New Reality

December 3, 2021 at 8:43 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

As my hometown is steadily growing by the minute, it has still kept some of the charm I have come to know and appreciate. The box boy still helps those out with thier groceries, friends meet up at the local coffee house, families takes evening walks with the dogs around the neighborhoods. It has been a great place to raise kids, good schools, churches, dining options and your surrounded by mountains.

I was watching my local news yesterday and was shocked like most residents here there was an early morning argument at the gas station/ drive- thru coffee hut that resulted in gun fire exchange. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. No one was hurt at the gas station or the coffee hut but someone could have had a window shot out or injured. The police came and took the two young men into custody.

I worry about the projected growth in the next couple of years. People are moving here because of the beauty of the Northwest and all we have to offer. I am concerned about increased crime, traffic, accidents from inattentive driving, new winter drivers, the people who own SUV’S and Hemi trucks, they cannot go anywhere and the driver who thinks they are invincible driving one. The number one rule in winter driving is slow down and allow extra time to get to your destination.

I hope for a brighter 2022, that officials can finally get and handle on the pandemic and get us back on the road to recovery where jobs are filled, childcare provisions, competitive wages, affordable housing again, and calm some of the fear raging. Our needed daily supplies start getting delivered soon, truckers keep working, nurses are in demand again, all essential jobs are filled, and get America thriving again. We can do it, all working together, we can make us greater than before. 

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Goodbye November

December 1, 2021 at 2:29 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

It is hard to believe it is the last day of November. Where has time gone? The older I get it seems time is just flying by at a faster speed than lightning. Tomorrow is December; Time get ready for winter, stringing the lights on the house, going to the forest or tree lot and finding the right tree, putting a netting around the tree  after it is beautifully decorated or I have seen where the owners shape the tree to where the three upper branches can have ornaments on them. The tradition of trying to figure out the tangled mess of lights again this year, and last but not least,  the children fights on how to decorate. 

I usually have a harder time getting into the spirit of Christmas since my family has moved away and losing my son to a tragic accident. What inspired me tonight was a beautifully decorated Victorian home I saw. The shades were drawn so you could see into one room; It was all done in golds, the tree was all white lights, and the lighting in the room was beautiful. 

I have a friend who has a Victorian home to say she decorates is an understatement. She is a retired flight attendant who every year went to London and always shopped at Harrod’ Department store. Her tree has many ornaments from the store as well as treasured keepsakes.( She has ten cats…. not a one destroys her tree) They all like finding a place under it and looking at the twinkling lights at night while other set in front of the big fireplace. One year her mother and her took a drive on the other side of the river to take a picture of the house. She couldn’t fit all the decorations in close up. 

I decided if I didn’t decorate now, I probably would not this year. My home is transformed into  simple Victorian. A few years ago, a dear friend came over for desert and helped me transform my home into a holiday house. My friend told me to take pictures so I can remember how she decorated. I am glad I had the pictures to inspire me to put up my Victorian Village. ( You know the friend that can play with your display shelf for ten minutes and it looks like out of a magazine?)I had to learn how to not be envious of her gifting. 

People ask how  am I doing. I am doing okay. I try to find the beauty in each new day and remember what a difference a day can make. What was a difficult afternoon one day can be a enjoyable one the next day. Every year the grief gets better and the depression isn’t as difficult as it used to be. I have to be thankful for what I do have and  be appreciative for who is still here. I don’t know how many more Christmases I will have with my mom so I try and be there for her.  It is difficult when you feel abandoned. I miss my family who moved away and my brother lives in another State. At least it will be snowing soon.

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A Different day

November 24, 2021 at 8:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I am glad I can have a nice breakfast with my mom tomorrow. Plans just became too complicated for me so mom can spend the rest of her day with her company. My mom loves biscuits and gravy; This is a nice change for me not having to cook on thanksgiving this year.

The Holiday is different for me since my family has moved away and my son passed away. I make the best out of the situation but sometimes it can be trying. Mom is getting older and opinionated and I being the daughter listen and do what I wanted anyway. 9 I don’t think it is going to hurt to throw out the week old meatloaf). 

Sometimes I miss the parties mom and dad hosted when we were teens. Everyone gathered and had a big dinner and game night. friends lived across the street and left at like two in the morning. A good time was had by all. On the occasion it snowed thanksgiving, dad had his Willies jeep ready to pull us around the neighborhood in the sled. When we couldn’t feel our fingers and toes, we went inside the house for home made chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa. One of my friends still mention this as a fond memory.

The last couple years has been hard on everyone. This year feels more normal, people are traveling to see family and friends, some decided to drive to Aunt Betty’s house this year, while others chose to have a quiet celebration at home with a few friends over. Some families have a progressive dinner and share the meal. I love this idea. Dressing the table with your finest dinnerware and silverware, crystal stemware and beautiful desert plates. 

Whatever your plans are, have a wonderful day with family and friends or invite an elderly neighbor over to share your day with. Communities host a turkey drive where families can get the whole dinner given to them. Communities are coming together to help those in need.

A big thanks to the volunteers who served dinner, helped with handing out the food boxes, those who donated food, those who at one time received a box when in need, now they are giving back. It’s a since of community that helps heal from tough times, the dedicated people who go to work everyday and doing thier best in an uncertain times as this.

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Thankful Thursday

November 19, 2021 at 6:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Everyday I try and find something to be thankful for. This simple act keeps me more positive and also not becoming a lemon taster. I can come up with so many reasons like you to be a miserable person to be around:  I don’t understand why it is the checkers fault at the grocery store that your lettuce went up 20 cents, the bank tellers can only handle the basic banking needs, people need to pay more attention to the road not the phone. Watch for pedestrian traffic in the parking lots please.

I think the older I get, I am enjoying my home. I get out early in the morning running my errands, go over and fix lunch for my mom, help out with her shower and then head home. The other day as I was driving towards town I passed a three car accident. Don’t get me wrong I am not afraid to be out, just the traffic and the road rage incidents, honkers, speeders passing you it gets a little irritating at times. It is almost sad to see how fast my hometown has grown, unaffordable housing right now, and enforcement officers.

I remember when my late husband and I were looking to buy our first home P.F. was only 7,00 people. We had one blinking light at the end of town, three banks, four grocery stores, and three main restaurants to choose from. Everyone met at the Happy Hour Supper Club on Sunday night to have dinner and dance. I remember there was no traffic on the freeway. Honest. Everyone went to Spokane to shop and have a nice dinner out. there are so many lakes and rivers to fish and boat in, huckleberry picking in the mountains was a family affair. The town was a quiet place to live and raise a family.

I miss the smaller hometown feel we once had, but progress took over. Condos and apartment buildings are taking over, the  farmer’s fields are now  five lanes of traffic and an overpass  to accommodate the rapid growth.  It is sad to think we are becoming part of the boomtown. Recreational vehicles are a hot commodity right now because there isn’t enough housing or it over priced. Unfortunately the overcrowding will continue, more crime, drugs, violence, will be more widespread. Most of the residents here just want to keep our natural beauty intact. Fish and Game fine when people are camping, they don’t have the respect to clean up after themselves before leaving. it makes it easier to close camp sites for everyone. 

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Weekend getaway

November 8, 2021 at 1:24 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

So I needed a little R&R for a few days.  I was planning on taking a class tomorrow for care providers. Of course it was cancelled. Was I disappointed, yes, will it ruin the rest of my staycation.? No. Why you may ask because I have already made some nice plans for the rest of my time off.

A couple weeks ago I called my best girlfriend and asked if I could stay at her log cabin B&B for a couple of days. (she would laugh because as she puts it, Julie it is just a simple house we are trying to make look more like a cabin inside) Ha I say. The house started out a coral color as I remember, nicely landscaped though. When the house became available, the couple moved next door. The husband the painter got straight to work with his magic and color choices. Peeler cords flank both sides of the picture window, the house is painted a dark brown with lighter brown trim. Inside the basement stairs were widened so you could walk down the stairs without breaking your neck. My guest room was decorated with beautiful bedding not to mention the scrumptious pillow top mattress with nice fluffy pillows. The next morning when I awoke, the hostess took me to a delicious crepe breakfast. The rest of the day we ran around town, ( my friend mentioned we went to 8 different places today) came home for dinner and movie night. 

The next morning I was sad that it all must end, but I packed my overnight bag, put on some make-up, had my morning coffee, with left over cold pizza from the night before, and came home. Back to reality again. I put my dirty laundry in the washer, took a shower and put away my new clothes I bought at Black Friday sale. I purposely didn’t bring an extra shirt to put on because I knew we would be shopping and I could feel like a vacation buying something new.  I truly felt like I had gone to another city for a few days and lived the lifestyle. 

Sometimes we just need to get away for a couple of days, binge watch Gold rush with friends on their couch with some good food and great company. I do not take a vacation very often especially when we are short handed at work. I felt like since I was supposed to be attending a class on Monday, it would be a good time to have a few down days, start getting the outside ready for winter coming, putting away the outside furniture, cutting back my Hydrangea bushes, and putting my planters in the garage until next season. Changed my furnace filter, you will be told very important, and now in my house, keep on wearing my nice sweat pants and my new shirts. It is only 42 degrees this week. 

I am thankful for my family and friends who has helped my the last year sprucing up my home to what it is today. Friends will tell you your home always looks nice, you have a killer backyard, and your newly added porch railing really adds to the house charm. I am glad Jerry and I bought our forever home 37 years ago. The house has went through a transformation that I think both my husband and my son would have appreciated.  i don’t think i could stop writing in this house, so many fond and sometimes funny memories to be thankful for.

 

 

 

 

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All Hallows Eve

October 30, 2021 at 11:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I heard a story about some co- workers working at a group home for the special needs clients.

One evening, the ladies were setting at the the break room table charting, drinking their coffee and chatting about  the plans they had for thier days off. With charting done, the ladies put the books on the shelf getting ready to leave when all the  charts just fell off the shelf by themselves. Laughing one care provider put the books back on the shelves and was getting ready to go clock out. Again, the books fell off the shelf like something waked by and  pushed them on the floor again. the books were put back on the shelf. One co-worker joked ‘it is enough and you can stop now’. For the time being, the books stayed on the shelf.

Another story told in the same house is on a windy night, the residents were cared for, the co-workers again were charting, and chatting while drinking coffee. This time, the back door opened and something came in shutting the door behind it. The co- workers just said ‘hello’ to whatever it was that entered .

These stories are true. They have happened more than once. They just figure it is a fun loving something having fun.

What is your spooky story on this All Hallows Eve?

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Living Life To the Fullest

October 18, 2021 at 10:59 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

A few weeks ago, my brother and I turned sixty. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I suddenly realized I cannot do the same things as say a thirty year of still can. I do not have the energy or maybe the interest anymore. I am not part of the social scene anymore. you do not see meeting friends for coffee, going to the big parties, concerts, flying(lol). I like to stay closer to home now and enjoy my hometown life.

I started being more of a homebody a couple of years ago. I live in a four season climate where the deer and the moose play, I see ducks swimming in the bay, I see the occasional fox and turkeys running wild. My view point is where would I want to go? I have my home staycation ready complete with my bedroom getting painted by dear friends of mine. The weather is turning colder now and I love wearing layers, going for walks seeing the changing leaves, coffee just tastes better on a chilly morning, I love foggy mornings.

I still am part of the sandwich generation where after work, I care for my aging mom. We are in the process of getting her a new wheel chair. What an ordeal. Doctors who don’t get back with you telling you the wheelchair place has the referral, the wheelchair place not getting back with you saying her physical therapy appointment is set up,  and getting her a ride there and back home. It is difficult being the only child here with no family around to help out. But I am muddling along through this ordeal and we will prevail! I hope. 

Life after sixty says it will be an exciting time in your life… that or very exhausting. I still don’t feel any different. I still have the same aches and pains as before, the same extra weight hanging around, clothes not fitting quite right lately, sleeplessness nights, cozy mysteries(cannot wait for the next one to be written). I am blessed that I have my health, my job in healthcare, the love and support of my friends and my family, I get to wake up and look at the forest out my front door, so many places to take a quiet scenic drive to see the wild life along the roadways. Staycation are the best in my book.

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The Cat Ladies

October 12, 2021 at 10:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to care for a beautiful elderly lady living with her flight attendant daughter and just a few cats. One of the stories goes like this the two ladies were eating dinner at the time. The kitchen is off the back deck, all of a sudden a beautiful cat came up to the back door and just sat there looking in. The mother just sighed and said ‘there’s another one wanting to get in’. Well her name ended up being Annie. 

Another time, the daughter was just taking her walk(I kid you not) with her three cats in tow. There would take a walk around the block and then go back inside the house. One evening the daughter noticed another cat joining them on the walk. His name became Ricky. In the end, they ended up with ten cats all together. They live in a beautiful Victorian home on a tree- lined street where deer and moose show up in the fall and stay around for a couple days eating the trees.

I met the ladies a few years ago after my brother and I used to drive around looking at the the nice water front homes and taking pictures. my brother and I always loved the Victorian homes and were in awe at how gorgeous the landscape is. One day I was driving by the home and saw the daughter outside working on her lawn. I got brave and went over to talk with her. As it was, she was looking for someone who could stay nights with her mother while she flew. We became fast friends and to saw I had a dream job was an understatement. I cared for this elderly lady for three years.

After the mother passed away, her daughter asked if I would still watch her kitties since she still had to fly twice a month. I stayed there for another four years until I had too much going on and was unable to anymore. 

I found out what being envious of another is. I was able to stay at what you would call a luxury resort it was that special to I would come home to my small house that I wished had some of the charm of the their home. The daughter helped me a little to add to my home but over time my good friends helped me paint, plant some trees in my backyard and expand my back patio. I put in a memorial garden in honor of my sons, and started to make my house really feel like a home.  Yes, I have a ranch style house but with Victorian charm. 

I am glad I had the opportunity to be part of the Stuart ladies lives and was able to care for the mother and later the cats. I have learned to stay home on my days off and like my staycations every week. With the pandemic and flight cancellations mess, I didn’t really want to travel anyway. I put up my fall decorations and put my warm comforter on my bed and I am all ready for the snow to fly. Life is full of lessons and sometimes you have to look at what you do have and appreciate it and I have learned to love where I live. 

Someone asked me one time what was the best feature in my home I turned my son’s old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed there in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. I know of so many who has lost a child and cannot bear to open the bedroom door. I think Levi would have been happy I chose to transform his bedroom into a space where I can come in a get dressed and sip my cup of coffee in the morning. His old book shelf that a friend gave to him many years ago, became my new book shelf full of my Author friends books.

 

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Finding Sanity

October 6, 2021 at 10:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

This has been a crazy, exhausting, struggle this week. My place of employment is not a skeleton crew anymore, we are now calling ourselves the shoe string crew. With those out sick and the rest of us working to fill the shifts, I can say I am proud of my co-workers that we are bridging the gap and working through exhaustion and caring for our guys. 

I understand that no one wants to apply for a job because of the variant strain out their but businesses are closing their doors for lack of staff.  Patience is in limited supply right now. Sometimes you want to tell a customer it isn’t the checkers fault the lettuce costs a mere 20 cents more right now. truckers to deliver the food is in short supply right now. fast food places are in short staff mode as well. They really are trying to keep up with orders and maybe did put tomatoes on your order by mistake. do you really need to be rude to them for your order? 

I just feel a black cloud hanging over our Country right now and so many people has commented on the how hostile people are getting. Kids shooting kids at school, parents taking the kids out of school because of mask mandates and vaccinations debates, mental health declines, big box stores has made a mint on home deliveries and curbside pickups. People are afraid to go out anymore for fear of shootings, being the wrong ethnic race, walking after dark, I hope this is not the new normal. So many are just staying home instead of enjoying their community ( a fight breaks out for no reason it seems like). 

Anymore you need proof of being vaccinated to go into dine out, go to the movies, meet friends at a bar, no big gatherings, the concerts and fairs are resulting in spikes of the Covid19, so we are basically back to where we were last year. No family gathering again, sometimes it is hard to find the silver lining in all of this. I think the most important thing you can do for yourself is self- care. It is okay not to want to get together for a drink right now, not go for that scenic drive with friends, not go to that concert just yet. It is okay to take caution for what is at risk out there. 

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Another Decade Ahead

September 22, 2021 at 12:45 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

My twin brother hates it when I include him on any story. But when you celebrate your birthday together, well….

My brother and I will be 60 years old next week.  I don’t know I you would call it a milestone because we have sure been through a lot the past few years. personal tragedies, health scares, we both live in another state, we don’t keep in touch as much as we would both like to, we are as different as night and day. With the virus scare it saddens me we cannot celebrate a nice dinner together and look at model homes or go for a scenic drive around the older neighborhoods like we used to do. 

We both grew up on a ranch raising ducks, chickens, sheep, horses, cows and various other animals we had to wake up early yo feed every morning. Our friends were jealous we were able to ride our horses or play with the bunny rabbits anytime we wanted. We told them we would trade places with them anytime; they didn’t realize you were awakened early to feed and water the animals, clean out the pens, horses were exercised everyday(not when it was fun) and if you have a 4H animal like say a lamb, you walked the animal on a leash around the circular driveway for a mile every night. About this time our friends passed on spending the weekend.

Happy birthday to best big brother I know. We had some good times and lived through some very difficult ones as well but in the end, there is no one I would rather have for my brother but you!

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