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 Month Gone

March 2, 2020 at 8:35 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

It is hard to believe another month is gone. It seems time is flying by at warp speed. We were just celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve and now Spring is in the air. I just put away my winter layers getting ready for my cooler capri pants and peasant blouses looking forward to planting my flowers in my urns in my garden.

I must say I have come along way since the days I wore the brand of black thumb gardener. My flowers wilted, the grass was always brown no matter how much I watered, One year I decided to plant lavender. I heard this is a hardy plant and almost foolproof for keeping alive. The butterflies love to spend time landing on the blooms and fly into the butterfly house I have on a big rock for them. My late son had a pine tree planted in his honor several years ago. The tree died last winter so a good friend of mine helped me to plant two shade trees in honor of both of my sons. I am proud to say my trees lived through the hot summer we had last year and are still flourishing.

I have always appreciated the gardeners who can turn a plain backyard into looking like a park. Birdbaths strategically placed, beautiful flowers planted around trees, raised beds full of bushes and small trees, a place one could come and just enjoy a glass of iced tea and beautifully kept yard. I like to drive around expensive neighborhoods getting some ideas to incorporate into my garden sanctuary. I have expanded my patio last summer and planted the two shade trees, I am cleaning out some old flower containers and opting for more succulent varieties. I like very low maintenance with high impact design.

I have a good friend who could enter her beautiful home in the Spring Garden Tour. She told me she didn’t want people to trample her flowers or scare her cats. My friend I’m afraid really is one cat away from being a crazy cat lady. But she loves her babies and could not imagine life without them. She traveled for her career and I cared for her cats while she was away. I was blessed to stay at her Bed and Breakfast Victorian home every month. Her mother loved Thomas Kincade and decorated the home with beautiful paintings. I really enjoyed this time in my life it was like living a dream life for a few days. it is interesting, my home is a ranch style with plenty of Victorian charm as well. My dear friends have helped me put a lot of work into my home to keep it looking nice.

The older I get, I forget that I don’t like Spring. fall and winter are my favorite times of the year. I love the cooler, shorter days, dressing in layers, coffee tastes better on a chilly morning. I am starting to like the change of season more and more. I am learning how to care for my plants and flowers, plant things that attract the butterflies and hummingbirds. I haven’t bought the tee that shares the view they like digging in the dirt. I will weed and water and deadhead the plants but as far as having so much upkeep, I leave that to the experts who are probably retired and this is why you see immaculate yards with butterflies fluttering around and birds in the trees singing.

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Appreciating Life

December 17, 2019 at 2:21 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

I am thankful for so much.

I have my mom, a good job I enjoy and the love and support of family and friends who helped me move forward after the loss of both my husband and son. I raised my son Levi as a single parent after my husband died from complications of diabetes. Single parenthood presented many challenges my son and I endured many hardships and difficulties, but we survived them all.

For Christmas one year I bought Levi a camouflage blanket to put on his bed. He had aspirations to join the military like his grandfather who he looked up to. So, like all young teenagers whose bedroom goes through many transformations, I was glad when he settled on a military theme. He had painted the walls a sickly green color, but made the best of it by putting netting on the ceiling, bought camouflage bedding and framed pictures of tanks.

Levi moved out of the house at age 19 to help care for his grandma when his grandfather passed away. A year later, he died in a tragic car accident. I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I enjoy getting dressed in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. I have also re-painted his bedroom a beige color and bought a Victorian quilt to go on the day bed. Not too long ago, I found Levi’s camouflage blanket in his old dresser. I had a melancholy feeling holding the blanket again. I decided to keep the blanket and cover a pillow to go in my car. I  kept the blanket in my car for a couple of years and I recently decided to give them to a co-worker who I knew would enjoy them.

“Life can change in a moment, live every day like you mean it and don’t look back with any regrets” I wanted to leave you with these words I found on a piece of paper in Levi’s desk drawer. A great outlook on life.

 

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Thanksgiving Traditions

November 20, 2019 at 9:24 pm (blogging, Memoir, Middle age) (, , )

The Thanksgiving holiday season for many is spent with family; after the meal is eaten, many settles in the living room for games with the kids, for many families football is a holiday tradition where friends and family settle in front of the fire in the living room to watch their favorite team try and make it into the playoffs. I know how loud the game day can become with opposing teams playing.

I am making an early dinner for my mom and her nighttime care provider. My mom thought I wouldn’t be there for the meal so she just wanted a hamburger. The holidays changed when most of our family moved away.  I miss the big parties my parents used to host. The adult children would break out the games, the guys would go hunting for the day; you could hear the excitement when the hunters came home when one or more had shot a deer. Everyone would gather around the kitchen table to enjoy the delicious meal prepared. Those are the good old days.

I am thankful to a new friend in my bible study group. She asked me if I made plans that day and invited me to her home this year to celebrate Thanksgiving. I look forward to getting to know the host and her family.  If the family is anything like my friend then I am sure I am in for a funfilled evening. When I first met Julie I remember how warm and welcoming she was to me. Part of the fun for me is guessing if the family dresses up for the holiday or wears jeans.

 

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Changing Season

September 19, 2019 at 7:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

Sometimes, it is easy to find me in a writer’s block. With the changing seasons approaching one could think there are some good ideas for a new post. After writing my first book, a friend told me about a blog. I did not know even how to start. My friend helped get me started and I must say it has been enlightening. Some of my story center around losing my family and how I have found inner peace to keep moving forward. 

I can remember when I started writing my first book. Friends were asking me when I was going to start this project I have put off for years. I had a story to tell that was not going to write itself. At first, I thought the subject matter may be too overwhelming for some readers. I let a couple friends read the first few chapters and they wanted to know when this book will be done. they have several friends who need to read this book. I found comfort in some of the comments I was receiving and within a few months, I was sitting at my first book signing table. 

I have read many empty-nester blogs and can relate to some of the same feelings the writers were going through at the time. The two in the morning pizza delivery(do not ring doorbell) late phone calls, the friend who did not bring your child home as planned pick-up(you could not wait until the kid could drive). No more late charges on the movie rental place, water bill went down all of a sudden. Fun memories, but then you realize they are moved out now and living their own lives now. Some went off to college, some enlisted, some tried to make and had to move back home. 

I can honestly say that I would not change a thing in my life. The good aspects or even the most difficult days of my life. I have the love and support of my family and friends, a strong faith, I know my son is smiling on me from heaven cheering me on. ( Do you know how many stories I could write about this young man in a blog alone?)  Like the fall season coming, my life has been through several changes. I enjoy being semi-retired, an empty- nester, writing, caring for my aging mother, and seeing what the next chapter in my life has to hold.

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A Time Of Refreshing

June 18, 2019 at 10:07 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This week is a time for me to refresh, to unplug from all the cell phone, answering e-mails, computer, and all the other devices that we all need a break from.  I care for my aging mother in the morning, then I will be off for some much-needed fun.

I  have always been a homebody. I love living here and seeing wildlife. You are driving around a neighborhood, and see several deer eating on the front lawn, stopping for wild turkeys to cross the road, following the stream around a mountain back road. I like taking the less traveled forks in the road because you are pleasantly surprised when you see a quaint town with small shops to explore. Last year friends of mine and I traveled to the top of the mountain and looked over part of Coeur d’Alene Lake. The drive back was beautiful.

My mom and I are still expecting relatives to visit this summer. My next door neighbor agreed to come to help me clear the basement of items to donate and then make the space functional. Aside from this, catching up on reading some good books in the park, taking some afternoon drives around the lakes in the area, binge-watching my favorite shows, getting out and hiking Tubbs Hill, meeting friends for lunch at our favorite upscale restaurant. I may even go on a silver mine tour, and go to a ghost town in the area.

I can say that I have enjoyed the life I have lived in my home town. I have watched the town grow more and more every year but we still maintain our small town friendliness. I have my favorite places I shop,  have the oil changed, get my groceries, and get my hair cut. One thing remains the same: The grocery store clerk to my bank teller has the same friendly smile and warm greeting when you walk in. I choose to pay my bills in person instead of online for the reason of I have known the tellers and clerks for the last thirty years and enjoy the interaction with them. This is what makes a town feel like home. I could plan a trip and travel anywhere I wanted this week but where would I be any more satisfied than where I love living? I told this to a friend today in the grocery store. She wondered why I was not on an airplane heading for another destination. Folks come here to enjoy our beauty on a vacation. I think I just may be on to something.

Summer will be short-lived and fall will be here before you know it. The changing leaves on the trees to gold, red and orange, fall drives, sipping cider, planting fall flowers to replace the summer blooms. The coats, boots, sweaters, jeans, scarves, and gloves will replace the shorts and tees, sandals, ice tea, and warm summer days. It seems like summer is shorter every year. The Inland Northwest get the fires that surround us and it makes for dry, hot and smokey conditions for much of the season. Lasy ear, it was advised to stay indoors because of the poor air quality. It is scary when a fire breaks out fifteen minutes from your home. You pray for the families that are in harm’s way and hope that the fire does not spread any further. You take the good with the bad I guess.

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A New Season

April 18, 2019 at 7:29 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Last night, I attended a ladies bible study by myself. A good friend invited me to go several times, so I finally went with her. I had the most fun I have had in a while. The ladies were gracious hosts making you feel at home. Last week, I heard one mother saying her son was in a play next week. I asked if I could come, we also invited another widow who attends the study to come along also. I love that they made you feel apart of the family and I look forward to next week.

We had an unusual winter as it began snowing in February every day. We are used to getting our winter beginning in December and in February we have some signs of spring. I love the white fluffy snowfall but then you get rain with it and a mixture of heavy slush makes it impossible to shovel let alone drive in unplowed roads. This was the first year that I stayed in most of the winter due to increased traffic and other people driving reckless. I love to look out my front door at the storms coming in from the mountains.

this year, I started to notice a slight change in my outlook on things. I was more tired than usual, my mom had needed more help after coming home from the hospital, I was caring for two households now. I realized I was becoming more depressed and just wanted to be alone. I have a great group of friends who I go out with, but my mood had changed.  I haven ‘t taken a nap in so long, I found myself taking a three-hour nap every day. My co-workers were noticing I seemed more tired and wondered what was wrong. I love my job and the house I work in and get along well with everyone. I was beginning a new season in my life.

I was having my morning coffee one day and realized I felt like I was looking at a glass house, I was on the outside looking inside the house. I felt like I did not fit in I think when you suffer a personal loss such as losing a spouse or son, you feel disconnected from the community. The ladies at the bible study helped me to understand I was not alone in my feelings. Healing takes time, you have to take good care of yourself to continue to give to others. I think the thought of not fitting in is like looking at your glass half empty or half full. When life throws a curve ball how do we deal with the pain and anger? I had to realize the deaths of both my husband and my son did not mean the death of me as well. I am looking forward to the next season of my life. I know it will be full of promise, brighter days, and most of all getting back to the lasting friendships I have made.

Happy Easter everyone. May you hug the kids tighter, let them know you love them, you are proud of them and you are glad they are in your life. We are not promised tomorrow so make the best memories of today.

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Is Spring On its Way????

March 14, 2019 at 9:29 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Our weatherman said Tuesday was our last day of snow this year. We will see. We all know about the ground-hog land his lie. Social Media has had a field day with the ground-hog this year. Anything from a guest appearance of The Maury Show to a wolf eating him for his lies.

I am one who usually would rather winter take its time ending and spring begin. I love the cold crisp days, watching the snow fall,while sipping my morning cup of coffee, dressing in layers, the chili cook offs, watching families pull the kids on sleds down the street to race down the hill or ice skate. Cold snowy days are a nice way to cuddle up with a good book with a fire burning. It is a great day to have the grand kids over for sleep overs and making cookies and choosing a good movie to be enjoyed by all, Families take the dog and kids for walks in the evening, not to mention the many tireless hours spent shoveling snow. Communities are starting to help out the elderly and disabled by shoveling the driveways for them.

I remember my first winter here in my home town. All the neighbors gathered at my parents house and the teens were pulled around the neighborhood by my dads 1946 Willies Jeep. Dad had fun trying to turn fast around corners so we would whip around missing a parked car by mere inches. We we could not feel our fingers or toes, mom had hot cocoa and home-made chocolate chip cookies waiting for us. My parents knew how to throw a good party or a casual get together. Our old house was isolated and my brother and I had only a few friends who came over to our ranch. it was nice to live with live neighbors around again.

When you talk to folks living here, you get a variety of answers on which season they prefer. Not many dream of a white five months. they would rather we skip the white fluffy stuff and let them get back to planting their flower gardens. I have seen some pretty beautiful gardens and I know how much time it takes to keep them looking show perfect. I have a friend who spends countless hours a week just cutting, pruning, replanting flowers, to have the moose enjoy the fruits of her labor. I admit, I wish I had to green thumb she has, but she is also committed to maintain the beds and keep her yard beautiful. I love to visit the Annual Garden Show in our area. I know many have to be retired to put this much time and planning into the landscape.

I love living in a four season climate unlike living where it is hot, hotter and stay inside today hot. I never was one who liked dry, hot climates where tumble weeds are part of the landscape. I enjoy a few hot summer days, but then like it when the evenings cool off so you can water. I have lived in my home town for over thirty years now and I think it is the ideal place to look forward to retiring to in a few short years. I live in a small three bedroom rancher that I hear are a hot commodity now. Everyone is looking to down size as they grow older and do not want all the yard work to contend with anymore. When you live where there are plenty of lakes to fish in, hiking trails, huckleberry picking, out-door concerts, farmers markets to enjoy where else would you want to go?

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Time Flies

February 28, 2019 at 8:28 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 My Pastor is always joking that time flies when you are unconscious. Maybe he is right, we are ending another month and starting a new one tomorrow. I cannot believe how fast the years are speeding past. With this new year, came a surprise to many. February is usually 40 degrees outside and we are getting ready for Spring. Mother Nature had other plans for most of the Country this year. Those who do not get snow, it snowed maybe for three minutes as my cousin pointed out, but snow nonetheless. I felt sorry for her but she did not have her town closed down because it was dangerous to drive with regular tires, and no snow shovels.

I have lived in my home town for the last thirty-eight years. I have enjoyed living in a four season climate most of the time. It is hard to believe that I have lived here for so long. My family didn’t move around  like so many families do. I can count on one hand the homes I have lived in. When my husband and I married, we bought our first home together not knowing it would be our last. I live by a beautiful bay with hiking trails and the river out my back door. We see deer, quail, ducks and hear the birds chirping, plus we are in the forest. You cannot beat that.

I lived on the ranch in California for most of my childhood. Yes, my twin brother and I had our own bedrooms, shared a bathroom, had our own black/white TV sets in our bedrooms at the age of 12. Mom did not know what else to get us that year, we had enough clothes. I have to admit, I would not have traded this time of my life for anything, but a time comes when you need a change. dad became ill and needed a drier climate to live in. My Aunt and Uncle were already here, so we moved to be close. What a new adventure it was. I have never seen the forest facing your front yard. You can see the storms coming in. I love the outdoor atmosphere of boating, canoeing, paddle boarding, and hiking and biking my home town has to offer.

 Some ask me what I think my future holds. Retiring and keep writing this blog and maybe another book or two, I have no plans to move out of my family home. My husband and I bought our place on our second anniversary. We were pregnant with our son Levi. The neighborhood was a young families that we became fast friends with. It was fun seeing all the kids growing up together and then we watched them all leave and start their own lives. It is amazing how fast time flies if you are not careful. Most of my friends have four grand kids they see often. My son Levi died in a tragic car accident in 2007 at the age of twenty. I keep a positive attitude about life and what it holds for me. I have the love and support of my family and friends and a strong faith.

I would not trade my life for anything. The hardships and difficulties taught me perseverance, the glass in my life is defiantly half full and I look forward to my future. Like the passing seasons, our lives are ever-changing, career choices, retirement, family moving in, sandwich generation, it can be tough sometimes, but I know at the end of the day no matter how hard it seems, I have a nice cup of coffee waiting on the side table for me to enjoy and reflect on my day. Let time fly, but do take time to hug your kids extra tight today, tell them how much you love them, how proud you are of them and you are glad they are in your lives. We are not promised tomorrow. I know this for a fact; But life is good and it is what you make of it everyday. Live life to the fullest.

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It’s That Time Again

May 17, 2018 at 8:50 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

It’s that time once again. Time to get our yards in shape for entertaining family and friends. I hear lawn maintenance is over one billion dollar industry. I know friends who have the Better Home And Garden Homes who will replace the flowers four times a season.  They spend nine hours per week weeding, mowing, pruning, dead heading plants, fertilizing, and watering.  I understand to have the gorgeous yards take a lot of work.

I am happy to say my gardening skills are getting better with my middle age. I, of course, have a gardener to advise me  some easy ideas to have the look of a beautiful back yard retreat. I decided to fill in holes left when three trees were taken down in January. Instead re-planting shrubs, I decided to fill in the holes with good dirt and expand my hop scotch patio by fifty feet. I need more entertaining space and add a fountain,and last, a pergola. Every year, I plan for a couple small projects to update my yard and create the space I want to have friends come and barbecue.

I watch the Home Improvement shows especially the ones that showcase a small yard. There is so much a homeowner can do on a budget. Adding a fire pit brings loved ones roasting marshmallows over an open fire. A good friend added an outdoor day bed to her backyard retreat. You can either lounge in front of the pool, watch the kids play volleyball in the pool. They say your home is your biggest investment., I agree; You don’t have to upgrade your current home, just make some simple improvements your family can enjoy for years to come especially if you love the neighborhood in live in. 

Every year, I look forward to the Annual garden Tour. It is a good way to get good ideas for your own retreat. Some retired gentlemen have created a secret garden for their wives to enjoy. I can imagine how nice it is on a summer morning, birds merrily chirping, squirrels running across the telephone wires, watching butterflies fluttering around picking a favorite flower to enjoy. I know deer come in and walk around the yards. What a treat to see them roaming around in the backyard. I would just like to appreciate the hard work and dedication the Garden Club puts into a hobby many after they retired. 

The older I get, I am trying to enjoy every season in my life. Getting together with dear friends, putting in roses to complete my Victorian Garden(in a front flower bed). I still like simple elegance. Succulents are a good way for me to have a nice flower bed without killing the plants. I am learning about rocky soil and adding rich nutrient dirt, and hen I don’t have to pray for the best. I think my late husband would be proud of me for keeping our forever home nice. I have always taken pride to keep the house clean, watering the yard, planting a few flowers so it looks like someone lives here. I have dear friends who painted my home and made the house look fresh again. I am starting to enjoy this middle age life of mine. 

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