I’m back!

Well it has taken some work but I’m back.  ☺

Lesson learned, Annie does not know enough about blogging to make a self hosted site.

Life is changing here we are moving to a new state.  It’s an opportunity for us to have a fresh start without baggage from former marriages.

So for now I’m typing on a tablet.  It’s harder than it looks.

Awareness month

We have so many causes to be aware of now days.  The ice bucket challenge was wildly successful in bringing awareness to ALS (also known as the Lou Gehrig disease).  We have been made very aware of breast cancer.

Well this month is my awareness month.  I have something known as Chiari Malformation (kee-AH-ree mal-for-MAY-shun) Type 1.  It affects an estimated 5 births out of 1,000.  Chiari is a structural defect that causes the lowest part of the brain, the cerebellum to herniate into the area of the spine normally occupied by the brain stem.  Sometimes the herniation of the cerebellar “tonsils” can extend down into the back into the cervical spine and even further.

The symptoms vary from:

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Today I had one of those “A-ha” moments.  I was painting Miss E’s room and I was exhausted.  I started the project yesterday and finished today.  (Hooray!) Anyhow, I thought of all the times in my life my mom has worked beyond what she should have been physically capable of.  Put another way, I thought of how easy it would have been for her to throw in the towel and simply not do what needed to be done, but she didn’t.

Her resolve and her sense of humor have helped give a framework to my life.

This is not to say that we always got along.  We didn’t.  As is typical in many families we fought.  We distanced ourselves from each other.  The details would fill a book or two.

As time has gone on I have come to appreciate my parents so much more than I would have thought possible.

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Christmas and memories

It that season of the year again.  The most joyous of all.  We even enjoyed a bit of snow this year!

We put up a Christmas tree that is absolutely gorgeous.  Oregon has Christmas tree farms everywhere you look.  Buying a beautiful tree is easy.  We did the usual cutting off the bottom and then situating it in the stand.  Several hands and eyes are required to get it standing straight.

The smell of a fresh tree is exquisite!  I love the aromas of the season.

I got out my decorations and the memories began.  I have ornaments that I gave my kids as they were growing up, ornaments that I made, ornaments that others gave to me, and the most precious of all… ornaments my kids made when they were little.  I have one that my youngest son signed the back of when he was little.  I smile at the childish handwriting.  I remember when he gave it to me.  Likewise I have ornaments that my other children made.  I even have some cut out of paper and colored with markers.  They are the most precious of all.

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Walking with Ruth


I’ve been thinking about what it means to be ruthless and what it means to have “ruth”.

Ruth is one of the few women to have the distinction of having a book of the Bible named after them.

We all know that Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi.  Naomi’s husband died, then both of her sons, including Ruth’s husband, died.  Naomi told her daughter-in-laws to return to their own people.  However, Ruth “clave” unto Naomi.  Clave is a past tense of the word “cleave”.  One of the definitions of cleave is, “to remain faithful”.   So she followed Naomi to the land of the Israelites.  They weren’t Ruth’s people, she was a Moabite.  She said to Naomi, “Whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”

Ruth went to glean in the field to provide for her mother-in-law.  She had the good fortune to glean in a field belonging to Boaz, who has a relative of Ruth’s late husband.  Boaz told the young men that they were not to touch her.  Ruth wanted to know how she had found grace in his eyes.  It was because of her faithfulness to Naomi.

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Introvert vs Extrovert

Out of my shell

I’ve read a lot of thoughts about this lately.  Are you an introvert or are you an extrovert?

I am an introvert. See one of the things about introverts is that they know they are introverts.  Extroverts tend to want to belong to everything so they typically say they fit into both categories.  An introvert just knows.

I once went to this party… actually the truth is a TRIED to go to this party where I only knew a couple people.  It nearly killed me to think of getting out the car and walking into a stranger’s home.  I drove around the block three times, parked for 10 minutes before I finally gave up and went home.  I was so mad at myself for not having the nerve to go inside.

Party atmospheres drain me.  I prefer a small group of friends.  The kicker here is how do I make friends?  Get an extrovert friend who takes you along.

I had the best group of friends in Idaho.  We played cards almost every week.  Even they said that they thought they would never get me out of my shell.

One day we were playing a game of Cranium, I think.  I had to get my partner to understand my clue by humming “Wild Thing”.  It is harder than it sounds by the way.  I bust up laughing!  The harder I tried to get it across, the harder I laughed!  It was so darn funny!  So the song “Wild Thing” became a running joke between us all.

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Time travel

freeimage-3060623-webDid you ever wish you could go back in time and live a day over.  Not to change that day but to savor it over and over again?

I have days like that.  I was thinking about the last time I went to visit my Grandma.  She was tired and had cancer.  She was a widow, living alone in her little house.  She was the sweetest lady.  I always remember how she had these soft cheeks and she always gave these tight lipped kisses when we left.

That day we sat and talked with her.  We looked at pictures she had in a little album.  She told us stories about the people in the pictures.  She offered us food like she always did.  She was ever the gracious host.

When I was growing up my Grandma was the wisest woman.  She told me to help my mother with the house work.  To never forget who I was.  To always be honest.  She was not a stranger to hard work.  She had worked hard her whole life.  When her first husband died she married my Grandpa.  They worked a farm together and finished raising their youngest children together.  They each knew that they missed their late spouses terribly, but they didn’t bring them up to each other.  They were fully in their marriage, no reservations.  They were married 25 years before Grandpa died.

One of the things I remember most about her was that she had this air of peace about her.

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Handling Plan B your own way

I met the nicest lady today.  She bought my washer and dryer actually.

Talk about someone who is handling plan b, this sweet woman is handling it wonderfully.  She had a knee surgery a couple of years ago and hasn’t been able to walk since.  She is getting a full knee replacement next month.

She has been through two nasty divorces.  She was accompanied by a man who is her friend.  They have been friends for 12 years.  His wife died shortly before that.  They travel together, camp together, play cards together, and look out for each other.  She said that people don’t believe them when they say it is totally platonic.  I watched her smile at him and him gently take her arm.  Watching them together I would say that there is a lot of love between them.

She said that when she needs things fixed, or someone to help her pick up a washer and dryer, he is there for her.

In the mean time she still has her space and he has his.

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Mean girls

Have you ever seen that movie “Mean Girls”?  You know the one where there is this popular clique at school, who loved torturing anyone who didn’t fit into their group.

Well, I have come to realize that it goes on way past high school.  Not that we deliberately set out to ridicule or hurt each other.  It’s that as people, especially as women, we judge each other based on our versions of perfection.

We tend to “should” on each other a lot.

Working moms think that stay at home moms should do more to help their family’s finances.

Stay at home moms think that working moms should be with their families instead of promoting their own careers.

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Summer in Oregon

It has been a busy summer here in Oregon.  Last week I canned 21 quarts of peaches and baked a peach pie.

The garden isn’t doing as well as last summer but it still nice to have.  The spaghetti squash alone has been wonderful!

Last week I picked a gallon of blackberries.  The blackberries grow wild and are everywhere!  I am going to try to find a recipe for blackberry salsa.  I had it on salmon once when I was visiting the coast.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Talk about delicious!

I’ve been doing some crafty things, as usual.  It is just fun to lose myself in some creative endeavor.

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