Cheryl Mendoza

How He speaks to me…..Or… can't He just call my cell when He wants to talk?



My National Monument…..

Funny thing was…I took this as we came in.

I thought it would be a nice drive to Porterville.  My son was there for work, and so we went down to have lunch with him.  It was a nice leisurely drive down CA43 and a relaxing lunch getting all the info on the job he was doing.

After lunch I was not expecting much, you see we had bee bopped around the house all morning.  Typically, we get up and out early, but this morning we had been moving kind of slow.  So I was not expecting to head into the mountains for long drawn out ride.  How naïve of me. Continue reading “My National Monument…..”

Otter Noir…

This is what happens when you make up stories using the things you see.  The fog really made me think of film noir…. and the only other characters around were some otters and a couple of scuba divers.  Enjoy!

It was a day like any other day.  The fog had rolled in and even the sun couldn’t break

_DSC3329 through the gloom.  It was early.  Like those first moments when you wake up and are caught between the heaven of sleep and the hell of wakefulness.   I always tried to get out before they came.  Those strange creatures that walk upon the land.  With their glowing white skin and strange seaweed hanging from their bodies. Continue reading “Otter Noir…”

Brains day off….

IMG_5156What happens when in one day, you are going from the mid eighties to the mid ninties, after weeks of  the mid seventies?  You head to the coast.  And when your hubby wants to take sunrise pictures, you get up at dark thirty so that you can make it to the coast before the sun comes up.

IMG_5163At 3:30 this morning, I was really not in the mood to worry about my own camera, so I just decided to use my iphone.  I snapped a good amount of pictures, but not too many.  It had been a long week.  My brain had been on overload and I wanted to spend some time just enjoying the beauty that surrounded me. Continue reading “Brains day off….”

A little indignity.

Not a very auspicious start when you miss writing on the first day of Lent.  Not being Catholic, I do not have the traditional teachings of Lent to fall back on, so I have just try to listen and see how God moves my heart.  So this year I heard someone say that the forty days is in commemoration of Jesus time in the desert.  I don’t remember hearing that before, or if I did it did not hit me like it did this year.  Why?  Well it had to do with a conversation I was having with God earlier today.

unknown-2I was praying, because I knew I would need help writing for a couple of hours today.  I totally have ADHD and while writing is the way that I believe I am supposed to communicate, it is still really hard for me to do it.  I get distracted so quickly and easily.  Anyway, back to my conversation coming home.  I had gone for a walk to the bank, and knew I wanted to write when I got home, but I wasn’t sure what I would write about.  Then my mind started to wander back to my lovely surroundings, and the quick trip I took to the mountains with my hubby. Continue reading “A little indignity.”

Lost on SR155

So it is Saturday, and that means my hubby wants to practice with his new camera.  The thing about that is, he always wants me to go with him.  He was disappointed this morning, since I had an appointment at 9:00 and that means any day trip wouldn’t start till after 10:00.  We are kind of a get up at the crack of dawn and miss the traffic kind of travelers, so waiting till that late in the morning was hard for him.  I think I made it up to him though, as I got us a bit lost which gave us a bit more of an adventure.

We were supposed to be heading to the Tule Elk State Nature Reserve, but I got it mixed up and we ended up at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.

The place where we wound up was closed, can you imagine?  It was only open for the duck hunters, which is not the kind of shooting we do.  We made a note to come back, especially when a big hawk flew over us moving from a tree to a telephone pole.  It was amazing!

So I attached a few pictures.  Since I had steered us wrong, I knew I had to make it up to him.  So I told him he could drive, and he did.  We wound up going into the foothills on SR155.  We saw blue sky, the small town (?) of Woody, beautiful green valleys and cowboys.  It was a wonderful day.  We now know a great route to drive for some beautiful scenery and two places that we will visit in the future.  More places to explore, and more pictures to take. dsc_0914


Darkness and light


I am more of a sunshine type of girl, but now we are in December, and I marvel at how dark it gets. Even now as I look out the window, there are storm clouds in the sky with patches of the dark sky showing through. The clouds, sky and even the trees in my yard are all shades of black and gray. Cold, dark and somewhat ominous. In the clouds there is a promise of storms, but also of life giving rain. There is also a reflection in my window, it is the Christmas tree with it’s pure white lights. A distinct contrast to the darkness outside.

I thank God today for the birth of His Son, and for the work that would take 32 years to accomplish on earth. I am thankful on that day so long ago…that the work was already done. That there was nothing in heaven or earth to stop the blessing that would come forth.

I also thank God that, even though we may not know the exact day of His birth, we celebrate it in winter. At the time of year that truly reflects our fallen state; darkness, cold and separation. Against this backdrop we contrast the light of the world.  Where He is truly reflected for who He is. Light, peace and above all hope.

**This was something that I wrote a couple of years ago, but it came back to me as I was looking at this picture.  The day was a combination of shadows and light.  It was warm in the light, but very cold when you stepped into the dark shadows.  I had cropped this picture to get some of the light out of it, so that I could have a uniform look.   I was not totally successful, as you will see that there is just a hint of sunshine in the left hand corner.

Cooling off in Cambria

So we had to go to Paso Robles yesterday evening for a concert, and since it was just as hot there as it was here (100+) we decided to hit the coast first.  I could not be more thankful for the detour.  We left temperatures in the 90’s and arrived at the coast to fog and high 60’s.  I got to put on a sweatshirt and everything!  Since I was with the shutterbug hubby, I decided to bring my little camera and follow his lead.  These are a few of my favorite shots.


Moonstone Beach. All these rocks are a natural exfoliant. So much nicer to walk on than sand.

Continue reading “Cooling off in Cambria”

This season’s pain.

It was early when I arrived. The doors weren’t even open yet, but I waited. I knew she would come soon. It is not many times that I beat the woman to her shop. She is usually there with her hair in a bun wrapped up in a net, smelling of yeast and sugar. I can barely stand the smell, but it is the food imageshe has for me that I am waiting for. The crumbly hard shapes that fill my stomach and nourish me. It is not what I am used to, nor is it the way my story started. I once had a home, a place where I belonged. I was born there, I lived and was happy. The change happened so abruptly, as if it was a dream. One day I was beloved in a happy family, and the next I was a wandering soul enduring the heat and unknown. I am growing accustomed to my new life. It is not without peace, but it is just hard. Trying to find food, water, shelter and protection from the world. I used to have that, before that day, and I hope to find that again. Each new day is a victory, it means that I have survived to see another sunrise. It means that the memories of the goodness of life, have not been overshadowed by the pain. With each new sunrise comes the newest opportunity to be strong, to love and to show others that they can survive this life too.

She is here, and I am fed. Together we start a new day.

My husband has become obsessed with his camera, and had taken some pictures the other day in our small town.  Someone wanted to know the story behind the pictures, so I jokingly started writing about the cat and how she had lost her home.  By the time I was done though, I knew I was not writing about the cat any more.  I was thinking about the headlines of the day, and the young woman who has been subjected to more than anyone should in a lifetime.  I pray that her good memories, and her future are not overshadowed by this seasons pain.  That she would find healing, and  strength in her most important label, child of God.  

Memorial Day 2016

So today is Memorial Day 2016.  We spent most of the day traveling home after visiting family, so it is late in the day when I finally get to think about the meaning of the day.  Sad enough to say, it seems that I have only just started looking into the day’s history in the last few years.  While there are theories on who began the tradition that became the holiday, I choose to take some time and reflect on the why of the day.  I do that not to deny the history of anyone, but because it is in the why where we find our common ground.

Today is the day to remember those who died while serving in the US military.  I happen to live in a navy town.  It is strange as this navy town is in the middle of California’s Central Valley, and not an ocean in sight.  So when I think of Memorial day, I think of the people I do life with.   I see them when we hear of an F-18 crash on the news.  I watch them come together when one of their own dies.  This is what Memorial Day means to me on the most personal level.

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I went to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California.  While we were there, he was able to check out the trains, and I was able to walk around and see the people who were there for a Civil War reenactment.   At one point a man asked if I would like to see some of the artifacts that he had, and I of course was interested.  He put into my hand a 12 pound ball that was part of a battle in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  As I stood there holding the rather large and heavy ball, the man went on and gave more information about the ball and the other items he had.  I really did not hear much of what he said, as I was concentrating on what I was holding.  I thought about the ball, and how heavy it was.  I could imagine the speed it would have, as it hurtled through the air only to hit the ground and bounce for a time.  I thought of the Civil War documentaries I had seen, and all of the carnage balls like these had created on a battlefield.  I wondered if the ball had killed someone, taken off an arm or even a leg.  I was not able to handle it any longer, and gave it over to my husband.  We listened for just a bit longer, and then left the gentleman dressed in Confederate grey.  It made me melancholy for a while, and I knew that I could never be a part of a reenactment.   For me, the whole thing seemed very weird, not good or bad, just weird.  We went on to take more pictures and see the other exhibits there in the museum, but it wasn’t until we got home that I realized what I had done.

Day Trippin

I took the picture that is attached.  I was really trying to get a good picture of the box car and tree, but there in the side was the cannon.  It was sitting there waiting for the reenactment, and I had gotten it into my picture by accident.  Since the whole reenactment thing left me feeling the way it did, I really did not want the cannon in my picture.  The problem was, I did not like the picture when we cropped the cannon out.  So I left it and did not think of it again until maybe Thursday, when it dawned on me that Memorial day was quickly approaching.  It felt appropriate.  I do not particularly like what Memorial Day makes me remember, but I know that is the whole point.  To remember what we lose through war, to remember the sacrifice made by many.  I think war sucks, but like my cannon silently sitting in the wings, I know it sneaks into the picture even when we don’t want it.  So I am thankful for those who make the ultimate sacrifice, and pray for those who are left behind.




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