Comfort Drawer

August 11, 2020 at 2:16 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I was reading a blog post the other day about creating a comfort drawer. Some may think it a silly idea, but I like the thought of finding an empty drawer to fill with some of my favorite things. In these uncertain times, we all need a pick me up once in a while. I was thinking about what would go into my drawer; I would have to include my journal and my favorite Max Lucado book, pictures of my late husband and son to bring a smile to my face, my favorite rose lotion, and my word search.

I have been cleaning out closets, and my garage like many of us have and waiting until I could drop the items off at Goodwill. I didn’t clean much over the past few months because the only place I can store it was my garage. I also am not a self-starter; I would rather have a friend come help me get all the work done in a few hours and then take her to a nice lunch. I am not a weekend warrior. I have some awesome friends who have helped me over the last several years spruce up my home.

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Staying Positive

August 10, 2020 at 12:09 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Everyone has a bad day, circumstances don’t go as planned, the car won’t start,  the babysitter can’t come today, an unexpected bill arrives in the mail. I have found that finding a thought positive can change your attitude. The past several months have been challenging for everyone. The toilet paper hoarding, now the masks debates, protesters, uncertain school year ahead. It can become difficult to keep a positive attitude in life.

I am the only one who can make me happy. I tell my loved ones everyday how much I love them and I am glad they are in my life because tomorrow is not promised. No one has the right to tell you how to live my life, I know there are well meaning people who care about me and want the best for me. I like to think I am semi-retired and enjoy a staycation on my days off. I live with the philosophy of my cup being half-full. I have made the best lemonade out of the circumstances in my life. I found that life can change in a moment so live life to the fullest, laugh often and love unconditionally.

I love getting out and exploring different hiking trails,following the streams along the winding road in the mountains. getting together with friends and catching up, calling family, visiting the ederly neighbor, having lunch with mom, the little things in life means the most to me. I enjoy getting dressed in my son Levi’s old bedroom, I have so many fond memories of the his life lavishly lived and the fine young man he had become.

 

 

 

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Shopping

August 4, 2020 at 11:30 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have fond memories of going to the local Mall with my family as a teenager; I would look at the clearance rack for a shirt to update my current wardrobe. Shopping was a fun way for my family to spend time together. My brother and I had jobs and usually had Saturdays off. After shopping, we would eat at the food court and then go for a drive or visit relatives before going home.

When I bought my first car, my best girlfriend and I would go to the Mall after school and shop for nothing in particular. We had a fun time shopping at all the stores and then before going home, we went to Bob’s Big Boy and had dinner. My friend was no-nonsense when it came to shopping. Robin just wanted to look in the stores and go home. I was looking for ways to stay current with clothing styles.

My cousin would give me their hand me down clothes: I was always thankful for the generosity because My family could not afford the name brands that were given to me. I remember my cousin gave me four pairs of rust-colored jeans because she did not like the color. I had some pretty tops I added to make smart outfits for school. ( I was teasing her because she gave me so many jeans of the same color.) I appreciated the kindness my family showed to me during the time my dad became ill and could not work.

Looking back, I can say I had a pretty good childhood. Living on the ranch and being part of 4-H Club, teaching my lamb how to walk on a leash, getting ready to transport our sheep to the fairgrounds, showing my lambs and horse at the fair, and crying when it was all over. Life on the farm was fun but had it’s hardships also. My friends were jealous of my brother and I and wished they lived on the ranch. I told them I would trade places with them for the weekend I reminded them the animals want to be fed by six in the morning. They changed their plans.

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Staying Home

July 30, 2020 at 10:55 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am once again on my weekly staycation. I like the fact I can stay home and have a mini-vacation puttering around the house doing little projects I have not able to do for the last few months. Cleaning out closets and getting them organized, keeping the lawn and flowers watered now that is getting hot outside, I should be keeping busy until the end of summer with these projects alone. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many lakes and rivers to take a scenic drive around and find a quaint small town to buy ice cream. I think this is my reward for summer cleaning.

Summer has never been my favorite season. I have enjoyed the changing colors of the leaves in fall, the chilly mornings, layering, boots, and sweaters. Winter, I love the falling snow, dressing in warm layers, a nice roaring fire in the great room. Summer, is hot, hot and sticky, the lawn wants to die, the flowers wilt, and you get accused of not watering enough to keep things alive. The one thing about summer I can say I enjoy is your laundry smells nice drying outside on your lawn chairs. You heard me right. I do enjoy setting outside on my deck at dusk when the temperature has cooled down enjoying a cup of ice-cold coffee with the firepit. ( I am trying to be a good sport.) I guess I can say I enjoy wearing my denim skirts and capri pants with a summer top.

I live in a four-season climate I just really enjoy two of the seasons. with many staying at home you have to find creative ways to enjoy this time either with your family or being alone. I lost my family so I stay home and try and keep things up to par. I do have a couple of friends I count on to help me with ideas on gardening and keeping the house freshly painted and decorated. I really have won the friendship lottery. you can have all the money in the world and never taste some of the generosity I have experienced. So my home is decorated for summer. I have soft pinks and burgundies in the living room, pink in the master bedroom a nice update. hey, I am trying to make the best out this at home situation You?

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A Relaxing Drive

July 24, 2020 at 3:45 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have been taking advantage of the nice weather we have been having. One of my favorite places to take a scenic drive in Hayden Lake. With winding roads, a peek at the lake as you drive, and watch out for deer it is a nice way to spend the afternoon. I live in a serine area with mountains, lakes, hiking trails, skunks running across the road, to the occasional moose standing the middle of the river.

There are so many places I would like to visit and explore in my home town. Hidden swimming holes, old logging roads the end in a quaint town, lakes and streams that wind for miles, the hot springs I am always up for a new adventure. My good friend Sharon and I often head out in the morning to run some quick errands and end up eating lunch in a quaint log cabin burger joint. After lunch, we explore the little town and remark it has been years since we had both been here last.

Like many people, I have learned to love where I live. I used to tease I was on my staycation on my days off from work, now I just enjoy being home. My backyard has been an ongoing work- in- progress with extending my patio, adding a couple shade trees, planting Hydragia bushes, new bedding and a new ceiling fan for my master bedroom, making my own B&B to stay in. I bought a recipe book from the B&B Association open house a few years ago; I can enjoy making the same decadent meals served in the finest dining room. I have learned to make the best of this situation but I can still enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures along the way.

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Another Year

July 20, 2020 at 10:08 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , )

One sunny summer morning, you set off with some friends to float the river. That night, both our lives were changed forever. After five days and countless prayers later, I know God stood with me when the life support machines were turned off.

There are so many stories I could share about the fine young man you had become and the legacy you left behind. I one thing you said to me that still keeps me going is ” I couldn’t have asked God for a better mom”.

Life is different without you now. I had to learn to live without you but remember the wonderful memories I will always have raising you as a single mother. I must say, I couldn’t accuse God of having a dull life. You have made me want to laugh, cry, and string you up by your toes sometimes all on the same day. But you have made my days complete. I love and miss you, Levi.

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A New Perspective

July 14, 2020 at 2:22 pm (Uncategorized)

I was talking with a dear friend the other day. We haven’t seen each other in a while due and decided it was time we made some time to get together. Over coffee, we were discussing how our Country changed overnight; schools closed down for the rest of the year, businesses closed down, and now leaders are trying to restart the economy but can’t get a handle on this virus.

We laughed over the idea the three words no one wants to hear or say are ‘let’s stay home’, ‘staycation’, or ‘home is where the heart is’. Wayfair has made a mint off of families that just want a refreshing change in their home or backyard space, you can only makeover your living room so many times, you can only make so many dozen cookies with the kids, moms are tired of being creative, it is time for the kids to go back to school.

My friend and I were discussing how her family decided to stay in the existing home the have and remodel it because they couldn’t afford to build a new home. they liked the existing floor plan, just needed to be updated. The growing trend is backyard retreats; Fire pits, outdoor kitchens, extended decks, lawn games, outdoor movie theatre. It makes sense to add on a room to the home if you love your neighborhood and then one day when the grandkids come along(like my girlfriend) you have enough room for the perfect weekend.

Times are defiantly changing daily it seems like. We all need to do our part and be safe, and remember to keep checking on our elderly neighbors and the vulnerable. We still are a great nation and working together we will build a better tomorrow. The hard part is being patient while all the bugs are worked out of what the future will look like.

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A Simple Life

July 8, 2020 at 2:18 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Before this Pandemic started several months ago, friends were urging me to get out of the house and live life. I am saddened that a ‘shelter at home’ order was put in place, paper goods were being hoarded out of fear, families could walk around the block instead of going to the park and play, public pools were shut down and the list goes on. For many, this has been a difficult time. Many have lost loved ones, lost jobs, parents became teachers, playdate organizers, going to camp in the backyard.

 You still cannot go to visit grandma in the nursing home, so video chatting is the next best thing to being there. People are reaching out to neighbors who are elderly or more vulnerable, running a quick errand for them, businesses are starting to open up more and things are feeling more normal again. I still think it is going to tea a long time before we get back to our old way of life. I am not ready to say the new normal yet.

One thing I have taken away from this taking good care of yourself. it is easy to get depressed and want to stay in your pajamas or in bed all day. getting up, taking a shower, making your morning brew, and eating a good breakfast is a good way to stay motivated for the day. I recently got my hair cut and colored. I feel more like me again. I know for months ladies couldn’t go to the salon for hair or nails and it drove them crazy. I am finding time to read a good book again since my local library opened back up.

Every year at the end of the season, I buy a couple of peasant blouses or a pair of shorts for next year. Some of my favorite stores are temporarily closed down so I am still set with some nice outfits to wear even if I just stay in my backyard and enjoy listening to the birds chirping. I live in a quiet neighborhood full of wonderful neighbors who will help you at a moment’s notice. I have lived in my house for thirty-plus years now. I remember when all the kids were growing up, now many are married with families of their own. I have to say I love living in my home town. there is no better place to be.

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The Little Things

July 2, 2020 at 9:12 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Looking back on a few months ago, life seemed so positive, the kids were about to go on winter break, local businesses were thriving, and then life changed drastically overnight. We entered ‘shelter at home’ order unless you were essential workers you were asked to stay home, we faced shortages of supplies and food items, but also during all this chaos, I have seen neighbors checking in on the elderly and our more vulnerable. Companies were donating to the local food banks to feed unemployed families, schools offered a grab and go lunch program, so much has been done to help keep our country thriving.

States are re-opening in different degrees, many Restaurants are still delivery or curbside only, while others are drive-thru, coffee stands remain open as do coffee houses, local Libraries are opening up but curbside pick-up only. Overnight our lives were turned topsy- turvy almost as though we have emerged from nuclear fallout. nobody seems to know when or if we can get back to a normal state and where do we go from here. Attitudes have changed, shopping habits have changed, social distancing has taken the place of a hug, it is really hard sometimes to stay positive.

I would like to believe that I am a pretty positive person, I am told I light up a room when I enter it but lately I choose to stay home after running a few errands, I am finishing up the last details of my outdoor retreat for my staycations. I was joking with my friend not long ago that I need to fall in love with my house and want to stay home well it sure didn’t take long to achieve that goal. My late husband and I bought our forever home thirty- plus years ago. Our neighborhood was an up and coming and being pregnant with our son we fell in love with the neighborhood. We live two blocks from a popular bay many paintball fights, hiking trails, boating, seeing wildlife roaming around the park has made living here a great experience.

I do not know what the future holds for us or what normal will look like but I have to believe we are in this together and working together we can build a better future for our children and grandchildren. We have shown who we are when we lend a hand to our neighbor in need, being a friend to the lonely, call our loved ones often, practice social distancing, families have found new ways to survive being at home for weeks on end. The backyard has become camp, the movies, date night out, the local swimming hole, volleyball tourneys, memory makers. We will not look back on this time a laugh but we will marvel at how we have joined together to find ways to stay sane.

 

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Clean Sweep

June 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Years ago, I used to watch a cool show called “Clean Sweep” The designers along with the homeowners had 48 hours to transform an outdated, over-cluttered house into a beautiful edited space to live in.  Outside on the lawn is all your still with three boxes one labeled donate, on labeled keep, and one labeled discard. The homeowners had to quickly choose what went back into the house with( you knew this was coming) a downsized design. This gave the homeowners a chance, to be honest, and clear the unwanted junk from the home. In the end, the kids donated clothes, video games, and other unused items to recycle.

One of my favorite home improvement channels is going outrageous with some new shows. Because of the COVID 19, designers are helping homeowners redesign a room in the home. here is the catch- the family is decluttering and doing the work themselves. The family has a great bonding experience working together creating a beautiful room together. The design is often stunned at the results of the transformation and the families are just as surprised that they could pull this off in 48 hours together.

Another show starting deals with starting over. The homeowner left devastated by a divorce is left with unfinished projects. The show’s host comes in and creates an elegant space for relaxing. The before pictures are unbelievable, a kitchen left in disarray, a bathroom remodel left half done. The program host understands where the homeowner is coming from as he has been there at one time himself. Nothing of the former occupant is left it is now his or her space.

Having had ‘shelter in place’ I think families have become more close-knit through this time and found many new ways to keep entertained at home. Many families have a movie night in the backyard, created outdoor retreats with a fire pit, outdoor kitchens, and a water feature to enjoy by the outdoor fireplace. The last several months have a hard time for so many and yet a time to reconnect with our friends and family. Road trips are up by 200% and buying or renting a motorhome for the open road is up by 110%. People want to get back out and explore the world around them again.

Have a great summer everyone. thank you for your continued support. It really means a lot.

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