The Joys of Fall Decorating.

October 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

You know you are getting older,maybe a bit unorganized when you are putting on finishing touches for fall. Have you ever had the “I know I put it here last season”,or “think about where is the last time you have seen this item?” It ends up in the last place you thought you would find it, after almost giving up entirely and going and buying something else.

They say the Golden Years ain’t for wimps and they are right. you find your reading glasses on top of your head, go into the bedroom only to try and remember what you needed.  How many times (be honest) have you put your car in the garage only to grab your keys not 20 minutes later to put her away? I am not alone.I am thankful my car keys has a place- really. in the front pocket of my purse. Let’s say while putting your groceries in the car, you run into an old friend and begin chatting. Innocent enough. Now after you have said goodbye, and you are continuing to put away your groceries, you put away the shopping cart thinking about how nice it was to see an old friend. You realize after your get home, you have no purse. But,you were smart enough to put your keys in your pocket. When you get back to the store you are one, grateful you were not pulled over because you know you are going a little fast than required by law, and two you are thankful someone turned in your purse untouched. ( not necessarily a true story on my end).

I love the fall season. I am blessed that a couple years ago, a good friend turned my basic closet into our version of a California Closet. I added an extra rod for seasonal clothes, and shelves for purses and shoes. I have a dresser for my uniforms for work, and night time attire. I can remember several years ago watching an afternoon Home Improvement Show. Christopher Lowell transformed a closet into  something beautiful. Some use the top shelf for storing sweaters, he used the top shelf for beautiful hat boxes, flowers, candles. I used some of his ideas to create a beautiful organized closet. I started to pants together, blouses together, skirts and Capri pants together. I had a small closet rod installed for my dresses. It really made a difference, I have so much more room now. I am finding the older I get, the wiser I get also. I realized, I do not nearly as many clothes as I once thought. When you buy a tunic for example, it can go with two pair of pants. Put a jacket on,change the whole look of the outfit.

I still need to hire my next door neighbor to come help me with my fall cleaning. I have curtains to hang, weeds to pull(she is going to love me), a few items to donate, then, we will go over to my moms house and tackle her garage. It is not that bad, but much needed. I am thankful I have a neighbor that can lend a hand and she can pay a couple bills also. I cannot tell you what it means to live in a nice,quiet neighborhood. Everyone is respectful of each other, not loud parties, no one is hostile toward anyone. It is peace of mind to know your home is being watched over by cameras and we are our Block Watch Program.

 

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Another Perspective

October 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Twins, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

My twin brother and I celebrated our birthday last week. We are now living in our golden years. I have grown not only a year older, but also wiser especially this last week.

Sometimes when I have a conflict in my life, I try to figure out a quick solution; this doesn’t always work out the way you thought it would. I realized that life is full of heartbreak, poor decisions, and not giving up. I always figured if I gave up, how could I know how God worked in my behalf. I struggled with the sudden loss of my husband and my son. I put my life back together piece by piece with the love and support of family and friends. I had to realize the their deaths did not mean the death of me as well. I keep moving forward each day with expectancy.

Conflict is like laundry day. it would be just as easy to shut the washer lid, but you did not work through the problem. I come to realize problems do not have a thirty minute solution like on the Brady Bunch. I finally found a solution that I can have peace with. You job, home life, caring for your aging parents have good aspects and challenging ones. I had a funny thought that helped me you are standing in a big hole filling up with water. Scary thought huh. I imagined my best friend standing in the hole with me encouraging me not to give up-and to climb out of the big watering hole as well. But I can choose not to stay in misery.

I think I get a little melancholy sometimes because my two best friends are busy with their jobs. We used to have the same days off , so we would go for a fall drive and get a coffee from a java hut on the way. I had more fun with my one friend whose husband is a paint contractor. She spent one day doing returns and asked me along to keep her company.  We always had fun(she didn’t know why I could have fun tagging along with her). I was able to get out of the house for the afternoon and spend the day with someone I treasure. My other good friend  and I loved taking out fall drives around our small town. I looked forward to our salad bar lunches and coffee to go. Sometimes I ride with her to see new properties she will be managing in the future. Some nice neighborhoods out there.

 

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An Unexpected Surprise

September 25, 2017 at 8:36 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , )

 

While driving home from work last week, I felt a chill in the air. The temperature felt nice compared to last week with over 90 degrees heat and no rain for 80 days; either my grass gave up trying to grow and stay green or I just gave up spending a small fortune on my water bill trying to keep it green and somewhat healthy.

My friends call me the black thumb gardener because of the state my grass is in by the end of every summer. But I do notice many households share the same fate as I. If you drive around the neighborhood,not all the lawns are plush green like a golf course. Most are a sickly looking green with a tinge of white. So I began to feel a little better about my front and backyard. I hired a lawn care service to spray my grass for weeds and to help keep it healthy. Well, not even the fertilizer helped. I had six-inch grass that was green, but I did not dare cut it or it would turn very brown instantly. My next door neighbor teases me because I water more than he does and his lawn in a nice shade of money.

With the smoke and hot days behind us now, I was looking over my new hydrangea plants I had planted in June. I had torn out my overgrown shrubs and rose bushes in my front planting beds. Last winter was cold, and snowy; For feet of the white stuff came down on top of my shrubs and roses and cracked them in half. I have a positive outlook on such matters and decided I needed a change. Besides I just had my house freshly pained, a new metal roof, why not update the beds as well.  My lawn care expert told me how to care for them plus I hear they like full sun I deep watered the new plants when the scorching heat came. My new flowers look so pretty in deep pink now that the season has changed. (maybe I may have to give up my long standing title now who knows).  It is hard to try and compete with your best friend who has a yard to belong to the garden tour. I have learned that my home is in a nice location just down from the lake, plenty of hiking trails, deer,birds merrily singing, and ducks quaking in the river. I live in a great neighborhood with friends you can count on.

I was getting ready for the chilly mornings, less watering, less plant and lawn care, and I can enjoy my special coffee creamers in my coffee every morning. Time once again to dig out my sweaters, leggings, boots, scarves, and heavier jackets. Time for a couple more neighborhood BBQ’s, and once again have the gang over for the famous chili cook-offs and your favorite football team. The leaves are starting to change color,chilly mornings and pumpkin spice everything right now. Life is good indeed!

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A Personal Perspective

September 20, 2017 at 9:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I was reading through my Face Book news feed the other day and ran across this quote. I do not necessarily agree with what is says. In today’s world, life is fast paced, road rage, people are impatient, rude, do you really want to know what someone is having for dinner?

I am thinking your boss appreciates the employee who is on time everyday, meets deadlines, has a positive attitude. After a long hard day at the office, I think a wife appreciates her husband coming home instead of stopping elsewhere first, starting the grill and  having a nice outside dinner. Afterwards maybe swimming in the pool or taking he family dog on a walk around your neighborhood.

Feeling appreciated is a personal matter. Few bosses will give you verbal encouragement. Some Companies give a gift card, movie tickets for appreciation. Sometimes when a boss asks more of you, maybe they have confidence in knowing you were the best person for this task; When you have a good working relationship with your manager, vacation, sick time, personal time are put into more consideration. Let’s face it, a good employee is hard to come by.  My Company has new hires not even showing up for the first day. ( I have always found this interesting the new hire sees what is expected of him/her, then they are a no-show).

I am happy with my life, I have a good secure job,get along the people I work with, have a nice home one block from the river, have the love and support of family and friends. I have a blog that people read and leave positive comments, and help care for my aging mom. I have survived a few personal tragedies,by I am stronger for it, and I can encourage and empower others to keep moving forward toward happiness.

 

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A Chill In The Air

September 13, 2017 at 6:21 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , )

 

 

Over the past few days, the thick smoke is finally moved out. We can see clear, blue skies again. Yesterday was the last of the warmer days , this morning, I noticed a chill is in the air. Some of the leaves are changing color getting ready for Fall.

Yesterday was the last of the hot summer days, I noticed a chill in the air this morning. Soon we will trade our shorts, dresses, Capri pants, sandals, floppy hats for layers. I won’t have to water the lawn so much, my hydrangea did well in spite of the smoke this year. I am surprised, for I am a reforming black thumb gardener. I need help for make my yard a retreat not a disgrace. Maybe this is one reason I do not like hot weather. The neighborhood cat comes over and entertains me by chasing birds, butterflies, and whatever crawling in my grass. Birds swarm in the backyard looking for the last worms. The birds fight over taking a bath in the bird bath,fight over eating the bird seed, chase each other around for the worms. I live in a rough bird neighborhood I guess. I have seen birds chirping loudly, next thing I know one bird knocked another out of the tree, and fight is on. No kidding.

magazines give many ideas on how to make your outdoor space look good even in a cooler nights.( I am trying to show the bright side of fall). Families are deciding it is better to expand the living space and stay in the current home. Outdoor living spaces are bigger than ever. it costs so much to take the family on vacation to an exotic location,what better way to enjoy your own backyard and avoid the crowds. Being a tourist in your own town is fun. A Sunday afternoon drive seeing nature, seeing the changing colors of the leaves, having a picnic by the lake, remembering the little things in life.

I love changing my summer clothes for fall. Away goes the shorts, cute tops, summer dresses, flip-flops are being slowly replaced layering pieces. leggings, long sleeve t-shirts, printed tunics, boots, barn jackets, light weight fleece coats. I love taking drives,seeing the deer eating the apples on trees and so close to your car you could touch them. You can see wild turkeys eating and quail families running from one yard to another. I love living in the Northwest. You do not have to drive far to be in the National Forest or an upscaled neighborhood overlooking one of the many lakes. It is almost pumpkin patch hunting, taking a hay ride, and canning. Happy Fall

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Parade Of Homes

August 16, 2017 at 8:15 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

One of my favorite shows are fixer uppers; I love watching an outdated home being transformed into a buyers dream home. Watching an episode of behind the scenes, we find the potential buyer narrowing down three contending homes for the makeover. I think the final reveal would leave me anxious as much as the home owner. Leaving the finishing touches to a stranger,even though the Host may know a few of my style choices, you have to act like you love the end result-granted most of the homes are gorgeous. I have seen after shows where most of the home left alone,with a few of the home owners touches mixed in.

My friend and I attended the annual Parade of Homes this year. I must say the growing trend is going combining styles of homes. We are used to seeing Cottages  and ranch style homes surrounding trees and hiking trails. over the last few years, new businesses and  builders were mixing in Modern designs.I can say I don’t necessarily like Modern home designs, but I think potential buyers were looking to broaden their choice in design.  I really think the Builders are watching the same TV shows as the rest of us to get an idea what buyers are looking for. So many fight over a style of house, makes the house hunting stressful.  My small town isn’t so small in feel anymore. Everywhere you drive, a new housing development is being built.

When my family moved here thirty three years ago, I was struck not only with the beauty surrounding me, but how friendly folks were. Everyone knew everyone, and always leaned a helping hand. My dad was disabled, neighbors really took good care of my parents.Wine time was at three o’clock in the afternoon. Some of the neighbors made wine with my dad. (You have to sample your product everyday I would hear). It was nice to have family and close friends around. My family lived out-of-town on a ranch. I did not have close friends to speak of. I cannot believe how much this town has grown over the last thirty plus years. We may have grown,but we have not lost our values. we still make new folks feel welcome-until the first snow, most move away.

I look forward to retiring here some day soon. I love my little ranch style home my husband and I bought together. Both my husband and son are passed away now,but I still have so many memories I cherish of when we were a young couple with backyard BBQ’s, our very own dirt road for bikes, the bay down the street for swimming, fishing,have a late summer dinner, oh and did I say the most important part of any neighborhood? Well, it is good neighbors you know you can count on for help, friendships, comfort, and a meal together. This is what makes my small town living special.

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Hazy Days Of Summer

August 10, 2017 at 2:20 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , )

I am having a hard time wanting to venture outside this evening to water my poor flowers. My usual sunny blue sky has been replaced with thick brown smoke. We have four wild fires burning around the Inland Northwest. The smoke is so bad, you can hardly breathe. It is a chore to run your errands or grocery shop. I have not taken my evening walk in almost two weeks. I can understand the fog that envelopes your neighborhood in October, but it is a little much to be surrounded by thick blanket of brown haze. 

When I first moved to my forever small town, I was struck by how beautiful the area was. With so many lakes around to fish, go camping in the forest, plenty of hiking, boating, picking huckleberries, and seeing wild life a few feet away. My parents had a cabin, the family would camp for the weekend having caught your dinner and cleaned it,we would put the fish over the open fire. Someone always made a cobbler for desert, then we would play cards until early morning. In the summer, the farmers burned the fields for next years crop. I remember the thick brown smoke, the temperature would rise ten degrees, you could hardly breathe. A couple of years ago, the city band burning the fields due to air quality. 

It is disheartening to earn all the fires around us were not dry lightning. Several were deliberately set by teens. I remember last year driving into town with the hot, dry conditions seeing an idiot throwing a cigarette out the window. One careless mistake can have devastating consequences; Two teenagers learned the lesson the hard way last year. They thought it funny to set a fire in a nice neighborhood. They did not laugh when they were charged with the crime and the parents had to pay for the damage because the teens were minors. It is sad to see the after effects of a fire. Acres of black replaced the beautiful mountains teeming with wildlife. The fires will soon be under control, the smokey air will clear and we can enjoy another season coming upon us.

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Lasting Friendships

July 5, 2017 at 7:32 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

A couple of nights ago, I was catching up with one of my girlfriends. We were chatting about our busy lives, promising to get together soon. With our busy lives, we sometimes have to pencil each other into our daily planners. As I hung up the phone, I thought about how long we had known each other and how many difficult circumstances we had been through together.  Before w both had full-time jobs, we would run errands together. Most of the errands were taking back paint supplies or wrong sized shoes. I enjoyed Sharon’s company and her upbeat personality. We were both young parents who sometimes struggled either in finances or parenting.

I remember when we first met-I enrolled Levi in pre-school to enhance his social skills, sharing skills, respect skills, and an added plus, he found out little girls were not yucky. Levi really liked going to pre-school everyday and he liked his teacher. After picking Levi up,we would share his day in school and what he learned. I loved hearing him sing his new songs he learned that morning.  You know you have found the right school when class becomes more than just learning colors, numbers and your ABC’s.

The Patterson family and the  De Gon family became lasting friends. Some families live in a forever home, some families move every couple of years. It was always a fun adventure find the new Patterson home and have a nice meal together and maybe watch a movie together. Chris is a paint contractor, I loved to see how he transformed a dated kitchen or bedroom into a beautiful space. Chris is very creative and always added a homey touch to some neglected rentals. Chris and Sharon came over and helped me refresh my home a couple of times. I remember I had basic white walls. Chris painted them a winter sky (light blue). I have always loved the Victorian Style of decorating so the wall color matched my furniture perfect. I remember Chris ragged rolled my kitchen/dinning room and bathroom. Friends asked me “how did I put this up n the walls?” I chuckled. 

 I love living in my small town  with many good friends I can count on when I need comfort or just want to hang out for the evening. A fw years ago, a good friend who just happened to own a B&B in Ireland at the time, came over and  freshened up my bedroom for me. I often wondered why our bedrooms are th last room we decorate. The rest of the house is beautiful,then we enter our room. My friend was shocked I had not messed with it since my husband died. Not because I couldn’t, because I did not know where to start. Looking back, my bedroom needed a make-over and I knew just the person. I laughed because she sent me to Church and when I returned home later, my room looked like a B&B inspired room. She created for me a refuge from the storms in life. My problem is … I have not changed the room in ten years now I do not mess with perfection and Victorian. 

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Spring Is In Full Bloom

May 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , )

While taking a scenic drive around one of the many lakes in my area, I see wild flowers growing in pretty clumps along the road. I wonder if they would grow wild the same way in my backyard. I have small spaces that would look pretty with Lu pins planted beside my bird bath, colorful wildflowers  growing around my Lilac tree, Shasta daisies growing along my fence. I think my friends are tired of giving me cuttings that will grow in the worst soil so I am told. I am trying a drought tolerant garden this year. I like Succulents, some have the most beautiful colors. I may be able to have my roses and keep them alive too. 

With Summertime coming quick, I need to get my yard in shape to enjoy the ever-changing weather. It has been said “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”. We have had an unusually wet Spring so far. We laugh when the weatherman says rain or chance of a thunder shower because the rain seems to pass over my town. Not lately though. We had thunder and heavy rains that flooded some neighborhoods. I noticed the ducks playing in the pond at the stop sign; They usually stay down by the river.

Every June, I attend the Annual Garden Tours;I love to look at all the beautiful neighborhoods and admire the hard work for everyone to enjoy. Many participants are retired and have been opening their homes for many years. You never know where the Garden tour is going to take you. You may stop at an old farm with a walking path to a rose garden beside the tool shed, a little house in town with a secret garden,one Host last year was just finishing up planting flowers along a walkway as the tour was getting started. He spent thousands just to have a nice yard for others to enjoy. This gentleman even included his Alpacas in the tour. Just some nice use of unused spaces to sit and chat or enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the City below you.

I may never be ready to participate in a garden Tour, but I am happy spending time on my patio. I can have a few stay-cations this summer listening to the crickets chirping, the birds singing at the bird bath. I know a lot of work goes into having a nice yard. A few years ago, I was give a couple of trees. I knew they would not grow in the yard, so I planted them in the most unusual locations. My Mountain Ash tree did smashing by the back gate, my two pine trees grew tall by the back fence no one said you had to separate them, who knew they would actually grow. Who knew a seed could blow into your backyard and start a Snowball tree? Now if a couple of varieties of wildflowers would jut blow into my backyard and seed around a few pine trees, around say my bird bath, along my back fence, I would have free flowers that actually stand a chance to grow for years to come because we know they reseed every year. 

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Renovation Nation

April 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm (Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , )

While watching one of my favorite Home and Garden shows last night, I noticed a growing trend in the tiny house market and neighborhood renovations. Some folks are taking the idea of our Grandmas garden shed and turning them into houses. I was surprised to find out how many varieties of small house living that is out there: You can choose from Portable Cedar cabins, Victorian, Modern, Urban Industrial and the list goes on. I was surprised at how much living space went into one of these mini houses. I am amazed at every nook and cranny is used in these tiny spaces. you really can design your mini home to fit your interests. They can be built as elaborate or modest fit to your budget.

I think the young people are deciding to buy a more permanent tiny home rather than rent. They can build their portable house to fit their individual needs. Some young adults are into sports and have the need to travel so this is a perfect option for them. Instead of renovating an existing home, some couples are downsizing to a smaller home or mini home options. While some families are choosing to stay in their forever homes and  renovating, others are deciding it is time to downsize. Our Grandparents had the family home and then the vacation cabin on the lake. When the kids went off to college and the parents retired, they often time sold the family home and lived in vacation home by the lake. I am one who chose to update my home with a fresh coat of paint inside and out and had a metal roof put on last year. My late husband and I bought our together home thirty years ago, I raised my young son here until he moved out at age 19. After my son passed away from a tragic car accident in 2007, I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I love setting in his room remembering not so long ago when he painted his bedroom the most hideous green color you ever saw. It puts a smile on my face while I am getting dressed in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. 

I am impressed at the number of home renovation shows are on now. Long forgotten Cities are getting a new start with the help of designers and sold to young families who otherwise could not afford to own a nice home.   One of my favorite shows was one that showcased curb appeal.The Host  could not make over the whole neighborhood, so they chose three homes to boost curb appeal with the thought the rest of the neighbors would want to add fresh landscaping as well. The host showed an example of just a couple changes can bring big impact. I have a couple favorite neighborhoods I like driving around to get fresh ideas for my small house. New plantings,a couple more trees in the back yard and I am set for another summer outside on the patio drinking my cold coffee. Life is good indeed!

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