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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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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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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Heroic Act

June 16, 2020 at 1:59 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , )

I love this uplifting story. Last week, I was watching my local news and a story was told of a police officer who pulled over a driver for speeding. When he came up to the window, the passenger told him her baby wasn’t breathing. The quick-thinking officer took the child and started CPR. The baby started breathing again.

This was not the end of the story. The mother asked the officer to be her baby’s Godparent. I cannot think of a story that brought a smile to my face in the midst of all the chaos going on right now.

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Changing Times

June 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Just when I had the classic WordPress down, they go and upgrade the system. I used Youtube to try and navigate the new format. By the time I was finished watching the tutorial video, I was really lost. I hope I can figure out how to use the new version so I can keep blogging. I started my blog after I wrote my first book. A good friend told me I needed to write stories that reflect my book and helped me get started.

When I first started writing my blog I didn’t know what to expect. I had plenty of stories that could fill a second and maybe a third book. Every time I set down to write a story, I have at least three to choose from. I have so many wonderful memories of a life with my husband and my son. Just yesterday while driving home from running a few errands I remembered a funny saying my son liked to say. ( you really do have eyes in the back of your head don’t you). I started to write the sentiments down so when I have a bad day, I can laugh and remember the day will get better.

I used to worry about how many followers I had and if my stories were even being read. Many people have come up to me, given me a big hug, and told me how much a particular story had touched their hearts. Comments like this keep me writing and remembering the old times teaching my girlfriend to horseback ride, feeding my lambs and getting ready for the fair, my family, and the move our forever home town. I remember being sad because my horse would not fit inside the cab of my pick up.

There is nothing like exploring your new town and getting lost coming home like my brother and I experienced. I remember my brother stopped and asked a guy passing us where we were, and my brother looked concerned when he was told we were heading to Montana. we did admire all the lakes and streams in the area, great fishing, hunting, hiking, seeing the various wildlife. Ahh yes, and getting used to the one-way streets was a challenge. I am still living in my home town in a nice home by the river. it seems like a good place to retire.

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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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Sharing The Stories

May 2, 2020 at 8:48 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , )

My best girlfriend and I were chatting the other day about how the Country is going to ease back into full operation moe soon. I can feel the tension when getting groceries or gas. My once friendly hometown is more cautious now, not as many people look you in the eye, and it is hard to see a nice smile under the mask. you don’t see the families with children, you see husband or wife or pickup orders instead. I told my friend to give this some time to bring life back into a normal capacity.

We also chatted about family dynamics and how they have changed in the past few weeks. I hope families are talking about the good old days where we are as a country was everyday living for our grandparents who survived the depression. I hope the kids are listening to the conversations about an era that seems so long ago. Many had nothing nad now nothing is wasted. You see elderly saving tin foil for another use, leftovers are a way of life, there is the mentality of buying what you need,  planning meals, all the hardships our grandparents went through were passed on to the children.

My friend and I talked about the electronics available for the kids today that we didn’t have. I am glad I was born before the technology age that has taken over. we went outside and played soccer, dodge ball, basketball, hide and seek, the girl played jacks, the boy’s cowboys, hopscotch, and riding our bikes around our neighborhood. I cannot imagine a child that does not want to play outside, build a fort out of sticks and a blanket with friends, catch frogs, or spending a fun afternoon swimming with friends. I am glad the kids are getting creative once again with sheltering at home. Attics are turning into forts, baking with mom, back yard campouts are the best.

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Looking Ahead

April 27, 2020 at 9:36 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I don’t know about you but all around me, I can see the negative effects this virus has caused. So many out of work, kids are home until September( we hope), grocery stores allowing a certain number of patrons inside to shop at a time, elderly can shop first on a certain day to buy essential items. Some parts of the country are already opening up to help boost our economy. Rural areas were not hit as hard as the big cities were but you still have to take precautions when shopping or taking your daily walk.

Social media has gotten ugly with blaming and name-calling others who are like the rest of us trying to survive this epidemic. I am one who has always tried to be kind, understanding especially to the store clerks who cannot control how much toilet paper you are allowed to buy or cornering the market on cleaning supplies. The stores put in their policies to ensure everyone can buy the essential products needed for the household. it seems like manners and consideration has flown out the window and has been replaced with short tempers and rude remarks. I really feel sorry for the grocery workers, fast food workers, mail carriers, and catalog operators who have to bear with an overwhelmed and hostile consumer.

The media keeps saying’we will get through this together’. I believe we will but at what price really. So many families have lost income and are in danger of losing their homes, food banks are facing shortages to help feed communities, car dealerships, phone companies, fast food places are all offering deals to help consumers through the trials and have one less worry. So much has changed forever these last several weeks. the way we live, the way we worship, shop, the way we communicate with each other has all changed. I think it will take some time to get our world back to what we once recognized as daily living. People will start to deal with people on a different level now, social gatherings will look different, the workplace I think will have a new feel.

Some say the earth needed a break from humans and the pollution we create, we have cleaner air, smog is clearing up with not as many drivers on the road, gas prices dropped, with families sheltering in the family dynamics have changed as well. Parents are taking on new responsibilities as teachers, parents, referees, and finding creative ways to keep the children occupied. For the stay at home parents, the house has taken on a new shape as well. bathrooms are the new break rooms, kitchen table the new office, the garage the gym, the basement, kids get away from parents. Social media has become the new information center in keeping up with loved ones. Mom going crazy for a hair cut and a nail salon. So much has changed and some of the changes have been for the better. Instead of vacations, we are taking staycations.

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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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Hands On Fort

April 1, 2020 at 11:23 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

When my son was in the fourth grade a dear friend of ours offered to build a fort for my son Levi in my parent’s back yard. What Levi didn’t know was he was getting to help build the fort. You can imagine to his surprise when the building materials started coming into the back yard with the hammers, nails, tool belts, etc. We always called our friend Uncle Howie because when my son was learning to talk he couldn’t say, Ron. Uncle Howie stuck.

I remember the first-day building began Levi got the ‘big boy’ talk of you are one of the guys now and you are going to help build a great fort for you play in for a long time. Levi just shook his head yes. It was so cute. For the next several weekends, Levi my dad and Uncle Howie were outside hammering away. Levi was so excited to help build the stairs going to the two-story structure and getting to put the stain on the stairs. At last, it was a finished product. We had a BBQ dinner that evening to celebrate the new fort and to thank Uncle Howie for the help. I did not know my dad even included electricity into the for a tv set, radio, and gaming system in case the boy was bored.

It seems like just yesterday that the men were outside building a great fort for my young son and hearing all the laughter, Levi learning to properly use hand tools, and the first night spent in his new home away from. My son had a favorite bedspread of cowboy hats, spurs, boots, and rope. he nailed onto his bed because he wasn’t ever-changing it.  What a once in a lifetime experience for a young man to be able to help build a fun playhouse to share with his friends. He would have two friends over for a cookout and then retreat into his private retreat an evening of fun.

The fort still stands today( good craftsmanship there) with his dresser filled with beanie babies and his bed in the corner. His tv is still in the corner with his gaming devices where he placed them. Mom was going to tear down the fort at one time or give it to the neighbor kids but never did. Once in a while, I go in and set on the bed and write a story or two about the times I wanted to laugh, cry and sting Levi up by his toes( sometimes all on the same day). I am proud of the fine young man he had turned out to become.

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