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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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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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 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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Friday Favorites

May 29, 2020 at 6:46 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Because warm weather is coming, I wanted to start the weekend off with fun favorites. You can answer my questions in the comment section feel free to add to your own blog. Let’s have some fun.

 

1.Favorite road to drive on? Winding roads that head to the mountains.

2. Favorite state you have visited? My home state of Idaho.

3. Favorite traveling tip? Make-ahead lunch to enjoy by a stream along the road.

4. favorite vacation activity? heading to the lake in my favorite spot beside the lake and soak in the sun.

5. Favorite kind of vacation? To be honest staycations for me are the best. You can freshen up your bedroom with fresh pillows or add a splash of color to your living room to feel like a quaint getaway.

6. favorite food on vacation? Mexican food.

7. favorite hair color? Red.

8. favorite article of clothing? Summer dresses.

9. Favorite Summer activity? Concerts in the park.

10. favorite book to read? Cozy Mysteries.

 

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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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Adding Some Little Holiday Cheer

December 12, 2019 at 7:59 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I went shopping the other day needing a Secret Santa gift for my work Christmas party. I love the hints people put down as the wanted gift. Last week, the shopping wasn’t too bad yet, at least the shoppers in my small town don’t push and shove you out-of-the-way. I found a nice candle for my co-worker and decided to finish getting some last-minute gifts for some deserving children.

I went looking for some gift bagged popcorn or even the decorated tins of popcorn. Usually, I have seen big displays as you entered the store. When I asked someone if they knew where they would be, she looked at me like I lived on another planet. As I walked away I wondered how many people she has helped today. I looked around for someone else to help me find my gift and I guess they all went on break or something. I finally decided on some nice gift boxes filled with a different assortment of candy. Thankfully I do not have many gifts to purchase like so many families. My holidays are spent with my mom and me.

I used to get out the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving. Now, it seems like the first week of December comes and goes before I start getting lights, wreaths, and the tree out of storage. It was easier when my husband and son were still here. The family used to meet at my brother-in-law’s home and have chili and cornbread, then go out in the forest and cut down our trees. It was a fun time spent fighting over the size of the tree and who was cutting it down. My husband always listened to Freedom Rock music, not Christmas music; I still laugh at the thought.

Christmas eve was spent at my parent’s house being pulled around on sleds by my dad and his old jeep. Mom had hot chocolate and chocolate chips cookies on hands when we all came in to thaw out. My parents knew how to throw the best parties. We spent hours playing games, eating snacks and when it was time to go home, friends and family stayed longer. I still love the first snowfall of the season, I think about my son sledding down the small hill in front of our house sharing his sled with the neighbor so she could play. I think the holidays are what you make of them. You can be a lemon taster and be angry over a circumstance in your life you had no control over, or you can just enjoy what the holiday has to offer.

 

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This Thing Called Life

September 6, 2019 at 1:21 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

This thing we call life can be difficult at times, other times things just seem to go our way. I notice how busy everyone seems these days. The cell phone has become the office that is if someone was to lose this precious item their whole world would come to an end. Grocery lists are almost obsolete, lunch dates, business meetings, friends over for dinner are entered into “the life” phone.

I remember when my parents worked all day, came home and made dinner from scratch, and we as a family would set down at the table and share our days. Homework was done before bedtime and tv watching. We lived on a ranch with sheep that needed fed and watered and then walked for a mile around our circular driveway each evening, our horses, chickens, cats, and dogs all needed to be fed and watered. Believe me, they would let you know if they thought they were being forgotten. I treasured those days and sometimes miss them. So many of my friends wished they could trade places with my brother and me and live on the ranch for a week. They did not know what they would have gotten themselves into.

My family had the run of the orchard behind our house. I remember our family dog ran ahead of us happily. One afternoon, my dad went for a leisurely ride on his buckskin horse appropriately named Buck. Our german shephard dog and the horse came back without a rider. My brother and I went to see where my dad was and if he was hurt. The only thing hurt was dads pride. He was bucked off from his horse into the cactus patch. I guess Buck got spooked, dad went flying and the dog and horse came home to get help. Dad surprisingly was in good spirits about the whole thing although he never told us how sore he probably was for a while.

My mom worked at the bank in town. She waited on many celebrities like Joel McCrea. Joel knew we lived on a ranch not far from his place. One afternoon, he asked my mom if my brother and I would be so kind as to catch a few Banny chickens for him as the coyotes kept catching and killing his chickens. He left the cage at our house and Jeff and I would catch him some chickens to replenish his. He was so nice, in the cage he would leave ten dollars for our troubles. The family always went shopping at the local mall on Saturday, we would pass by Joel’s home on our way. He lived in a beautiful ranch house with equally beautiful stables and horses. I always wished I could go on a tour of his place. Now, I guess the family has opened up the property for tours.

I was blessed to grow up in a simple lifestyle. the pace of life was slower, folks had the time to stand and talk to you if you needed anything, you knew they were a rotary phone call away, folks had dinner parties in the backyard or would stand and talk on the front porch. In the small town I grew up in, everyone knew each other and the kids better stay out of trouble because before you got home, mom and dad already knew what you did and how it was done so do not even try to lie. This kept us honest and it also gave us an example to follow when one day we were married and started our own families.

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An Afternoon With the Kids

August 1, 2019 at 9:02 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Let me just say how nice it was to be surprised last night to hear my neighbor kids come home for the weekend. They moved to Seattle a couple months ago. Last night we were messaging each other and I thought it would be nice to catch up over lunch. They agreed. It is funny how you get used to seeing someone every day even in passing, then they are not there anymore. Even if the time is limited, it was a great getaway.

Miss Ashley grew up next door where my son and she became fast friends and cohorts in crime at times. It is hard to believe Ashley is now in her thirties. How time has flown by. My fondest memory of the two is when Levi shared his sled with her so she could take turns sledding down the hill in front of the house. They played and laughed until dinner time. Sometimes we wish they didn’ t grow up so fast and they were still asking if they could ride the bikes to Mc Donald’s to play in the PlayLand. I am thankful I had some great neighbors with kids to hang out with.

I love the unexpected surprises I have been given this summer. Relatives we have not seen in a few years came to my mom who is now in a wheelchair, an invitation to coffee with a new friend who also is an author, running into an old friend at the local grocery store and had the chance to catch up, having Ashley help me weed my overgrown garden( whew, what a chore) I love spur of the moment drives and finding a quaint town with the best ice cream cones, or seeing a hot air balloon fly by your house.

When the temperature sizzles, it is easy to just stay inside where it is cooler and not venture out. I am guilty of this and I am doing my part to get out and enjoy the rest of summer. I have found some awesome waterfalls, never get tired of seeing the deer along the road, taking a seaplane trip, maybe even floating the river. Having many friends who are outdoor enthusiasts, I am sure I can tag along for the adventure. In my middle age, I am trying to crack out of my shell a little more and enjoy the sunny days.

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