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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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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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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Happy Father’s Day

June 21, 2020 at 10:54 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Today is your day dad, you can choose what to watch on tv, choose the food you would like to eat, you can go fishing, a bike ride with the family, head out on the open road and find a quaint town to see and buy ice cream, you may go see a movie you were waiting for, the day is filled with family, friends, good conversation and laughter.

Today, we shower you with gifts, family face time with you who couldn’t be there to share your special day with you, photos were taken for memories to remember for years to come. At the end of this day, you set back in your easy chair and think how blessed you really are.

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dealing with the Daily Grind.

May 18, 2020 at 10:24 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Who knew just how much all of our lives were going to change overnight? We went from a bustling metropolis to pretty much the whole world was closed down. Families began to get creative with cooking, playtime, outdoor camping, formal date night at home, we learned how to stop and take time for what matters. I understand that the parent now is the teacher, referee, nurse, and even mediator. But we will look back on this time I think and enjoy how much we have grown not just as a family, but as individuals as well.

I help care for my aging mother every day after I get off from my essential job in health care. My co-workers and I have talked many times on creative ways to tell your body it is time to take a nap now so you can go back to work today. I know the essential workers are overworked and understaffed, cranky, and all feel like heading to an exotic island for a long vacation. One day soon the country will open back up again and then maybe we can hire a few more excited as we are co-workers to help share in the burden of being a helping hand.

I appreciate that some coffee houses drive-thru window have remained open the local Library is open curbside, grocery stores are being better stocked, favorite eateries are take out or drive-thru bars and liquor stores remain closed for now. Beaches are starting to open up, boardwalks, places to hike and bike are becoming more available. If we remain responsible we are on our way to becoming a whole country again. I must say this has been a truly eye-opening experience in so many ways. The virus claimed so many lives so fast and devastated families, I have never been quarantined before and hope I never have to live through an experience like this again.

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Change Of Plans

May 8, 2020 at 12:07 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I was talking with a good friend today to see how she was doing. She stayed home from work today not feeling well. My friend always brightens my day with her cheery attitude and sound advice when I need an ear to listen. I met Mrs. Patterson when my son started in Kindergarten many moons ago. My family and her family became lasting friends over the years. Sharon and Chris have helped me refresh my home with paint inside and out, landscaping, helping me to extend my patio, and day trips to get out of the house.

My friend was telling me her family was planning on camping for the weekend to help her oldest granddaughter celebrate her birthday. Her problem is they don’t have a running truck to haul the trailer to the campsite. her husband bought the parts but has no time or energy to fix the front end of one of the vehicles. I think this is how many families are feeling. With the shelter in place going on, many cannot get out to enjoy simple pleasures, there are families who have lost loved ones to the virus and have no desire, many unemployed and do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Sometimes it is difficult to maintain a positive attitude when our world has been turned upside down. For now, people had to put plans on hold, the beach, hiking, biking, swimming, trips to the mall, lunch out with your best friend. No one knows when we will return to normal or what it will even look like. I hear some schools are starting back in August, many local banks are closed due to an employee shortage, for those who cannot get out grocery stores deliver, keep checking on each other many depend on hearing our voices for someone to talk to. I cannot imagine feeling lonely at this time and having to isolate myself. One can get out to go for a walk around the block but then it is back inside again.

The one thing I appreciate the most is the love and support of my family and friends, I live in a state that is surrounded by lakes, mountains, seeing wildlife everywhere, great fishing, stepping out my front door and seeing the storms blowing in over the mountain. I live close to hiking trails, beautiful drives, small quaint towns to explore, ghost towns, I always try and remember what I do have to look forward to. Summer might look different this year and maybe not when the country opens up again and it is safe to travel I plan on going to Seattle and see my best girlfriend for the weekend and not tell anyone I left. I look forward to seeing some new sites this year.

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We Are Surviving Together

April 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I remember a year before my mom fell and fractured her hip and needed surgery, I would go over to her home, have dinner with her and then we would retire into the living room with our cup of coffee and visit. We talked about the good old days when she lived in Chatsworth next door to the famous stagecoach Inn. many movies were filmed in this particular house. My mom told me she used to go over and play in the then abandoned house. My mom told me she never thought of taking one prop that was left in the house used for a movie. She pretended to be a starlet and comb her hair with the brush left on the dresser.

My grandmother had a huge vegetable garden and raised chickens. My grandparents had the one-bedroom house that five lived in, and all the family came over to her house for Sunday dinner every week. Mom remembers helping her Uncle Bert chase a chicken and kill it for dinner that evening. My grandmother for the life of her could never figure out why everyone came to her house instead of a relative with more room. My granddad was a tile setter by trade. He tiled all the beautiful homes in Beverly Hills in the 1930s and 1940s. Sometimes I am sad to see all the old beautiful mansions being torn down to build newer more modern properties. I would have loved to have some of the old tile torn out of the former glory home. It is interesting the perspective of one generation from another.

I have been surviving like the rest of the world through this pandemic. Times were different when my mom grew up. you had air raids so you couldn’t light a fire in the fireplace or the enemy planes would shoot at your house, families drew together because there wasn’t much food my mom told me. My mom lived in that one-bedroom house until she was married to my dad at age 21. Then my grandparents moved closer to family. families stuck together and took care of each other like they are now. Mom didn’t have the technology kids have today, they took care of the animals, tended the garden, prepared the chickens for Sunday dinner, but they seemed happy.

When I look back on this time, I know I did what was needed to stay safe. My lifestyle really never changed that much. I enjoy being at home, I make sure I have groceries for a couple weeks, good books to read or a good movie to watch, I blog twice a week, I took this time and caught up on early spring cleaning, visited a few free Library houses, took walks around the block for some fresh air and just took some extra time to smell the roses and appreciate all that I have. I live a simple life and enjoy the little pleasures like taking a drive in an exclusive neighborhood with a fresh cup of coffee looking at the beautiful homes and the landscaping. The golfers who were enjoying the sunshine today before the big storm this afternoon.

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Staying Home

April 8, 2020 at 12:10 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I know for many this staying home order is for the birds. One cannot wait to get back out and be part of the community again. grocery stores, home improvement stores, and all in one store request you get in and back out without browsing. I can understand the employees are putting themselves in harm’s way the longer a patron is shopping, and the feelings some employees have are people taking advantage of getting out of the house for a while to break the monotony. Many schools are now closing until fall but those who are diligent in completing assignments can pass into the next grade or receive their diploma. 

I know many are worried about how this pandemic is going to shape our country in the near future. It is probably going to take a long time before folks feel safe in public. Some scoff when they see someone wearing a face mask and surgical gloves, people are almost afraid to look at you walking down isles, stores have the nifty black tape telling us where to stand to keep our distance, I look forward to the day again when I can carry on a private conversation with my friend after giving her a big hug without fear. 

Social media has created a host of fun challenges to keep us engaged, I love the living room fort challenge, the mom/son look-alike contest, dogs singing to the kazoo, touring dish soap on the kitchen floor to do treadmill exercises, celebrities doing online concerts, Instagram, Twitter, to keep fans updated and show love back to many who has supported them through the years. families drawing nearer to each other baking yummy desserts, helping with chores, online schooling, getting outside to start gardening and making the backyard a safe sanctuary. Through this difficult time neighborhoods have looked out for one another, checking on our elderly and vulnerable, used face time to stay connected to loved ones.

The most comforting words to my ears are”do you need anything, Julie?” The toilet paper joke is over now, stores are restocking plenty of paper products and bleach. This is a good time to take stock in what was important to us and be happy we have made it through so far and we will be strong and continue to thrive as a great nation. I love the saying”find the helpers.” All the nurses, doctors, drivers, grocery workers, those making masks and ventilators, restaurant workers, bankers thank you for all your hard work and dedication to keeping us safe. I understand sometimes tensions run high and the customer gets angry for having a product sold out to keep in mind they are working as fast as they can to keep things running smoothly. Give them some grace.

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