A future trip…

2794715363_0a65217e29_oSeveral years ago, Deanna and I visited Washington DC. It was an awesome trip. I’d love to take my teenagers there. Obviously, my medical condition, as it now stands, makes it quite a while before I can do it. But you know me, I look far down the road, dream a little, and start planning.

Without my ability to drive, I’ve already been thinking about places to visit, once allowed by my medical team, where I won’t need a car. San Francisco jumps out quick. Public trans rocks, and it’s not far away.

And since y’all know I’ve fallen in love with Amtrak, I may just go that route. It’s more expensive than flying, but I’m sure I’ll be clear for the train before a plane, since I’m already taking the train for clinic visits with approval. So off I go, planning away!

This would be our route, on Amtrak. Why not a straight shot? Well, the northern route, via Chicago, is the “straight” shot. We’d us sleeper cars, the whole back and forth. But, the path back has us stopping for a night in New Orleans, then taking a bus to Shreveport, to spend the weekend with our Texas family, then back on the train, home to Guadalupe, that’s where the Santa Maria station is located.

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She is with our Lord in glory…

This past week has been somewhat of a roller coaster for the greater Carpenter family. 

My father’s younger and only sister went home to be with our Lord, on Christmas Eve. 

Her health had been sketchy for a bit, recently diagnosed with CHF, after a lifetime battling diabetes. Earlier in the week, she had some kidney and liver issues, and was admitted to the hospital. Ultimately she succumbed to these increasingly devastating ailments. 

Let me tell you about my Aunt Jan. She was one of the most loving, respectful, and a truly classy woman. She had a forgiving heart, and was known for her positive spin on many things. Most who knew her saw her as a sweet and kind woman. 

In recent years she and I had our simultaneous medical struggles, albeit quite different. She was a comfort to me, as I dealt with my issues, as I pray I was for her. 

She and I also share some life experiences that even in such a large family, few of us have had to deal with. Many times over the last year she was of great counsel and comfort to me as I’ve waded through my own life change. Having walked that road, and emerged the other side, she was a constant companion to me. I will forever cherish her wisdom and guidance she has offered me in the recent months. 

Of course we mourn our loss. My children will always remember their Aunt Jan. As a Mamaw, she’ll be remembered as well. Yet I am sad for those of our family’s future who will never know their Mamaw. I pray that her legacy will still be cherished so that her spirit will be passed on. 

Know this, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I can testify firsthand that Jan Bogner was a redeemed and saved woman who is right now in a perfefected body, free from pain. As she slipped from our world, she fell into the healing and loving arms of our Savior, welcomed home. 

These words are such a small token of my great love for my Aunt Jan. Yet, we will meet again. 

Uncle Ron

“By his secret watering the Spirit makes us fruitful to bring forth the buds of righteousness.”

-John Calvin

Yesterday afternoon my dad’s cousin, Ron Carpenter, passed away after a battle with COPD. It came a little quick however. A few of our Camarillo family were able to arrive in time to care for him. His daughter was able to arrive within minutes.

I know that my parents were able to minister to him, in his final hours. For that I’m grateful. I attempted to record a short selfie video, wishing him my love and a bit of the Gospel. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it. So I will make it my prayer for him now that he has passed.

Ronnie had a lengthy and adventurous career path. He was one of us, a man of public service and law enforcement. Many years before my own dad became a police officer and then deputy sheriff, Ron was a deputy sheriff with the Ventura County Sheriff, then a detective.

At some point he attended law school, and eventually became a deputy District Attorney with the Ventura County DA’s office. Mixed in there he relocated to Arkansas, and made an attempt at farming. His boys took to it, and are now pig farmers there. He returned to the VCDA’s office shortly there after, and had a lengthy career in law enforcement, even working alongside my dad in a few special types of investigations.

Traveling back and forth to visit family in Arkansas, he brought along my dad once for his first and only gator hunt, photos to follow!

   
 
Us Carpenter’s are sad to lose him, yet hold onto hope that the Lord saved him for future glory.

Hillary’s America

I have discovered, there are two kinds of democrats. Historical Democrats and Modern Progressive Democrats.

Historical Democrats are the Blue Dog Democrats, longtime union supporting Democrats, and older Democrats who have sometimes voted Republican, but oft remain committed to their party in spite of the devolution of their party into what they have become. I know and love people like this.

Modern Progressive Democrats are really two sorts of people. Those who have learned the wrong definition of what a conservative REALLY is and have decided that a socially oriented policy is what motivates their worldview, which I cannot fault. However, this comes at a cost of their failure to understand the consequences of their allegiance and understanding of economics. They’re willing to forego some inalienable rights, in exchange for what is really just Christian charity and outreach. On this account, I actually blame the real Christian Church for failing to be THE Church, that makes the rest feel like the government should take care of people that Jesus called the Church to take care of.

The other kind of Modern Progressive Democrats are true radicals who desire the kind of change to America, making us more like Europe. Of that worldview, I completely reject as morally wrong and ignorant. These are found in Barry Sanders’ camp today.

On social media, I often push memes and articles that are strongly conservative, sometimes offensive, and always what I believe deeply. Presidential and national elections take the volume up to eleven. I can tell that’s a time where I’m hidden more, and then people come back. I’m sure they get sick of my rhetoric. That bums me out a little. But, more often than not, I’m trying to come alongside those who are discouraged by the discourse, and remind them that they are not alone. Transforming view points doesn’t come from reading a Facebook post, and I know this. It only comes from real life exchange that doesn’t happen nearly enough. In my family, historically we avoid deep discussions of faith and politics. Not at the single generation level. My sister and I have good discussions on these issues, as do I with my parents, cousins, etc. But beyond that, it can often be forbidden to discuss.

However, this blog post is meant to be seen. It’s meant to be shared. It’s meant to break the boundary of hiding Trevor because you’re sick of his volume or viewpoint. This goes beyond my single issue voter stance of Liberty for all, found in the Pro-Life and 2nd Amendment.

So I ask all of my friends, which I rarely do, to share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media you use. Below is a preview to Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming film, Hillary’s America. I believe that it, along with the 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, must be seen by every voting American. I will buy 13 Hours and this film by D’Souza, and offer to show it to anyone who cannot afford to see them. And I will share them however I can, legally.

American was founded on principles, codified in stone-like documents, recognizing our God-given inalienable rights that are not to be molded and mushed up like clay. They are not to be messed with by “Change you believe in” or desires to turn this great nation into some other nation. We are a beacon of light to the world because we have NOT ebbed and flowed our nations founding ideals, but only applied them as they were meant, as we grew in wisdom in understanding them. Slavery was eradicated because we applied original intent as our electorate began to understand better, original intent. Women and all races eventually acquired suffrage as we began to better understand the original intent of those founding documents. We didn’t need to change them, only clarify them, to open up the rights that already existed.

Gunner

There comes a time in a family’s life where we’re faced with upsetting decisions. Not like my leukemia journey, but decisions that we control. During Thanksgiving week, we were faced with one.

As you may know, a couple of months ago, Gunner took Samuel and Elijah’s roughhousing as a fight, and attacked Samuel. He bit him, and Sam ended up needing stitches. We were very upset, I even recall at least thinking, I will kill this dog. I may have yelled it.

Well, on Thanksgiving morning, we were at my parents’ home, preparing for the afternoon’s festivities. My sister and family live on the same property as my parents, and many more family and friends were trickling in, for our standard large Thanksgiving dinner. The kids were playing outside, and unprovoked, Gunner attempted to herd my niece, who is smaller and younger than Sam. He bit and scratched her up pretty bad. Praise God she didn’t need stitches, but the wounds were there, and the trauma was inflicted. This is a big deal. Deanna and I were so upset. Of course her parents were upset too.

It took Deanna less time to resolve what the solution should be. Seeing as Gunner was a gift during my recovery, and he’s one of the breeds I’ve loved and wanted my whole life…and that I really love him, it took me longer. My mind knew where we had arrived. But my heart wept the whole drive home from my parents the next day. For the next few days, I even avoided Gunner because each time I even saw him, I began to cry.

But we’ve had to decide to return him to my cousin, so that she can find him a home that will more conducive to Gunner’s needs. It’s been a hard decision for us. The older kids are sad as are Deanna and I. We know what must be done. So this weekend, we’re making the trek to NorCal, for the handoff. I don’t doubt it will be a difficult trip for us.

Are you prepared?

As y’all know, I’m a firearms enthusiast. What you might not know is that I’m also a fan of being prepared. Something about my time in the Boy Scouts did this to me. I’m no crazy prepper, by any means. However, I am open to the notions of being prepared for disasters, power outages, earthquakes, etc. Katrina happened. Tsunamis have wiped out portions of normal society for periods of time. These are real life examples.

Will society completely dissolve and throw us back to homesteading and trading at the local farmer’s market. No, I do not think so. Do borders and governments change, yes. I’m rambling a bit, probably the lasting effects of the chemo brain, or whatever.

However, consider that some of the principles of homesteading, urban farming, etc. are of great value, whether or not society falls apart. What happens if you learn a little about taking care of your family better with homegrown food, but nothing goes wrong? You eat better! And you learn a new skill in the process. Trust me, if we’re out of touch with the greater society for more than a few months, you are not going to just learn over night to plant sustaining crops to live on. Start learning now.

Preparation isn’t just about food either. There are actual principles to be learned. Self-defense can’t be acquired over night either. You should already be acquiring the basic survival firearms. A pistol, a shotgun, a modern sporting rifle, and a “deer” rifle. These are all very personal and private decisions. No matter the path of buying these guns you choose, do it legally. I live in Kalifornia, what I consider behind enemy lines. Yet, I can and do possess all of these weapons. We have crazy waiting periods, and limits on how many rounds our magazines can have, but you have to work with what you got. I have do have some recommendations, however. Let go of your past ideas, to be best prepared. I’ve chosen calibers that I believe are more common and even likely to be “battlefield pickups”.

  • Handgun (9mm)
    • I recommend a striker-fired modern polymer-based handgun…
      • Glock, Smith&Wesson M&P, etc.
  • Shotgun (12 gauge)
    • A pump gun will be most affordable.
      • Remington 870 or Mossberg 500
  • MSR (.223/5.56)
    • This is often referred to as an AR-15.
      • Some of the most affordable rifles are made by Smith&Wesson, labeled M&P-15. Just get one assembled, in case your state has limits.
  • Deer Rifle (.308 or .30-06)
    • Hit a store like Big-5, Wal-Mart, etc, and get a basic all-in-one set up.
      • I picked up a Savage .30-06, with an included entry level scope. It shoots well, and I’m confident with it out to 300 yards. It was an affordable rifle from Big-5.

This is a large topic to cover. I really just want to get you interested in the notion of being prepared. When you hit the grocery store, grab an extra can of soup or something else that you normally get, even if it has a shelf life. Get in the habit of having more than just what you need this week, and start rotating the older to the front, etc. This can be done slowly and only gently effect your budget. As you build your basic collection of firearms, GET TRAINING! Your local gun store is the best place to start asking about local classes.

I really am not qualified to instruct on these subjects. But I can point you to a couple resources that have fed my mind quite well.

I have a follow up article I’m preparing, that I believe will pair well.

Gratefulness

I don’t think I’ve taken the time recently to highlight how awesome my wife is at caring for us all.

Disability income has taken its toll on us. After some discussion a few months back, we decided to have Deanna pursue a part time job. She eventually found what is probably the most perfect place for her. She’s a special ed teacher’s aide in a small country school.

What blesses me so much is to have a wife who’s willing to take on more, for us. I pray that God would make me more like that. She serves our family so well.

I love you so much Deanna.

Pops ain’t so bad…

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

My dad is a great dad. God saved him when I was 10, and the following year I too was saved. My heart was opened to Jesus, as I saw Him slowly begin to change my dad. He continued to grow and find a healthy balance between being a really great Deputy Sheriff, and attentive father. He would make the greatest effort to attend all my swim meets and my Boy Scout events. He served in my scout troop in a number of different roles, yet wasn’t a helicopter dad, floating around getting into my own growth.

Dad and I on a ride  Dad teaching

His discipline was firm, yet loving. I never felt like he overreached, and was a wonderful teacher of all the things young men need to learn.

He transitioned quite well to being the father of an adult son. I remember coming home one of the first weekends after I’d gone away to college. As I went out to hang with some friends, I checked in with him. He told me something like this, “Trev, you’ve been away at college, doing your own thing. Go out, enjoy your friends. Come home when you’re done.”

The consummate Dodger fan The Legacy

As a father myself, there has been several times where dad waited for a good time, and pulled me aside to offer his take on how I had handled something. Sometimes to encourage. Sometimes to critique. Sometimes to compliment.

And now that he’s retired and they’re lives have changed, he has come to our aid in a wide variety of ways. Yes, much of their help has been both my parents efforts.

Dennis Carpenter continues to be a great father, and I’m blessed that God chose him as my dad.

Copper

 

Oso Flaco

Went on a nice morning date with my wife today. We walked out to see the birds on the lake at Oso Flaco. Then we snuck up to the new Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach, and had a pair of Lemon Custard and White Chocolate Icing donuts. Oh baby!

I took a time lapse with my iPhone and a handful of photos with my XT-1. Enjoy them below.

 

 

 

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Meg’s older

My awesome little sister is celebrating her birthday today. I can’t say enough great things about her. I love her dearly.

O10849934_10203481754624895_7831103197271530042_nf course we’ve had our ups and downs. Childhood was just like one might expect conflict, yada yada. But by the time High School rolled around, I was glad to have her there. When I was a senior, she was a freshman. My group of friends folded her in just fine, and we did much together. She’s good company.

 

As adults, she followed me to APU, but we didn’t get to be there together. Yet we were developing our relationship as adults.

By the time we were back in Camarillo, I was married and she and her husband were married shortly there after. Now we got to develop a new kind of relationship. I’ll sum it up with, it’s great. Sure we’ve had disagreements, and worked through them.

When I got sick, her love for me and mine for her really blossomed. She served me in her own ways. She’s been one of the more reliable drop-the-kids-at-the-last-minute folks. (Along with my parents and a local angel.)

And now with our father’s PD, she and her husband have stepped up to help take care of him by moving in with my parents. I could not love her more for doing this! Her’s and her husband’s sacrifice is unparalleled.

Happy birthday Megan Hamlin! I love you dearly.

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