January 31, 2018

Sunshine has been sorely lacking during these gray, gloomy days of January and it had me down.  I needed some sunshine.

Off I went to Long Beach, California for a long weekend in the sun.

The sun greeted me the moment I stepped off of the plane.  It was warm.  It was clear.  It was lovely and I soaked it up.  The sun, however, was just a bonus to the visit.

It was the friends.

Their hugs, the listening ears, the hugs, the soul-searching reality check and the hugs from the precious ones who have known me through so many ‘D’s (deaths, divorce and diagnosis’), did I mention the hugs.  Pampered with food, drink and mani-pedi’s, my empty soul filled.With time to catch up on Team Offspring, discuss the merits and sadness of the empty nest and laugh at our shared history together.

We kayaked, walked, shopped and talked and even boated across the bay for dinner.

The sunshine felt divine, but it was the friendship that fed my soul.  The love and understanding from precious friends is more valuable to me than words can really say.

…and I am very blessed.




December 22, 2017

There is sawdust on my slippers, my ‘inside’ shoes.  We’ve been mixing Christmas activities such as cutting down our own tree in the forest, with work on THE bathroom.

I would say, that it is the longest bathroom remodel/addition in the history of Ellensburg, but I know someone who took 8 years on theirs.  We are way ahead of that!

The bead board trim and base boards are up, so the floor just needed to be sanded.  I took this task over, as someone was laying down on the job.My knees and back held out for all the sanding of the floors, so I applied the filler to the floors as well.  Giving My Loving Spouse time to put the finishing touches on THE Grandson’s Christmas present, a replica of a present his Grandfather made for him, when he was a small boy.  We are pretty excited to be giving this gift.  No, I cannot tell you what it is, it is a secret.We have mixed our time off from school and driving with a renewed determination to finish the damn/darn/beautiful bathroom.  Work and play have been in balance.  Number Two Son took me to the Gard Winery Christmas party.  Great wine, great food and fun down to earth people.  I was more star struck by the Farm manager who grows their grapes, than I’ve ever been by any famous actors I have met.  An Ugly Christmas sweater party, proved a bit more challenging, as we are too cheap to actually buy anything ugly.  I made My Loving Spouse this Ugly sweater and then ‘made’ him wear it, while I literally stole the tree skirt from under our Christmas tree.  I am grateful for these days, of working and playing together.  I am well aware, that this season, this season of hope can be painful and bleak.

I easily remember different Christmas days.  The desperate time of deep sadness, that after years of marriage counseling, my children would be having parents that divorced.  It hurts my heart still.

Where do we find ‘hope’?

I believe hope is given to us.  Given by those who walk alongside us, especially in our darkest days.  Hope is not thrust upon us, but believed for us.   I came out of my darkest days, with hope that life would some day be different, because dear, compassionate, trusted friends believed it for me, shared it with me and helped me to see, that our God is a God of love and second chances…even for me with all my mess…and even for you.

If this season is bleak, I want to share my hope for you.  I believe your life will get better and that you are loved, in all your mess.  After all, Jesus was born in a stable, and we all know that there had to be some mess in there.

Thank you for walking along with me,

Merry Christmas,


Grandparents Needed

September 17, 2017

This might sound a tad ‘bossy’, and because I did not fall far from my mother’s ‘bossy tree’, I do try to be careful.  (Yes, it is true.  My mother had nicknames such as, “that bossy blonde” and “Bossy Aunt Betty”, just to name a few).  I am going on record here as not being bossy, or preachy or pushy.  I am being encouraging.  

Grand-parenting is fairly magical.  I love THE Grandchildren with a passion.   They fill my heart with joy, which is not really a surprise.  Here comes the really cool part…I feel the same way with Mr. T and Z.

When I see those little people, my Grand-parenting kicks in.  I do things like spend my dinner money buying them treats at the fair, even though it might be right before their dinner time.Things come out of my mouth without planning, that are pure Grand-parenting.  I saw Z the next day at the fair with her friend.  She called to me and I hugged her and said, “Do you have enough spending money?”  Those words do not usually come out of my mouth.  Because I was able to offer, my heart was filled with joy.

This post is to encourage some (not all) of you (and you know who you are) to go find some Grandchildren.  Since I have never seen a Grandkids R’ Us, you may have to work at it, but trust me, it is easier than you’d think.  Go to a nearby elementary school and ask, if there is a teacher there who would like an adult to sit and read with students.  Be willing to go every week, maybe for an hour…then just show up and wait for the magic to happen.

Trust me, you will be blessed.

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Winter Whimsy

February 15, 2017

I am seeing the funny side of winter this morning, which is so much easier to do, when one has a 3 hour delay for school/work, due to black ice on the road.  In other words, this means I am drinking coffee in bed, when I would normally be at school.  This day after Valentine’s day, the kids are coming down off of their sugar high, in the privacy of their own home.  (Win one for the school staff).

Valentine’s day at an elementary school is a fairly rewarding place.  When you work in the library, no one really has to bring you Valentines, so when they do, it is very sweet and touching.  The kids do have such fun giving to others.  Love in forms of suckers, hearts and chocolate.  Nothing says loving like 4.5 ounces of truck!Or a very special Valentine from My Loving Spouse, who had to fix some of the words in the card he found.I love these guys!

Staying on the lighter side of life, we’ve warmed up a tad.  Can you figure out where our septic system is?  The warmest spot in the yard.The hoar-frost is beautiful on every branch…Although it is quite possible that Pooh, does not agree…with hoar frost on her whiskers, as she continues her campaign to become a house cat.  (Which is NOT happening).In other bits of randomness… do you know what type of Danish mid-century Modern furniture goes well in a 1889 year old American farm-house?

NONE!  (Except a very good sewing table, but that is all about function not form.)

In other words the furniture we moved here with, (that I never liked), but My Loving Spouse was fond of…is finally gone!  My Loving Spouse took pity on my furniture angst and said…sell it…and so we did.  Which is why we currently now have imaginary dressers and odd random empty spaces around the house.  I am scouring the internet for just the right furniture for a funny shaped home.  I am in a design frenzy.  I’d even repaint the bedroom today, if I could actually get to the paint store (except for the whole black ice problem).

Have a great day, where ever you are…

I may go have some more coffee and just a small bite of truck, yes, I am blessed.


Cry Whine…

February 9, 2017

It snowed again.  It snowed a LOT!  The kids at school were fairly awful.  Most people here are ready to lynch the Ground Hog and Mother Nature.  My Scare Crow, Garden Gladys Knight is up to her ???? in it.


The dogs prefer their blanket near the stove over their dog house.

The older I get, the more certain I am, that I do not really know very much.  However, this I do know…complaining doesn’t help.Complaining seems to be in epidemic proportions these days!

I find, that when I am around a group that is complaining, I tend to have two reactions:

  1.  I jump into the complaining pool, add my 2 cents, and throw in a bit of righteous indignation to go along with it.
  2. I complain about the complainers.

Both are ultimately unsettling to me and my next step is more permanent.  I distance myself from the complainers.  Complaining is a virus that separates relationships.

The snow is hard.  This winter has been hard.  Oh, well.

One of my brother’s was in a horrible accident.

Accident…in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He did nothing wrong.  He is riddled with broken bones, in pain and had his life adjusted in a blink of an eye.  That is his story, but what has humbled his siblings, is that he has chosen gratitude.

Gratitude over complaining.

Relationships over circumstance.

I am awed, impressed and proud…and blessed.





Acts of Caring

January 10, 2017

Yesterday, I was touched by a truth.

My Librarian shared with the kids, that 49 of our 50 states currently had snow on the ground.  The only state that did not have snow?  Florida!  My Loving Spouse has not been handling this winter cold snap all that well, in fact he keeps going around the house, muttering….Florida, Florida, Florida.  I personally do not find it funny…not at all.

Everyone it seems has snow.  We are in this together.I was working with a little guy the other day at school.  He is anxious to learn, always has a smile, and thinks school is great.  There is lots of room for his family circumstance to be better.  I noticed his hands.  They were horrible.  One hand was rough, dry and red, the other was rough, and cut all across the knuckles.  It hurt to look at these little hands affected by this cold, dry weather.  The school nurse did what he could…

Quite a few of our kids eat two meals a day at school.  There was a caring group who worried about what these kids ate all weekend.  They started a weekly  program that sends home a bag of healthy snacks for these kiddos each Friday.

I quickly began to wonder, if we couldn’t find a way to send some hand lotion, in these bags at least once.  I told my friends who pack the snacks about my concern.  One of these good souls, went to the local Pharmacy and got some special test bottles of extra protective lotion especially for this little guy and his sister.

We have another 107 bags to get some hand lotion into.  I didn’t think it would be that hard, we just needed to put the word out.  After all…how many of us have those hand lotion samples from various travels sitting in our bathroom drawers.  One announcement at church and the little lotions are rolling in.

I am practical enough to know, that getting the lotion into the hands (pun totally intended) that need it, does not guarantee that it will help.  My hope is just that it will at least help some…

I took the special protective lotion to the teacher for the little boy and girl, whose hands were so bad.  As I gave her the lotion, I must have expressed my concern, that the effort would not make much of a difference.  She said,

“Sometimes the acts of caring for them is enough.”

The ‘acts of caring‘…

..and I am blessed, and as my mentor has told me many times,

We are blessed to be a blessing.


Mr. T and Z…an update

A year in review?  I don’t think so! However, as I do reflect on this year, I cannot help, but be gratefully amazed at our two biggest life events of 2016, the accident and the kids. My Loving Spouse’s accident will always be a few seconds, where time stopped still for me.  Seeing him hit with […]

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The Best Christmas Tree Ever

At the risk of making the rest of you jealous, we/I/Glory Farm has the best Christmas tree ever this year. One year when Team Offspring was young (ages 5, 7, & 10), my good friend was doing deep sighs about Christmas. “The hard part”, she said, “Is that it is all up to me, up […]

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Wow, Thanksgiving!

We had family that traveled to be with us this year for Thanksgiving.  An honor, a crowd, a lot of food, pumpkin pies or just plain pumpkins, if you are a cow.I think I should write a realistic cookbook for Thanksgiving. Go to the store 1,001 times.   Still forget something, Put the bird in the […]

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Cashing In

I’d love to think, that after 4.5 years, we would have been well finished with our restoration of this old home.  We are not, not at all.  Years ago, Dear John explained that we had taken on a ‘massive restoration’.  He was right, very right.  We may not be done for quite some time, but […]

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Buffer to Bridge

When I said we could take the kids for a few weeks, I had no idea the ultimate cost.  I had this very small vision, which showed Z being able to go to 5th grade camp, 5th grade activities and finishing the year at school with the rest of the class.  As chaos ensued, I often […]

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Important Restoration

Finding time to write on the blog, is a tad tricky right now that the kids are here.  However, they are both asleep…or at least they are both safe in their beds and are quiet, which quite frankly is all I care about.  My Loving Spouse is not only home, but he poured me wine! […]

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