Sunday, October 30, 2016

Roses For My New House

It's so exciting to think about living in my new house in just a few months.
I couldn't resist ordering some new rose bushes from Jackson & Perkins. These are not bare root, but shipped in 2-quart containers. I didn't want bare root this year because I don't know where I will be living at shipping time.
Here are the roses I have ordered. The first four are Floribundas; Black Cherry; Easy Going; Hot Cocoa and Livin' Easy.

The next three are Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras; Beloved; Cherry Parfait and Strike it Rich.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Short History of Atwater United Methodist Church

1908 – 2016, written by a long time member of the church
Before churches were established in newly settled areas, families usually gathered in homes for what was often called “Sunday School.” In 1908 Reverend Steed was appointed to the Livingston Methodist Church and given the charge to establish new congregations in the outlying areas including Atwater and Winton. The small group of families in Atwater began meeting in a local community hall and soon began making plans to build a church. George Bloss Sr. donated two parcels of land at Third and Cedar Streets. The church was built and dedicated in September 1910, becoming the first church in Atwater. Though the official membership only numbered 8 members, by 1911, there were 50 students in the Sunday school with 10 teachers. The first children baptized in the new church were 4 Arnold children (including the father of Bill and Larry Arnold). As the church attendance grew a parsonage and a Sunday school wing were soon added.
In 1913, A.P. Peel was appointed as pastor of the Atwater Methodist Episcopal Church, continuing a list of appointments over the years—now numbering 39 with the addition of Pastor Joseph Vang’s name. Some have served only briefly, others for a number of years. During this time, the Methodist Conference worked to unite the small group in Winton with the Atwater congregation, and in 1922, the Winton congregation sold its building and donated the funds to help pay for improvements to the church and additions to the small parsonage and the classrooms. As all homeowners know, maintenance of buildings and improvement in equipment is a never-ending need. The building at Third and Cedar is still in use after more than 100 years because of the dedication of all those members who, year after year, raised funds and did the necessary maintenance chores to keep the building in good repair.
Life in the church changed little during the next 25-30 years. Businesses and the church weathered the years of the Depression and World War II. By 1950, Castle Air force Base had been reactivated (after being downsized in 1946), and young families began moving into the area and were searching for housing for their families and for a church “home.” Attendance at Third and Cedar climbed rapidly and soon attendance numbered 200 or more each week. In 1955, a new parsonage on First Street was purchased so the old one could be used for meetings and for more Sunday school classes.
In 1956, plans were begun to purchase land for a new church. Several families donated $1000 each for the down-payment on the land at Bellevue and Linden. People wondered why they were going so far out where the streets were not paved and the land, once a pasture, was covered by scrub trees, and contained an old ditch. Members of the church removed the trees, leveled the land and began making building plans. Two years later a building boom was taking place in Atwater- housing developments had reached to Bellevue, streets were being paved, and the population had more than doubled, with no end in sight.
In 1958, plans were drawn for the Fellowship Hall. A building fund pledge drive was held to raise $65,000 in three years. On August 28, 1960, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Fellowship Hall was held. On February 26, 1961, the building was consecrated and the first Sunday morning service was held. The Thorne wing (offices and 3 classrooms) followed immediately and was named for the sister of George Bloss Jr. who donated funds for the project.

Sunday school was still held at the old church and at Jean Brent’s nursery school (located where the Library now stands.) As soon as the Fellowship Hall was completed, John Cupples built the Sunday school wing for $20,000. On November 26, 1961, the church at Third and Cedar was deconsecrated and the Sunday school participants began meeting in the new buildings.
By 1963, two morning services were being held. Sunday school also met twice allowing for more usage of the available rooms. The old youth building had been moved from Third Street to the new grounds, funds were gathered for a new organ, the Westly Choir replaced the Young People’s Choir, and planning began for the construction of the Sanctuary. After the plans were finalized another 3- year building fund pledge drive was held to collect $80,000 for the construction by the contractor, Arden Hutchings. Groundbreaking took place in March of 1968 and the first service was held on December 8, 1968. As the building was taking place, individuals and families donated extra funds to pay for a pew or for other special items needed in the furnishing of the sanctuary. This day marked a real milestone in the history of the church as it was the culmination of a 10 year project. After sitting on folding chairs in a crowded, often hot, Fellowship Hall for several years, worshipping in the beautiful new Sanctuary was a “dream come true.”
The building fund drives remained active--in the 70’s the parsonage on First Street was sold and a new larger one purchased on Alabama Street and the garage/tool shop and the youth building were built. In 1986, the second half of the Narthex and the Fireside Room were constructed, once again with work of church members under the leadership of John Cupples. Along the way, the parking lot on Bellevue was paved, trees planted, sprinkler system installed, sound system up-dated, and a new organ installed.
By 1990, Castle Air Base had closed and the congregation had lost many of its dedicated members and workers. In 2000, the church faced another difficult time when many members and the pastor voted to leave the Methodist Conference to establish a non-denominational congregation. A retired pastor, Floyd Castillo, was immediately appointed by the Bishop to aid the 60 long-time members who opted to remain, maintain, and rebuild the church they loved. With hundreds of hours of volunteer work and many extra donations, needed repairs were made, cleaning projects accomplished, and improvements made.
During the last few years, four large memorial projects have been accomplished through donations: the AUMC Endowment Fund were installed; the Paul and Sybil Crookham Chapel was dedicated; the stained glass windows in the Sanctuary were funded by family and friends in memory or honor of their loved ones; and video screens were installed in worship and meeting areas. The membership is now stable, new small-interest groups have formed to replace older ones, and Fellowship opportunities are alive and well.
Though there is still work to be done, today we must remember the many, many dedicated members and friends who have worked since 1908 to build these buildings and this congregation that we call, “Our Church home.”
Happy 108th Birthday Atwater United Methodist Church
For a more complete history refer to “A HISTORY OF THE ATWATER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH” by Dale Craft, dated 1996.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More on Haiti -- After the Hurricane

I hope Sherri doesn't mind that I repost her last blog entry here. I wanted to show the pictures from Haiti that her husband took and sent to family. First her post and then the pictures.
If anyone would like to help, donations can be sent to: Good News International Foundation, 9391 Lupine Ave., Winton, CA 95388. 209-358-8677. You can specify on your check for housing, food or clinic, if you like.
The donations go directly to help the poor people of Haiti. Everyone there helping are volunteers and are not paid. My nephew, Matt Giesbrecht signed up for two years to run the medical clinic in Oriani, Haiti without pay.
The volunteers in Oriani are Mennonites.

From Matt's wife, Sherri:

The Dutch have come!!!

Matt just texted me that 2 big ships carrying food have come off the coast of Abrico. Heavily armed Dutchman from the Netherland’s island of Aruba have arrived. There is even a medical crew that have joined ranks with them..quite interesting working alongside.. they speak English. Matt says he’s not feeling so lost with his Creole
They are evaluating needs and having a meeting with Matt and Keith as to what is necessary. They are well orgainized. I’m hoping this is a green light for our men to come home!!!! It’s been a long week.
Because of the continuing needs here, our doorway is frequented. Sometimes seems like I get nothing done all day, and then I count people who’ve ‘frape’ (knock) at my door. I’d be a great missionary if it wasn’t for the people..again borrowed from the pineapple man. That goes through my head so many times a
It’s a challenge to listen and come up with a solution or reason. Then to relate that back in creole haha is more than I can do..but we find most people very patient. And people are especially long suffering, if they know some English, and know the challenges of learning another language.
The poorest people can only afford to plant peas or beans. That is what was damaged in the cyclone. So to figure out who it is that truly needs food. And who is working the system. Fre (brother) Osias the ‘doctor’ in our clinic overheard this group of people in the street talking about past aid to the area. They were saying only the Mennonites hand out aid in the proper way. Give aid to those that are really in need.
Other church groups give to people that really don’t need it. Some people will sell the food thy received. Praise God that has been their record here.
We depend a lot on our church people here to help us and tell us.
It’s a small community so they all know who is truly in need. And I feel so confident sending them to the church brethren. We have one brother who talks to people who have lost their houses, and one who helps hand out food. And Lacey knows who needs tuition for school. So much better than handouts from the white people. We still talk to them and if we feel to give directly we do, but if we have questions, we can let them decide. Lately my house has been full of produce I have bought, one good way to support the people. Plus many have brought us gifts too, since they maybe got rice from us earlier.

Kay has been doing awesome keeping the clinic running this week. They are working short with Chrystelle gone. It has not been a super busy week, an answer to prayers! Chrystelle ‘s medical assistant has been doing blood pressures and temperatures for everyone in the foyer, doing that extra step and easing the load.
Going to the clinic even for a few minutes, sort of realigns my vision of why we are here. When I get compound fever a trip there is a cure.

Dawson,of course, has adapted best here. He was looking at the Bible story book the other day. He says..”Mom.. what’s up with this?? All the people in here are white!! Even Jesus is white!!” Yep we’ve got a new normal. (Dawson is 5 years old.)

First picture, Dutch ship arrives.

Next picture of the Dutch crew.

And last are the Dutch nurses

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Oriani Clinic in Haiti

My nephew and his family are living in Haiti for a couple of years. Matt Giesbrecht is a Registered Nurse and is currently running the Confidence Clinic in Oriani, Haiti. There is no doctor there. Matt's wife, Sherri helps out where ever she can at the clinic and takes care of their house and family. She cooks for the nurses as well as her own family.
A young lady from Winton, California lives with them and is the school teacher for Matt and Sherri's 3 young children. The children are 10, 8 and 5 years old
Sherri writes a very interesting blog. Click on this link to read it. Sherri wrote about the hurricane. its aftermath and everyday life in Haiti as it applies to her and her family and neighbors.
The school teacher also has a blog. Also an interesting read. Read it here.

This last link to life at the Oriani Clinic in Haiti was written by Keith Toews. His blog ended around Easter of 2016 since he went back home to Canada and Matt took his place. Keith's blog has a lot of background information about Haiti with stories of local people who live around the area of the clinic. It's a very long walking distance for some of the people. Read his blog here.
Pictured is the Confidence Clinic in Oriani, Haiti.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Irises on Order

These are the Irises I ordered from Superstition Iris Gardens in Cathey's Valley, CA. They are on facebook if you want to see more pictures of their Irises. Their Walk Around garden is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.n. beginning April 22, 2016 and ending May 8, 2016. Blooms are early this year, so go early.
The first Iris is "Waves of Joy."

The second one is "Loving You."

The last one is "Grapetizer."

Monday, March 21, 2016

California Heartland Episode 908

Journalist Turned Cheesemaker
an article written about Mandy for the California Heartland program.
You can still see the video here and listen to Mandy's voice.
Love and miss her. Always.

Mandy Johnston is a Journalist turned cheese maker. Out of college she landed a job as an editor with a lifestyle Magazine. She traded living an urban, hipster life, interviewing rock stars and celebrities for making cheese on her family farm. It didn't take much for Mandy to make that decision, when she heard her family's dairy, Pedrozo’s Dairy, may be put up for sale she knew it was her calling.

John, her cheese partner and boyfriend, also quit his job in the tile industry to pursue cheese making, alongside Mandy. The dairy is now called, Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Co. These young cheese makers wouldn't give up their new lives for anything. It’s a small company which consists of Mandy and John making cheese, and her (step) dad who owns the dairy and milks the cows.

Mandy's decision became even clearer, when Mandy's dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer (now fully recovered), which pushed her to learn about the milking process as well, so she now milks the cows when needed! They sell their homemade, unpasteurized cheese at Chico and Sacramento Farmers markets and many markets and small shops around the Chico and Sacramento area.

Mandy's favorite thing about her new career choice is selling at the farmers markets. She says the close knit community of local farmers and friends that exists at the market is something that fills her with joy.