A Garden Make-Over

August 9, 2018 at 12:10 am (Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Yesterday, I was surprised by an old friend who came and helped me with a front yard make-over. He had gotten busy with his landscaping business and I was busy with my hectic schedules. It was nice to finally get some yard work done.  We were planning on updating my front yard in Spring, then my gardener was slammed with  other commitments. So the bricks sat until this week.

I must say, Nigel is a gifted landscape artist. He can take an idea and turn the idea into a beautiful design. Two years ago, we updated my broken down fence, trimmed some trees and planted some flowers in the newly built planter boxes. I am now extending my patio area with concrete so I can have a bigger entertaining space for friends. I may not have the income to  redesign my backyard space like many families are able to, but I love my little retreat I have created for myself.

There is still so much summer left to enjoy. I am enjoying the farmer’s Market, The Parade of Homes, learning how to paddle board, spending time with my aging mom, and trying to stay cool. I melt in the summer heat so this is always a good time to catch up on a good book in the shade, making ice cream is always a plus especially cherry vanilla. In the evening, I like to go down to the bay and enjoy the setting sun on my favorite big rock. The rock is where my son and his cousin used to jump off from the rope into the bay. I set and enjoy watching the boaters come back in for the evening.

I am learning to enjoy the four seasons where I live, my favorite will always be fall and Winter. I love the crisp cold air, coffee tastes better when it is chilly outside, bundling up in layers, boots and scarves, knitted caps. I love the chili cook-off with friends watching the games, movie marathons with friends, progressive dinners, Monday night study, shorter cooler nights, baking. This will all come soon enough, for now, I need to take the time and enjoy my least favorite season. the scorching heat of summer. I do have one consolation though, as the sun begins to set, the temperatures starts to cool off where I can set outside and hear the evening crickets serenade me in my backyard. So summer does have some benefits after all. I hope you are enjoying what is left.


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Summer Has Arrived

July 12, 2018 at 7:07 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Summer has arrived in Idaho. Every year, we have wild fires threatening to destroy the beauty we so enjoy. I feel sadness towards the homeowners who every year have to evacuate their homes and come back hopefully to a house still standing. I worry sometimes because I live right in front of a natural forest. My home can easily be in danger. Every year the Fire Department offers sound advice to home owners. Make sure all brush, wood, and any flammable material is kept away from your home. Make sure the grass is not weeds and use drought tolerant landscaping to help preserve the home better in an outbreak of fire. 

I have always had a love/ hate of summer. I hate the watery itchy eyes of allergies. I have a major allergy to fresh-cut grass, my throat feels like it is closing up. The ninety plus degree heat for days on end In winter, your heat bills goes up, in the summer the water bill goes up. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many ways to tolerate this few short weeks until I can enjoy fall again. I don’t mind wearing dresses to keep cool plus you look more pulled together when running errands. I love the summer hair dues to keep your head cool and looking fresh. The lighter make-up routine, I still enjoy making my ice-cream for an evening desert.

Most of my friends live for this time of year. they get out on the beach,go for a swim to cool off, enjoy getting a tan on. I have a hard time with crowds. The little kids who have a foul mouth on them, no supervision, throwing their trash wherever it lands instead of using the provided garbage containers. It is getting harder to find a quiet spot just to enjoy watching the boaters drift past you or watch the paddle boards drift by taking their time. I know I would not be a good candidate for living right on the water. A few years ago, I went to an open house right on the lake. The boaters speeding by were loud, you could not hear yourself talking the person beside you. I understand it is a price you pay for the luxury of lake side living, but I prefer a quieter home overlooking the forest in front of me.

I older I get, I guess I get more set in my ways. Give me a farmers market where I get to know the locals and learn how they make fresh goat cheese spreads and home-made wine. give me fresh fruits and vegetables that I can go home and make a fresh summer salad with a unique blended salad dressing to try. Give me a concert in the park filled with families, kids dancing on the green to the music. A walk down town exploring new shops and visiting with old friends who are shop owners. Give me a drive around one of the many beautiful lakes in the area. Where there is always a chance to see  deer or moose. Watching the golfers perfect a swing enjoying lunch overlooking the lake with a dear friend having lunch. I enjoy my hometown with friendly folks, nice weather, beautiful lakes, rivers you follow while driving the back roads.


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The Uncooperative Yard

August 3, 2017 at 12:05 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

A friend of mine and I were talking the other evening about what we still want to accomplish before the ed of summer. first on my list would be to get a friend to help me put some finishing touches on my back yard. I would like to have company,but my yard looks like a bomb went off in it. No matter how much I water, weed and feed (the weeds, not the lawn) it is still bone dry. My next door neighbor owns a lawn care service; We look at each other in passing and just hope the heat will decrease to 85 degrees instead of 95 degrees plus. So, I keep my hydrangea well watered and water the brown lawn three times per week.

While in my back yard this afternoon, I was sitting on my rocking chair thinking about my could be a beautiful yard. I had vision and hope: In the corner of the yard are two pine trees that have seen better days. I have my bird bath sitting there with no birds bathing. I was thinking about cutting down the pine trees and putting down a layer of rock. The bird bath would look better placed in the middle with pots all around it. in the other empty corner, I was thinking about putting a bench in the rock and put a shepherds hook beside it for a humming-bird feeder. On the fence, I want to put up planters for colorful flowers. At least when I go sit on my patio, I can look at something pretty and invite friends over for a party.

I can truly say, I am not a fan of summer sizzle. When my family first moved to my small town, the summer temperature was ony 85 degrees in august, now we get into the triple digits. The older I get, I melt. I  could go to the beach and fight the crowds, hope to get a shady spot, I am too old to run through my sprinkler except for when I forget to look where the lawn is being watered and get soaked. (usually right when you are running out the door to an appointment, and  you look like a drowned rat). I do enjoy when the sun is setting,the air cools down and you can hear the crickets chirping, the last of the kids have gone inside, and you are left with your cold coffee to enjoy in peace.

I took my first ride on a Harley Davidson motorcycle a few weeks ago. My son Levi had a best friend who has really been there for me after my son died ten years ago. We had breakfast at the Snake Pit, then Mike showed me where his family goes camping and floats down the lazy river. It is a beautiful area, in the middle of the national forest. My best friend and I took  a drive to one of our favorite small towns. It is nestled along side the lake with small unique shops and old car shows every weekend. I still need to make time to see a couple of plays or a concert in the park. I still enjoy what is happening at my local Library and visiting my friend the cat lady. She lives in a beautiful Victorian home on a tree- lined street. My yard would be incredible like hers, except I do not share her green thumb. I am becoming a reformed black thumb gardner with help from my friends.

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End Of Summer Fun

August 17, 2016 at 6:36 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

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Summer is winding down now, soon the kids will be back in school. Some parents are doing the happy dance while the kiddos are groaning. Your city or small town still has so much to offer.

 Farmers markets as well as car shows are still going on. Concerts in the park as well as summer theatre. Some small towns celebrate —— Days a weekend of food, music, games for the kids. If you live near the City,a museum or Art Gallery opening is fun for the whole family. Some galleries even host hands on exhibits for the kids. Check out your local park. In the City, I learned are unique new parks right along the freeway or old/ new use to railroad tracks. New ideas to utilize otherwise wasted and unusable spaces. You would not expect to see greenery growing over the old railroad tracks. Taking a day long road trip to a new town checking out the summer activities. Hosting the neighborhood block party. What a nice way to welcome new neighbors . Have an outdoor movie marathon. Making a huge comeback. And don’t forget a fun day at the fair.

Growing up on a ranch as a child, my twin brother and I were 4-H club together. We would be busy beavers all summer getting ready to show our animals off come October. My parents were the rabbit leaders. We learned how to build rabbit beds and food dishes. We had a huge slate pool table in our living room. The kids would gather around the pool table and learn how to show our bunnies to the judges. (Oh yes there is a certain way you show the judges your bunny). My brother and I also were involved in the sheep program. Unless you have ever tried to train your lamb how to walk on a leash to walk for the mile around your circular driveway, we lived. I would not trade the moments for anything. Jeff and I learned responsibility one being the lambs were not going to feed themselves or certainly not going to walk themselves(what were Jeff and I thinking at age 8?). The purpose of walking the lambs the mile every evening was to firm up the meat otherwise the buyer  pay for more fat on the animal. So many great memories growing up caring for our animals.

Some children has now traded lazy days of summer for the back pack and getting up early once again. We will soon trade hot summer days for cooling temperatures, shorter days, trade grilling out doors for chili cook offs for Football season. At least most kids can wear shorts to school. We can still squeeze a little more of summer into our busy lives and then look forward Fall.

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End Of Summer Bucket List

August 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , )



The end of summer is almost here. What is still on your bucket list to accomplish? With so many activities around your community it is hard to choose what to do today.

Plan a neighborhood yard party. Everyone gets so busy during the summer Months, this is a great way to host a get together with your neighbors old and welcome the new ones.

Go on a nature hike. Even around your neighborhood. have a contest and see how many animals you see. Dogs and cats are not the only critters lurking around every car. You just might see a squirrel run out from underneath a parked car. I love to hear the birds singing in the trees. Butterflies fluttering around.

Take the kids fishing. many parks have a pond stocked with fish for the kids. A great way to keep them busy and have a fish fry with their catch of the day.

Outdoor concerts in the park. Summer theater, farmers markets, art on the green, a fun afternoon spent by all.

Take a day cruise around the lake. Some have lunch and dinner cruises as well. Take in the beauty of the mountains and watch the boaters water ski.  rent a paddle boat and take the family on an adventure around the lake yourself.

take a scenic drive into the national Forest. You may spot a deer or two,wild turkeys roaming around, stop and pick huckleberries along the road. Take a nature hike in the forest and follow one of many trails in the area. Have a picnic lunch afterwards before heading home.

Let the kids make home-made ice cream and have the grand parents over for a sweet treat made with love.

Go on a family bike ride outside your block. You can get so many home ideas by sight-seeing other neighborhoods. I love to see the beautiful yards of flowers and landscaping ideas.

Host an outdoor movie marathon. Let the kids pick out several movies to watch on a big sheet screen after a pot luck dinner. Great way to catch up with several friends and family members.


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Unplug,Enjoy Summer

July 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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Summer, the precious time we have between June and September to spend with our kids and grandkids.

Summer can be taxing especially for parents who have to work. With so many summer camps, summer school,day care centers,and grandparents,summer can become less stressful. The Library offers a reading circle for the little ones, while big brother or sister can read or play on the computer. A day at the beach is a free fun way to spend a summer afternoon catching the waves.

So many have lake cabins and summer homes to enjoy. A day on the lake in the family boat is a great way to unplug and play. I understand the need for a phone when child is young-parents can catch up with child after school and after sports practice. But now, it seems the child does not want to go outside and play because of the invention of computer games and phone games. I understand family dynamics have changed since I grew up,but families used to sit down to dinner together and share their day, homework after dinner, then sit down and watch a tv program and off to bed. So much has changed over the last few years.

Their is so much abuse in our society today parents are afraid to tell the child no(my son Levi knew the word, I also knew all the police in my area as well). Levi used to go on ride along with the police officers and the local PD handed out baseball cards but for police officers. It let the kids know because you were stopped, it could be a good thing. The kids collected the cards. I think it is great.

Summer is half over so much still to explore with the county fairs, farmer’s market(make a fresh green salad tonight with the kids), fresh fruit ice cream to be made,water melon to be eaten,seed spitting contest, feeding the ducks in the park, fishing derbies, concerts in the park, water skiing, jet skiing, feeling the green grass between your toes, find your happiness with the family and make lasting memories because life can change in a moment like it did for me. I lost both my husband and son. I treasure the times I went camping with my parents and son,fishing, traveling to the Hot Springs, lazy days on the boat, weekends at the cabin, nature hikes with my son, so many wonderful memories of my life as a single parent.

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Summer Bucket Lists

July 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , )

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So many things to do during the summer months, so little time to do them. How many on your bucket list did you fulfill? How many are you carrying over to this year as “This year I will..”  I want to take in some more summer concerts the park, shop at the local farmer’s market, take a lake dinner cruise, spend some time this weekend where my son and his cousin spent hours swimming in the bay. Summer all year has changed for me in recent years.

My life was forever changed by two tragic events: my husband and son’s deaths. I am very blessed to still live in the house my husband and I purchased together on our second anniversary. We lived here for four years before Jerry passed away from complications of diabetes. My son Levi died nine years ago from a tragic car accident.he was only 20. I have so many wonderful memories of a lively house of boys(big and small) riding ATVs(Levi on his battery-powered one) and rides on daddy’s motorcycle. Afternoons spent in the park listening to a concert or seeing the local carnival. I loved the rare time Jerry and I took a fide on the motorcycle and had lunch at a cafe around one of our many area lakes.

Growing up,I had always hoped to be a wife and a mother,I lived through good times and prayed through the tougher times, but I am a stronger person for persevering through the storms. I don’t have any grandchildren to share my life with as my son never married. Sometimes our lives take another direction than we expected but when we trust God, we are satisfied where we are. I know this is a story about a bucket list but I think it is important to cherish who is around you and take the time to share a meal, play backyard volleyball with neighbors, sight see your area, unplug, and take the kids in the forest-so much to see beyond the trees. the streams are teaming with jumping fish,the mountains are beautiful, watching the kids float the river. Even if you live in the City,there is always the beach(though crowded) I am sure you have a new Museum you can visit or the aquarium. Get the sand in your toes,don’t swim with the sharks though,look for sea shells and star fish and have a great summer

What is on your summer time bucket list I would love to hear. God Bless.

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10 Things I love About Summer

June 17, 2016 at 3:10 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

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The lazy days of summer.

Days spent at the beach.



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Day spent the farmer’s market.

Grilling the veggies your just bought.

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Eating water melon with the grandkids.

Have a seed spitting contest.

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Unplug. Get outside and help the kids plant a garden.

Go on a nature hike plan a treasure hunt.

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Visit a botanical garden.

Looking for butterflies fluttering around the pretty summer flowers priceless.




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July 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Single Parent, Sons) (, , )

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Being grateful adds to a fulfilling life.

I am grateful every morning that I woke up.

I am grateful for my friends and their ways they make me smile.

am grateful that the many fires are getting under control .

I am grateful for my many readers and thank you for your support.

I am grateful for the kindness of others.

I am grateful that I can still spend time with my mom.

Concerts in the park to enjoy.

A job I enjoy going to everyday.

The times I can go for a leisurely drive and see deer.

I am most grateful to you my readers. Thank you.

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Coping With Summer Ending.

September 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm (Creative Non- Fiction) (, , , )

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Go outside. hike,bike, soak up the sun. The days are shorter and cooler. Squeeze every moment you can out of the days.

Plan a fun weekend after classes start. Rent a paddle boat or canoe.

Set up a tent in the backyard on a starry night. See if you can find the big dipper.

Read a book on a  park bench. Enjoy the fresh air.

Visit a farmer’s market. try a new recipe with your fresh produce.

Cook your meal over a back yard fire pit or BBQ. Enjoy roasting marshmallows for desert.

Time for the changing season,leaves begin to change, the cooler evenings. Still so much to enjoy.

There is still time to finish those home improvement projects we have been putting off all summer.

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