Thursday, March 8, 2018

2017 Christmas Poem

MADE TIME TO READ SEVENTY BOOKS (*76 by the time year had ended)


Your silence speaks loudly
Many words to my ears
Your silence says things
I don't want to hear

I thought you were different
You even claimed to be
I thought you a friend
Then you abandoned me

I don't know what happened
Why did you change
It used to feel natural 
Now you've taken away the sun

I'll keep moving forward
My life will keep going
I'll keep my perspective
No time to stop rowing

I'll remember the times
You made me feel loved
I'll remember many moments
Like an angel from above

You showed me who I am 
& to be proud of me
You showed me my strength
& who I could be

Thank you for everything
The friendship once shown
Thank you for caring
Because now I have grown

You've made it too easy
To move forward now
You've made my decision
Can't look back anyhow

Remember in silence
Are words loud and clear
Remember the tears
In time will soon disappear

I've made my decision 
On moving forward too
I've made my choice
To be silent to you

Short or unfinished poetry

When you smile
it lights the room
When you laugh
it erases all my gloom
When you talk
it fills my soul with glee
When you smile, laugh and talk
right to me

We make choices all day long
Choose to be weak
Or choose to be strong

Sometimes I feel forgotten
Like I've been left behind
Am I really forgotten
Or is it just in my mind
It used to feel so simple
Things came so easily
When did it all crumble
And become my history?

I feel you looking down
What do you see
When you're looking down
Are you proud of me
I'm not sure where I'm going
Or who I'm meant to be
But I'm moving forward
I miss you Daddy

Forever and a day

The title says it all!! That's how long it has been since I have been on here and written anything! There have probably been like a million times that I have thought to write about life and such. I have also written some more poetry since I have been gone too... so I need to add those ... but first a little life update I guess....

In the past two years, a few friendships have come and gone. Life continues to be full of ups and downs. there have been many a trip to Disneyland, and many more funerals unfortunately. It is interesting how life continues on and with each new day and as I grow older and older, the funerals are becoming a little more consistant. It is hard to see how much my life has changed. It has also taught me to grow. It has helped me to know that I want to be the best I can be and I want to make sure that those around me know that they are loved. That they know that I am here and always will be if they need a friend. Life is full of curveballs, but if we are ready we can be prepared for it.

So in other news, my sister Denise and bro-in-law Neal moved to S. Carolina :( it is and has been hard, but it was also a blessing for them and for our family in one way... they were able to do more fertility stuff and now have the cutest set of twins ever! I love my niece Hazel and nephew Hudson so much! They are 5 months old already and are getting so big! I saw them when they were just a couple weeks old, and again about a month or so later at Thanksgiving! I miss them!

Other than that, I cannot think of too many new things to share. I am still renting where I moved 5 years ago (this month) after an unfortunate roommate situation with a former friend. It is fabulous here! I am not judged, I can come and go as I please. I don't feel I have to hide or anything else. I can make my own meals and my situation is way happier. It is nice too because I am not too far from my mom and family so I can see them frequently if I want or need to. Lately I haven't had the time! I am still working at CHP, 6 years this month, and it has been 2 years this month since I transferred to the Moorpark office. It is nice there, way better commute, and I have a free gym in the building which I attend daily after work. It is a nice bonus. In the meantime though I have tested and am in Rank 1 for an Office Supervisor position. Just looking for a spot to open up. I did apply and interview for one, but wasn't chosen. There have been a few other openings recently but even though I am considering relocating and moving if necessary, they were not in offices I was willing to move to, mostly because of the areas being too pricey to live. I know that Heavenly Father has something perfect in mind for me though, so I am trying to be patient.

Well I think that is about it for an update. Like I said, I am sure there are a bunch of things that have happened, that I should share about, but overall not too much has changed. Life is good.  After this post, I am going to share a couple others of poetry I have written but not posted yet. Good night

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Garage Sale Gnome

Once upon a time, all great stories begin this way right? Well this is more than a story. It is an experience never to be forgotten. It is about strangers meeting and sharing a connection. It’s about adventure, and life and how one moment can change everything. It’s a legacy; it’s an ancestral history of the great gnome of Simi Valley. Have I gotten your interest yet? I hope so. Now the details may be a little shady, and maybe they are a little out of order. Just maybe, they aren’t quite right, but I know the story could change slightly over time, as all great stories do. It’s about the memories more than anything. It is the story of my family. I am Gerard the Gnome. This is the story of my grandpa Geoff the Gnome and his experience once upon a time in Simi Valley, CA.

So growing up I heard all about my Grandpa. He was a great Gnome, loved all other gnomes and was living the dream. He found a family and was living in their backyard. He felt like part of family and enjoyed watching their kids grow old. He was happy in his home and was content in his life. One day his hat got broken by one of the kids. They were playing and he got knocked over. But the family cleaned up the broken hat and let Geoff stay. He was so glad for that. Then one year the family sold their house, they were growing up and moving on, and getting a bigger place. Geoff was excited for the new experiences he would get. He had never moved and wasn’t sure what to expect. Then moving day came, and the house was all fluttering. Life was hectic, but Geoff was forgotten. He felt neglected and alone and didn’t know what to expect. He never expected his family to abandon him.

Soon a new couple moved in. They were a sweet couple, Denise and Neal who had been together quite some time. They were married and so much fun. This new couple didn’t have any kids but in time they got a dog. Koda was a good dog, he was big, but was friendly and kind. Geoff was happy with his new family. He knew he was no longer abandoned and life was going to be happy once again. He loved watching the family celebrate life events, and have parties. He enjoyed watching Koda play with his friends Hershey and Moose. He felt like he had never felt before. Years passed by and one day his new family held a garage sale. Things were changing once again. Geoff knew it too. He’d begun to realize that life changes, the life of a garden gnome is never the same, it’s unpredictable. One day you have a family and the next you don’t. You never know if you’ll stay in one yard or move on.

The day of the garage sale came and Denise’s sweet sister Renee came over to help. Renee was always a giver. She would spend her time helping when she could and was prepared to spend the day with Denise aiding the sale. Who knows where Neal was that day? The sisters were prepared. They set things up; they had their fanny pack and change. They had drinks and food and were ready to go. People came and went all morning and things were moving along nicely. Then along came a nice Irishman (I think it was an Irishman, like I said these stories can sometimes be a little off over time) the girls were ready

Girls: Good Afternoon, Sir
Man: Well hello there! I was wondering if you have any garden tools or supplies you might be selling?
Denise: I’m not sure if I have much, I know I have a gnome with a broken hat.
Man: I’d love to see this gnome with a broken hat!
Denise: Ok let’s go. (Denise and the man went to the backyard to check for garden supplies and see Geoff)

After some time in the back the gentleman buys the gnome! Geoff was on to a new yard and a new adventure! He was sad to leave Denise, Neal and Koda but was excited to see what he might find in his new place. He left with a tear in his eye and knew his life would never be the same! In time Denise and Neal moved on as well, their lives too would change. Renee was still the sister who would serve and help when possible. She would assist at all of Denise’s garage sale endeavors, except the one on a Friday when she had to work.

Another time during the great Texas tract garage sale, Denise would be assisting her friend Laura and saw this gentleman one day, she asked him if he was looking for a gnome with a broken hat! The gentleman smiled! He was thrilled so see his friend again! He was glad that he had gotten Geoff and was happy with his new friend! Renee would also see the gentleman that day, as she too was assisting a friend in the Texas Tract garage sale. She didn’t talk to the man that day, but remembered him and Geoff as well. It was a great laugh later for Denise and Renee to realize that they’d both seen their friend again!

Nobody knows now where Grandpa Geoff is living. But we know if he’s with the Irish gentleman who like to find gardening supplies at garage sales, then he is still the happiest garden gnome around! The gentleman has a great sense of humor and was so sweet. The girls have had a few garage sale adventures since then. Sadly, this has been without seeing their friend. Hopefully he too is living well and enjoying his gnome with a broken hat!

Now back to my story, as I said I am Gerard. A few short months ago when Denise and Neal were preparing to move once again, Renee saw me on clearance at Wal-Mart. She knew she couldn’t pass me up. I brought a smile to her face. She remembered her garage sale days with Denise. She remembered Grandpa Geoff and she remembered the Irishman. She wondered where he is this day. She knew that Denise would remember the good times too. She bought me and took me home. She knew that with Denise and Neal moving I would be a welcomed remembrance from their younger days in Simi Valley. She knew that I would bring a smile to Denise’s face and would be unexpected. She even thought about breaking my hat, but knew that was Grandpa’s story. Mine has yet to be learned or told. I have many adventures to experience yet! So I’ve spent several months with Renee. We’ve been picking lemons in her backyard, and on the occasional adventure, but mostly I’ve spent my time in Renee’s room. Things are always changing there too! But I miss the great outdoors, I miss having a garden and so now I am ready to travel. I hear I am going to South Carolina. I am not sure where that is, Renee tells me it’s pretty far from here. She says that my life there will be as exciting as Grandpa’s life was since I will be with Denise, Neal and even Koda. But she says that it will be different from Grandpa’s too! She said I am going to have 4 seasons. That I will maybe get to experience snow! She says that whatever happens, I will be well taken care of and loved. So I am excited for that new adventure. I am excited to finally meet them and look forward to the day when Renee comes to say hello. I can’t wait to show her my new yard and all the views it has. I can’t wait to see deer and other wildlife. I am ready to start my story. I may not be a garage sale gnome. But I am already loved beyond my wildest dreams and I know that grandpa Geoff is proud of me for standing up tall and being ready for adventure!

Well that is grandpa’s story, to the best of my recollection. It’s a fun story and I am thankful to have known it. I am glad to know that adventure is out there. I am glad to know that even if things change I can change too. I am glad to know that even if I have a broken hat I can still be loved. I am excited for my days ahead. I am excited to travel, and ready to experience snow and to meet everyone in South Carolina. This is the beginning to my story now and one day I will share it entirely too.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A true friend

I'm not myself when you're around
You lift my feet up off the ground
You help me spread my wings to fly
Set my goals within the sky
I really don't know what to say
I'm becoming a new person each new day
It's like you're some kind of glue
I feel like I'm sick attracted to you
I don't know where this is going
I wonder if I'd be happy knowing
You've brought my life a new light
Each time we talk my smile is bright
Being your friend is a blessin'
Teaching me many a lesson
Helping me come out of my shell
Feeling like you already know me too well
Since we've been brought together
My life has surely gotten better
I feel like I can tell you anything
I find the joy you always bring
You've been a treasured friend to me
A better friend than I deserve you to be
I hope to be the same to you
For you deserve a good friend too
In this crazy life we live
We can take,  but we should give
A comforting hug,  or a friendly smile
A treasured moment that lasts awhile
I'm thankful for the friend I have in you
Without your kindness what would I do?
It hasn't been long that we've been friends
I hope it's something that never ends
You are you,  and I am me
A friend like you,  I hope to be
Who finds the good in all you know
Lifting up friends to help them grow
Your example is a shining one
Like the brightness of the sun
You're my friend and I'm glad that's true
I hope I'm a better friend because of you

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A tiny seed

A tiny seed
Becomes a weed, flower, or tree
A tiny seed
Grows inside of me
I don't know what will blossom
I don't know what will bloom
The seed of faith is awesome
It will grow if given room
The seed grows differently
For you,  than for me
You may have a strong oak tree
I may only have a daisy
Does that mean your faith is stronger?
Or that mine is no longer?
That's the thing about faith
You can't really judge it's place
We're all God's creations
The big and the small
From the tiny daisy
To the oak tree so tall
Some faith may fill an ocean
Some faith may fill a pond
What matters is devotion
To the power from beyond
Our faith is always changing
When watered it will grow
The size of a tree or daisy
Only heavenly Father knows
My faith may seem hidden
Or buried down inside
It doesn't mean I've given
Into foolish pride
Maybe it's just mine
Or shadowed by design
I know I have great faith
I know that you do too
Please don't judge my faith
I promise i won't judge you.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I don't know what is real

I don't know what to think. 
I don't know what to feel. 
I don't know what is me,
I don't know what is real. 
Am I just imagining, 
These thoughts within my heart. 
Is it only make believe? 
It's tearing me apart. 
I really can't explain it. 
It really makes no sense. 
It's like I don't deserve it,
But it's giving me such happiness. 
I really wish I knew. 
Each moment of each day. 
I wonder if you feel it too?
I don't know what to say. 
What's happening to me? 
These feelings are so new.
Will you help me see?
If you feel it too? 
Because I don't know what you think
And I don't know what you feel. 
I don't know what is you, 
And I don't know what is real?

Renee Conaway

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Friendship Tree

What once was so small
before something grew,
the seed became so tall
everything was still so new.
A little water and then to wait,
to see what you would bloom.
For a time, not knowing its fate
Hoping the sun would outlast the gloom.
What once was a tiny seed,
with nourishment did grow.
Whatever it did need
you began to learn and know
Once it started to take root
and turned into a tree
You waited for the fruit
that would be so delicious unto thee.
You still don't know the season,
Or how long the fruit will last.
You want to keep it growing
but it scares you so
Something about not knowing
makes you want to go.
The tree has grown so beautiful
It's spread its leaves so wide
You wonder if you can keep it full
and nourished from inside.
You realize the tree is teaching you
how to stand your ground
So the winds won't topple you,
and you want to stick around.
You want to keep it growing,
keep watering that tree
You start to feel you're also growing
the tree was also watering thee.
Now you've grown together,
and formed a special bond.
You can storm any weather,
and keep trudging on.
The tree will hold a special place,
deep within your heart.
It's put a smile on your face,
you hope will never part. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Well I knew that I had updated my blog about my car, but until tonight when I signed in again, I didn't realize that last blog was in May! Man how the time flies by! Since that time a lot has happened. We did some electrical tests and were getting inconsitent results, and numbers that were way out of the normal, but not only that, they didn't seem right at all. So it led to more questions and research. In the meantime becuase we had changed out the switches and we checked both of the screens, the next option was to check the actual oil pressure and see if it wasn't a switch issue but internal engine damage. ... so I bought an oil pressure test kit. When I hooked it up I wasn't getting any response. So the next day I went to Disneyland to overcome my sorrows!  Later that week Scott came over to help me test it again since the guage didn't even nudge, so we ran some tests to make sure it wasn't a faulty guage etc. and try again to test the oil pressure. Well my brand new guage was working acurately. :-/ So it was official. I had done all I could to try and fix her myself and learned that I was going to need to replace the engine. Scott left and because my mom had taken her car that I was borrowing to the store, I couldn't go home. I was sad and didn't know what was going happen from there. I knew I didn't really have the money for a new car, or even a used car, and I had already borrowed money to get parts to try and fix mine. How was I going to be able to afford to get a new engine & have it installed in my car?

I was still at my moms house and about an hour after Scott left, I got a text message from someone I know at church. Her text said "Hey girl, I know that you've been having car troubles, do you need a car to drive temporarily? We have an extra" I started crying! *side note, I was also "heart attacked" that day/night, but they left heartsm streamers and Mickey mouse shapes! So I did more crying when I got home again, knowing that I am loved!** What a blessing because I knew that in about 2 weeks my mom was leaving for vacation and was going to take her car that I was currently driving! So I was loaned a 2005 Acura TL. I was driving that car for awhile. During that time we thought we found a used engine for $1400 and were working on picking it up as well as planning to install it. Scott was going to help me, and was going to also enlist the help of his  buddy Ryan that he used to work with. The day before we were supposed to go pick up that engine we discovered that it was from an '07 CR-V and not an '06 like we were initially told. My car is an '04, so the engines from '02-'06 would fit, the '07 was changed. :( ugh.  So I was back to square 1, it had already been a few weeks before we had found that engine, so no telling how long it would take to find another. In the meantime I was searching online and trying to find reputable sources and seeing about finding any used, rebult, remanufactured engines. Each time I thought maybe I had found a place, I would also find negative reviews on the Better Business Bureau or other websites. In the meantime I had the Acura for a little over a month (about 5 or 6 weeks) so I ended up returning that and went back to driving my mom's Yukon since they were now home again from vacation.

Then about 2 weeks ago (give or take) my mom starts sending me info about used cars. She texts me and is telling me that maybe we should just find me a used car, that she would loan me some additional money to pay for it (she had given me some money to borrow for the engine). I was telling her that I didn't want a used car. I was home and crying as I was texting her. SHe was saying since there was no way of knowing how long it would be to find another engine, that I needed to have something of my own to drive. I was telling her that I didn't want to buy a used car and end up having it break down on me. That I was worried that if I did get a new car I wouldn't be able to work on it, like I can my car because I wouldn't be familiar with it. I was also upset mostly because there is a connection to my Dad with my car. I bought it new and have done a lot of my own repairs. My dad taught me a lot over the years as I have had to maintain my car. I learned a lot and am very familiar with it. I didn't want a new/used car. But to please her I started looking a little. I talked to Scott and he said that if I was looking at used cars that he would be willing to assist me and check them out with me etc, to help make sure I hopefully wouldn't get a lemon.

I was finding a few things I could maybe be interested in. there were some that as I reviewed them thru the Kelly Blue Book I would find they had low crash test ratings, or their price wasn't within reason or other things about them. I would ask Scott what he thought and if he didn't thing it was a good option he would tell me and I would listen. I was also being a little bit picky. Having been driving my CRV, the Yukon and the Acura, I knew that I wanted a small SUV again, or maybe a truck. I didn't want a sedan or anything  that sits lower to the ground, but I also didn't want a full size SUV vehicle either. One night I found a Chevy Equinox. It looked decent, was within a reasonable price range and decent mileage. I checked the KBB and it looked good, I checked with Scott and he said it seemed decent as well. The ad said to call/text so I sent a text that day. No response. So the next monring I texted again, with no response. I waited until that evening and tried to call after work, no answer and no option to leave a voicemail. I was beginning to wonder if maybe they had sold it, but hadn't deleted the post, and were too rude to at least let me know so I wouldn't continue attempting some contact for it. Later that evening I decided to do some more searching online. I found a NEW post for that same Chevy Equinox, and it was listed at $100 less than before. I went back to my email where I had sent myself the link, and the link was deactivated. I checked the number I had been contacting against the new post and everything was exactly the same! This made me extra frustrated because I had finally come to terms with maybe getting a used car, and found one that I actually kind of liked. I was somewhat excited and now I was mad. This led me to thinking "well maybe I can find a CRV that is being sold for parts out of a collision or something, that I can use take the engine to be rebuilt and install it into my CRV" **I know from previous work, that in addition to the lack of oil pressure, I have some damage in my engine block and it wouldn't be suitable for a rebuild, so that is why I was looking for a replacement engine. So then in trying to find an engine, I came across a company about 60 miles from here that imports used Japanese Engines. They sell them, but also install them. I found their FB page which had positive comments on it, I found their EBAY page, which was 100% positive in comments and I talked to Scott the next day. i called and was told on the phone that they did have an engine that would fit my car in stock and that the engine would be $750, and if I wanted it installed that would be $600. It comes with the basic tune up (new plugs, filters coolant, oil etc. since all that has to be drained.changed when removing the engine anyway) and that if anything else was determined to need replacing they would contact me during install, not have any hidden charges. The work comes with a 3 month warranty and once the car is on site they go by first come first serve basis, then it's about a 2 day turn around for the replacement. Due to my work schedule and having to tow my car there, I had to work on a few things before being to take it in. I was able to schedule a time the following Thurs (last week) and Scott was going to assist me in towing the car to the shop. I remembered that I needed 3 wheel studs replaced on my car and knew that it wouldn't be safe to drive it home without that done, so the Sat before we very slowly (if you went above 2500 rpm, it would go into limp mode) drove my car to the Firestone and had those changed out. I picked it up again on Sunday and slowly drove it home. Thurs we dropped off my car and then I went out of town for a wedding from Friday- Tues.
I got the call today that she is done and ready for pickup!!!!   So because of my work schedule I couldn't go today, and I don't think tomorrow will work either, I would have to leave work early and t would mean sitting in traffic to go both there and back again. But as it turns out Sat I was planning a Disneyland trip with some friends. So I am going to see if they wouldn't mind driving there, and dropping me off. I will be able to pick up my car, we can go to the park and then caravan home. It is pretty much on the way to the park anyway (only a few miles out of the normal route to the park). I will make sure we caravan from there, to the park and then home, so that if anything happens I am not stranded alone. The shop said that they didn't have any complications with the engine shop.  I asked them to put the new switches I had bought and installed prior to discovering the engine pressure problems onto the engine they were installing, so they were supposed to do that. They said my engine light is off, the oil light is off and there were no problems during the test drive. I am super hopefull! It's been a long road to get here, and I have had to borrow and spend a little more than I obviously had hoped to spend, but I am excited to finally be getting my car back. Of course she's due for a smog inspection and registration this month too, so I have that to look forward to now as well. But I am thankful she's fixed! I was so blessed during the time since she broke down (end of Feb) until now, in that I had cars to borrow, and was able to get to/from work and other places. I am thankful for Scott and all his assistance. He was kind of my go-to guy when i was making repair attempts and was stuck (both literally and mentally) and he was super helpful, patient and kind with me. It has been a long journey and i don't know why I couldn't find this company before wheni was searching for engines, but I am thankful i found them now! It's a  blessing that it's all worked out, and I hope this means she will run now for awhile longer, as I said in my last post, I am just not quite ready to give her up yet.

I have a coworker who has a lot of money, her family has money, and she always has designer clothing, "bling" jewelry, and only drives expensive fancy cars, on a lease so she can always have the latest and greatest. I am more low maintenance, I was raised to do my own auto repairs, I drove used cars for years before buying my CRV new (another reason I wasn't ready to say goodbye, I worked hard to get her) I have no problem buying things at the Goodwill or other thrift stores, i will bring pb&j to DIsneyland to save money. I have no problem living a simple life. One day when I was talking about putting a new engine in my car, she asked how much that would cost me, I told her about $1400. She asked what year my car is, I told her a 2004. She did the calculation and mumbled something about it being 12 years old, and then she asked me what a new car of the same model would cost me, i informed her around $28,000. I know it's a cultural thing, but i don't understand the mentality of some people to basically judge me for my decision to repair not replace. I am so extremely happy to be getting my car back. I have never had names for my cars, even though I have family and friends who name theirs. I have always referred to my car in the feminine she/her/my girl etc. but that was about it. The night I was texting my mom about used cars, that was something  I told her. It's not like I like having to borrow the Yukon, or the Acura or any other car for that matter. That I don't like the size of the Yukon (even though I spent 6 years driving an ambulance, and miss it everyday) and I didn't like feeling so small and low to the ground in the Acura. I like my car because she was like Goldilocks - everything fits "just right". So after Saturday I will be an extremely happy girl again! Me and Goldilocks will be hitting the streets! I cannot wait!