..  Chips and dip and call out for Pizza?

Have an incredible Super bowl Sunday.. IF you celebrate such things…

Posted by: Betty | February 1, 2012

Into the mind of a Nine Year old.

Last August/September, Sabby talked me into buying her a blond wig (for Halloween she said) at Walgreens. Before we made the next stop on our errands, she’d taken it out of the bag and had it on.. (red hair still showing). Our next stop was Staples.. She wore it in to the store. Now I probably wouldn’t have let my kids do that but this is part of the pleasure of being a Gran now a days.

On our way back to the car, Sabby looked up at me and asked if I thought the man in Staples new she was wearing a wig.. Unable to answer without insulting her with a laugh, I smiled.  When we got into the car, I had no choice but to take a picture of her with my cell phone to post both her and her question to face book with her question…

So… What do you think?  Think he knew?????


Posted by: Betty | January 30, 2012

Had a great time yesterday



Our Family gathering was great fun.  I’ve missed them a lot since moving to AZ.  Paul bbq’d and loved it.. Even made home made potato salad..

Here are a few photos from a great day…..Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today

Posted by: Betty | January 29, 2012

Life is a wonder all right.

Yes Shane (our wonder dog) is playing tether ball too....

I have company due in an hour…. My house is clean…. (enough).. I however need a shower a hair wash and makeup.. and Here I sit in my office looking out at a quiet street on a beautiful day.. NOT showering but blogging..  My daughter, Katie, Grand daughter Sabby along with her newish boyfriend and his brood are coming for a bar-b-que..  They say they’re in love. No relationship/courtship is guaranteed of success or ending the way we hope when we first fall in love, but this one is special.  Katie lost Adam 18 months ago and though she’s dated some in the long hard months that have passed, she hasn’t shown a lot of interest.  Has shown a lot of distrust.  Friday after an appointment I met them briefly at MacDonalds and met his kids.. I was pretty sure I was in a fourth dimension.  His 14 year old got up on his own and picked up the mess from the table and threw it away..  I looked at Katie and was struck with a feeling that all was right in her world..(almost). and the joy in her eyes was a wonder to me.  I’d missed that sparkle and it felt so right to see it again..  Oh I worry.. Sabby who has been through too much to be only 9 1/2 likes him a LOT and so I worry.. Katie is now worried she may again lose too much.  I reassure her and tell her there is always the risk of loss when we love.. But you just don’t want to Miss the Dance, just because it might end (not my original line — Garth Brooks).. But I worry – That’s MY job, not hers.

On that awful day, in May 2010, I told her she WOULD cross that awful ocean to land.. She and Sabby would build a raft and they WOULD make it across.. She WOULD love and laugh and feel joy and hope in her life again.

Friday I saw that whether this romance lasts or not, Katie and Sabby have reached the beach and Katie’s o.k.  She’s let go of Adam for the most part.. This is a good thing. She’ looking forward and not back. She’s understanding deep in her soul that while she may have been the best thing that ever happened to him, he wasn’t the best thing that happened to her.. THAT is still in her future and she’s ready for it now.. and in fact, Adam helped her see a glimpse of what could be in love and relationships..

So while I should be getting ready for the visit, I thought I’d sit here a minute or two longer and and experience the Wonder of a voyage completed..for the most part.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today..

Posted by: Betty | January 25, 2012

Gosh it’s been a while…

Last week, as Paul and I were getting ready for Sabby’s award ceremony, we received a phone call. Paul didn’t recognize the phone number but picked it up anyway.  He hears.. “Pappys? It’s me Sabby, I’m in the restroom right now (speaking on her outlawed cell phone). I’m having an awards ceremony today and want you to come”.  I guess she wasn’t sure we were going and wanted to make sure. Well somehow she got an award in citizenship and we are very proud…. wait for it…. made the Principal’s list with straight A’s for both quarters. She was very proud and so were Pappys and I.  For most of my kids’s school days I worked so far from home, I couldn’t make it to their award ceremonies.  This is all quite a treat.

In the flurry of our Fall Wedding season and photo editing, along with Christmas, it’s been pretty busy around here… AND I got lazy.  This morning I updated our photo blog, moving to to word press and adding it to our website.  More updated version.  I realized how long it’d been since I’ve posted to my blog.  I’ve missed reading about friends on blog sites and missed posting my own.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Posted by: Betty | September 11, 2011

10 years

Never Forget

2001 was a pretty good year for Paul and me. We had our second Grand child, Makayla. Ricky was 16, We had a few extra dollars. Our oldest was away at a law enforcement academy, fulfilling his life’s dream, Our second daughter got married in 2011. The summer of 01 was really great. Three of our four “kids” were in a softball league and Paul and I’d spent many summer evenings watching our grand kids while supporting their team. Paul’s mom, Marie passed away in February 0f 01 and in June, we had a family reunion in Northern CA where we reunited with our Northern CA family.. It was sad to say goodbye to Marie, but our Flocken Family was doing well the family had gathered together. Cousins met after many years and we were bonded again.

Katie and me - That day, her world seemed complete

Madi and Makayla, Easter 2001

Our Family January 6th, 2001

One of our many family gatherings in Murrieta CA.. Our going away party for Robbie

Robbie's Cake

Ricky turned 16, April 2001

Northern CA Family Gathering 6-01

Softball game - break Summer 2001 Katie, Carla and Makayla

Game Time; Summer 01

Madi and Pappys kicking back, our house in Murrieta.. Summer 2001

 So many gatherings and occasions we celebrated that winter, spring and summer. Our kids were growing up; we were close by and so much was celebrated in our family in 2001.

September 11th, I was getting ready for work when Paul called, telling me that a “small plane” had gone into the world trade center.. Believe it or not, at that time I wasn’t sure what the World Trade Center was .. I turned the news on and told Paul that it didn’t look like a small plane to me.. Fifteen minutes later, I was backing the car out of the driving and hitting the road for my 65 mile journey to work.  I didn’t have my cell phone with me at the time.  I was stunned to hear a second plane had hit the trade center.  The drive was slow and I was a talk radio listener.. I listened to Bill Handle at KFI in those days. He was very upset and as the drive progressed, My world seemed surreal. I felt bonded in shock and loss with the other commuters that day. The Pentagon?!  That was a horrible blow. Then I heard the Capitol building was hit (not accurate).. Kathie was suppose to be flying to Pittsburgh that morning and I was desperate to reach her to tell her NOT to fly.. As though all planes weren’t grounded.  Before reaching work, both buildings had come down..I could not believe or wrap my head around all the dead…I reached Irvine and stopped at a liquor store to use a pay phone to call my kids to tell them to stay home! Lyndsey went to work, Ricky went to school. When I got to work on the 11th floor in Irvine near the OC airport, the Moron I worked for (a tall moronic man).. informed us the best way to “fight back” was to do our jobs.. But oh don’t call in these zip codes because the addresses in NYC no longer existed.   Along with 300 of NY’s first responders.. Like equipment leasing had ANY importance that day?   He was pretty much ignored and his supervisors told us to go home.

I did go home… and hung the flag.. It wouldn’t come down for over a year. Neighborhoods all over the country looked alike.. Flags flying.

We all remember where we were that morning, what we were doing and feeling when we watched the buildings fall.. I was safe on the other side of the country; but I think we were all New Yorkers that day.  The heroes were the firefighters and Police who went into those buildings to get people out. The heroes were also the people on flight 93? who fought back and won the “first battle” of the 10 year war we’ve fought since then..

A lot of people don’t like former President Bush.. I still do.. I didn’t like a lot of his decisions over his next 7 years in office; but I never forgot his speech at ground Zero later that week, while talking to the fire fighters and police. His courage in NYC on the first day of the world series ; throwing out the first ball with basically a target on his back…the next month and his speech to the nation on the 20th.. I was 49 and felt like a scared child during those first few days and President Bush and his actions that week gave me hope and the feeling everything would be o.k… Mayor Guilliani (sp) was another hero. to me He was everywhere that day and you knew his courage, outrage, and pain..   All the people who lined up to give blood, the people in other states who traveled to NYC to feed the “rescue and recovery” workers were my heroes too.

New York and America responded to the hate that day; with Love for each other and determination to find the killers, and make them pay.  I heard on KFYI here in Phoenix Friday, a man who worked across from the World trade center. His brother was killed in one of the buildings.. He was a firefighter who went into the building to get people out.. His best friend was on the 104th Floor of the first tower hit. He said the killers didn’t win that day. Our country remained strong; our financial health wasn’t destroyed that day.. and Americans responded to the hate that day with love.. We went to church as Americans that Friday and prayed.  I understand that Bloomburg in NYC did not invite the first responders to the memorial today as there wasn’t room  ( let the politicians stay home then) and that there would be no clergy.. I wish he was a better Mayor.. Certainly no Guilliani..

So those are my memories of those days, and I’d like to know what my blogger friends remember and think today.

So, God Bless America, and I’m so proud that my fellow Americans prevented the killers from winning that day.. Yes lots of changes in our lives these past years; but they didn’t win.

Thanks for Reading my blog today

I mean, is it really worth the extra money?

I bought my first IMAC in 2006, about 5 1/2 years ago.  It took awhile for me to get use to the differences between the PC and Mac programs but gradually I let go of windows completely and really liked the i work and i life programs.. There was also the “security” of knowing I didn’t need to invest in a computer virus protection program. This summer, I really needed a faster and lets face it.. bigger computer.. I negotiated with myself for months and finally spent the money on a new i Mac. I have enjoyed it and was able to transfer all my apple programs over.. A Few problems with programs crashing and initially I couldn’t get the “migration program” to transfer my old mac files to the new mac.. but nothing major.. until last night.. I couldn’t sleep and ended up in my office.  I got an e-mail from my website which I took as a scam immediately.. I made the mistake of opening the e-mail. and then the 2nd mistake of clicking on a link.. Though I knew it was a scam (i’ve gotten a few) I didn’t worry about a virus.. Well I should have.. Note to Mac owners – the viruses we don’t worry about are out there.

I went into my safari (mac’s internet thingy) shortly after that and got an alarming message.. from safari— I’d just won something—- yeah it was a virus .. I didn’t click on the OK button but then my safari program wouldn’t work — it froze still trying to open this winning page.. Well I pulled the plug.. yeah like that helps and tried for hours in the middle of the night to fix my mac..Eventually I downloaded a virus protection program for MAC – the cheapest I found was 49.99.. and that took the rest of the night… Norton didn’t find a virus after scanning for 8 hours.. On the advise from a good friend on Facebook, I called apple.. The computer is now 95 days old — maybe 100 days.. My 90 day call you free was up so ONE call would cost me 49.99.. yeah .. I tried talking to the “customer service” rep at apple and after being told there was no difference virus wise from PC to MAC and that basically it was my fault, I told him NOT to speak to me like I was an idiot.. I’m pretty sure I had hung up BEFORE the foul language came flying out of my mouth.. Yeah– He told me as with ANY car you still have to wear your seatbelt.. That was the moment, I paused and asked him what his name was… And then, on the other side of 50 , I realized I had just lost my temper and had no concern whatsoever about it.. I told him I’d quote him on Facebook and twitter ( I don’t even know how to use twitter) and hung up.. Ass

I decided what the heck.. clicked on the OK button for the prize I hadn’t won.. then click cancel to disable my mac from connecting to the site an voila.. after 10 hours, I’d fixed Safari.. Now that I have firefox.. do I really need Safari.. uh no..

I have time machine and back up but wasn’t able to go back in time to erase problems like I can on my laptop.. I ask.. was time machine worth it? No.  My Mac knowledge may not be what it should be, probably isn’t… but I think 49.90 for a phone call or pay the extended service  for 169.00 for 9 months after  90 days is not what apple advertises.

Well then.. I feel better. My brand (almost) new shiny mac is working now after all…

Have a great weekend.. and thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

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