Friday, November 2, 2012

The Top of the Mountain, or Maybe It's a Hill

I decided recently to concentrate on positive, uplifting topics when posting on my blog.  Even before that, I always tried to see the glass as half-full.  Life is an easier, and far kinder, place when we do.  So this post will have a happy ending ~ I promise.

I have been struggling for months now, to come to terms with the loss of my mother.  The Lord took her on June 7, 2011.  I know there is no timeline for grieving, but I found myself feeling worse instead of better.  I also found myself extremely annoyed.  Annoyed at ME.  Annoyed because I know God.  I know God's word.  And I know where my mother is.  I should be comforted by this knowledge, and resting in it.  I just couldn't get there though.  All I could do was cry.

This afternoon it all came to a head and I knew I had to get some help.  I walked across the hall and said to my son, "I need a Pastor.  Can you call Keels (Pastor) and ask him to help me."  Keels is the high school Pastor (that's what the kids call him, last name only).  My son said, "Mom, you just need to call the church.  There are pastors there who can help you."  I called the church.  I was helped.

I poured out my heart to this man I had never met before.  He offered reassurance and comfort direct from the Word.  He did it in a very humble and caring way.  Christians are fallen.  Christians are sinners.  And Christians get lost in the forests and mazes of this world.  We are called by God to be a family and to be strong for each other.  My biggest worry was that I would grieve the Lord by failing to latch on to what I knew to be true.  This Pastor told me I need not worry about that, and also that the some of the most prolific writers in the Bible were also those who struggled with faith the most.

The Pastor said I should immerse myself in the Word.  Have praise songs playing in the house, listen to sermons and do all I could to busy my mind with thoughts of the Lord.  In this, he said, you will find amazing comfort.  And so I begin, with one of my favorite praise songs, Give Thanks.

If you are struggling, don't do what I did.  Don't spend months battling with heartache and doubt.  Immerse yourself in the words of the Lord, and give thanks.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween & Mental Health Day

Halloween was....well, not even like Halloween.  Oh, except for the amount of candy this family has consumed in the past few weeks.  My "baby" is pictured above.  Trick or treating was a long time ago.  But oh, the memories I have.  I wish I had pictures to go along with my memories.

Hubby is taking our travel trailer to the dealership tomorrow.  Bye-bye trailer.  Hello new (to us) used 5th wheel.  He said, "I wish Jacob didn't have school.  I'd like for him to go with me."  I told him to ask Jacob if he wanted to skip school and have a "mental health day with Dad."  Years ago, when I was a single Mom, Jacob had many mental health days.  This seemed a more tactful way to phrase it.  Rather than "hey, stay home and we'll sleep in and then we'll goof off."  The problem was Jacob would return to school the next day and announce to anyone who would listen that he hadn't been ill, he had simply been taking a mental health day.

Hubby and I guessed he might say no, and sure enough, he did.  Too many things to do at school, didn't want to get behind in math, has to turn in his cap and gown order, etc., etc.  What a kid you are Jacob.  You amaze me every single day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Really Random

My Malamute's neck is 24 inches in diameter.  He needs a new collar so we measured him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Us

Today is our wedding anniversary.  We celebrate nine years together.  The funny part is we both usually forget.  It is a rarity that I remembered last night.  When I told Geoff he got this "ooops" look on his face.  I think it's okay though, if we both forget.  We laugh about it every year.  We just get so busy with the day to day activities of life.  Also, we are both incredibly practical people.  I did tell him that next year, for our 10th, I'd like to take a trip on a train, where we could get a compartment.  I've had that wish for a while, but what jarred it loose was the fact the Malamute was jumping around on the bed, making it bounce and shake.  I asked Geoff if he felt he was on a moving train.  We are just living life, together.

I say often that I am incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful husband.  There is not a day goes by where I don't think about that.  We are truly partners, for better or worse.  Geoff is calm and collected.  I am wound very tight.  He is my rock and my prince.  He protects and cares for me, and I look up to him in more ways than he knows.  This is how God intended marriage to be.  He gives us all the instructions.  I've played the game both ways.  Doing it God's way doesn't guarantee a life full of joy and happiness, or a life where the road is always easy and the burden is light.  But it guarantees a relationship of mutual love and caring, where you truly know you will be together until death.

I have heard it said - "the best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother."  When Geoff married me, he became a father to my son Jacob.  Jacob's biological father is nearby and sees him often.  But the man who has taught Jacob what a boy needs to know to grow up into a good man, is Geoff.  Because our marriage is strong, Jacob is able to see the way a healthy marriage operates.  He has paid attention, and he is paying attention.  He tells me he wants a marriage "like you and Dad have."  I love my husband for many things, especially this.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Poor Head ~ My Poor Pizza

Today Geoff and I went out to look at more RV's.  After much discussion we have decided to get a 5th wheel instead of a Class C.  Buying used we can get a much larger 5th wheel for the same payment we currently have on our travel trailer.  Standing between two 5th wheels, on the lot, talking with the salesman.  Of course ALL the slides are out on the ALL the 5th wheels.  I turned and crashed my head into a slide.  I'm grateful it didn't break the skin, but surprised too.  It left a really nice bump and put a bit of a damper on my day.

We then went to Tuesday Morning.  The TM nearest my house just closed, and I was hoping against hope that this TM would still have some of the great stamp sets that everyone on YouTube was talking about.  No luck.  But of course I found a few things I couldn't live without, including the Tim Holtz dies that punch windows and shapes into chipboard.  That was $6.99.  They also had the gingerbread and ornament dies for $8.99 but those just didn't ring my bell.

In the same shopping center there was a Red Lobster.  I LOVE Red Lobster, and since hubby was such a good boy in the store, I offered to take him out for an early dinner.  I usually order the lobster pizza.  This particular RL, although friendly and wonderful like you would expect, burns their lobster pizzas.  I thought it was a fluke when the first one came out.  They were really behind in the kitchen and I assumed someone just let it cook a bit too long.  They brought a new one, and it looked almost as bad as the first.  The cheese isn't supposed to be brown like this.  I showed them their photo in the menu, and told them my cheese had never been brown before.  They didn't charge us for the pizza, and were as gracious as they could be.

Do you like RL's lobster pizza?  Does this look right to you?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Men Are Brave

Okay, along with a myriad of other fears, I am afraid of food poisoning.  I don't think this makes me odd, or crazy, or paranoid either.  I have found that men in general, and my husband in particular, are a whole lot braver than I am.  Case in point: today hubby ate a variety of Chinese take-out from little white containers which had been in our fridge since September 20th.  That's nine, count 'em, NINE days ago sports fans.

It's about 10 hours later, and he went to sleep without even a belch, so I guess he was right - there was nothing wrong with it.  Personally I obey the three day leftover rule, alongside the "if in doubt, throw it out" mantra.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Love Dogs

...but I don't love blogging.  There, I said it.  I just don't enjoy it.  Perhaps because it's something I know I should be doing - kinda like sex.  Just kidding dear.  Blogging is good for business though.  It keeps my name out there in cyberspace.

My blog posts tend to be deep, dark and brooding -- at least they begin that way.  Then I try to wind up on the philosophical side of the street.  So.....I am going to make my blog inspirational from now on.  Maybe it will be a photo like you see above, or a pretty piece of art.  Or....happy news from my life.

If you know me at all, you know I love dogs.  Big dogs, or even little dogs if they aren't yappy or hyper.  The love of  good dog is an amazing thing - comforting and calming - a true blessing.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

RV Dreaming....

The hubs and I went to the RV Show a couple days ago.  We currently have a 28 foot travel trailer.  This trailer was our first ever RV purchase.  Didn't take long to realize that what we really wanted was something we didn't have to tow.  An RV where we could all be in the same place, and where we could get up and move around.

The photo above shows the style we are looking at now, otherwise known as a Class C.  An RV itself is not a cheap thing, but what really scares me is just the maintenance on them.  Like, one tire costs as much as four good car tires.

Jacob is in his senior year of high school.  Won't be long till he's off to college and we can hit the open road.  Does this mean my golden years are just around the corner?  Wow....

Friday, August 31, 2012


My son turns 18 next Tuesday.  I think both of us are in a bit of a daze with the thought of this important birthday.  I know he is doing a bit of testing, thinking perhaps he can take a different tone with me now.  He is learning he cannot.

Today he asked me why I seemed down.  And why was I acting like I thought no one liked me, and saying things like, "Don't put me in a home."  That statement is simply my worrying early to avoid the rush.  I told him he was grown up now, and I didn't think he needed me.  Yes I know, this is all my own psychosis.  He said I was wrong, and that he did need me.  Should have left it at that, but I asked him for three reasons why I was needed.

I know better than to ask that kind of question of someone with testicles.  He immediately got the deer in the headlights look and blurted out: Well, didn't you tell me you pay the mortgage every month?  I had indeed told him that several months ago.  I did it because he wasn't real happy when asked to open up little bags with knobs and screws inside them.  I told him, "These knobs pay the house payment" and he was amazed to hear that.  He's only a kid, and I just smiled after his reason #1.

Reason #2 was the fact that I raised him, so he must need me.  And that if I hadn't raised him he'd probably be really screwed up by now.  I thought to myself: Given the fact I did raise you, it's a wonder you aren't really screwed up by now.

Reason #3?  He knocked it out of the park.  He said I did many nice things for Kenna (his girlfriend) as well as other people, and that I was a very self-less person in his opinion.

I thanked him for his reasons, of course.  Then I went to my room and had a good cry.....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Old

Back in the day (i.e., in my 20's) I owned 50 plus pairs of shoes.  I had far too many pairs, especially since I wore a uniform to work, complete with flat black fugly shoes.  But on the weekends though, wowza, my heels and I painted the town.

I like the three styles pictured above.  But I doubt I could have worn them even in my 20's.  Today's current style of shoes just makes me feel old.

This is a particularly boring blog post, I know.  I did need to post something, and it was either a shoes post or a mini-rant about how I cannot get my video to post to YouTube.  I think you get what you pay for with a Flip camera.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today I Puttered Around....

....but I did do some creative things.  I worked on my Once Upon A Springtime mini which will be used as a baby book by the daughter of a long-time (40 plus years) family friend.  Alrighty, that was a sentence-ful.  I tend to include way more details than I need to.  The new Mama loves all things fairy and this is beautiful paper to work with.  Of course it is ~ it's Graphic 45!  I didn't buy A Lady's Diary though.  Just wasn't feelin' it.

I also opened my buddy Tracy's Halloween kit package, and did a video on that.  I need to go upload it....too hip - gotta go!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a Rocky Road

I was enjoying some Rocky Road ice cream, and every time I eat this brand and type of ice cream, I am reminded of a story from my childhood.  My father loved 31 Flavors Rocky Road.  I mean LOVED it.  He was a man of considerable education (possessing a doctor of dental surgery degree).  He decided he would go on an ice cream diet to get rid of the stubborn 20 pounds around his middle.  He vowed to eat ONLY Rocky Road and purchased an enormous tub of the stuff.  I don't know how many gallons he bought, but he came home with one of the large containers you see at the store.  The same container the employees scoop from.  At least 15 gallons worth, and probably more.

The ice cream was placed in the basement freezer.  My sister and I would sneak down frequently, armed with tablespoons.  I don't recall how many days his "diet" lasted.  I know it wasn't more than two or three.  But the memory will stay with me forever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Downtown and a Tattoo

My son and I went to downtown Vancouver tonight, to a place called Hopeless Tattoo.  Yeah, I know.  Hopeless Tattoo.  It has been Jacob's wish for several years to have a tattoo done.  It's a cross, a very pretty one.  And there are some words too.  He will be 18 on September 4th.  We went to meet with the artist and get all the details.  Turns out the artist, Drew, was off tonight.  Jacob will go back on Friday to meet with him and put down the $60.00 deposit needed to make the appointment.

The tattoo will be my birthday present to him.  My husband does not approve, but has allowed me to to do this.  My late mother didn't approve either.  It's been the subject of much debate.  As for me, I am happy to be a small part of this tattoo.  An outward sign of Jacob's faith and determination to live a life pleasing to God.

As we walked along the sidewalk we came upon this wonderful piece of chalk art.  Good advice that bears repeating.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gluteus Maximus

So....I am often stumped when it comes to blog post topics.  Today I want to talk about my butt.  That's a big muscle, that old maximus.  And I pulled it, strained it, made it unhappy about 10 days ago.  The left side I mean.  It's like the biggest and baddest charlie horse you'll ever have.  From the middle of the cheek all the way down to my ankle.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and plan to ask her if there is some kind of stretching or other exercise I can do to make this maximus into a minimus.   Stay tuned for further details.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's Independence Day

Happy 4th of July from war-torn Vancouver, Washington.  The neighborhood sounds like an enemy is invading from the sky.  Here is my cranky, crabby blog post concerning how we celebrate our nation's birthday.

The main issue for me is a 12 year old German Shepherd dog who is sent into hysterics at the first sound of a firecracker.  Said GSD is seen in the post below.  Each year she seems to get a little bit worse.  This year she added vomiting to her list of July 4th "festivities."  We have tried several medications from the Vet, as well as Benadryl, hoping it would make her sleepy.  Nothing works.  Not even a little bit.

There are fireworks stands EVERYWHERE.  I know very reputable and worthwhile organizations sell fireworks under the umbrella of fundraising.  I myself know of cases where a family is receiving food stamps, and thinks nothing of plunking down $250 for fireworks.  If you're wanting to support the organization selling the fireworks, why not just write them a check for $50.00?  It's deductible and a whole lot quieter.  Cranky, crabby and no damn fun.

I'm all for professionally produced fireworks shows, which happen for an hour, on the day they should happen, and in areas suitable for such presentations.  See, I'm not a complete Grinch.

Thankfully Miss Jessie's "little" brother has no problem with noises in the sky.  He will actually lounge on the grass and watch the colorful explosions, just like a human does.  His nemesis is the house fly....and we'll save that for another time.

Hurry....HURRY fireworks....hurry and go away. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Dog and the Squirrel

First let me say the squirrel lived to gather nuts another day.

As my son pulled into the driveway, home from his brief trip to the grocery store, he saw Miss Jessie dart across the lawn and into a large bush.  As he was walking to the front door with a gallon of milk in his hand, Jessie was hurrying to join him, squirrel in her mouth.  I was inside sitting at the dining room table working on my latest mini album.  Apparently having the master bedroom and the family room is not sufficient for my creative endeavours.  I need the dining table too.  But I digress.

I heard my son yelling, "Jessie, NO, get back" and I saw him waving the gallon of milk in front of Jessie's face in an attempt to keep her outside.  He succeeded, for which I am eternally grateful.  Having a squirrel loose in the house is one experience I can do without.

Hubby and son then went back outside and relieved Jessie of her treasure.  The squirrel was still alive and placed in a safe area.  After an hour, it got up and scampered away.  Our neighbors had several squirrels as, well, almost as pets.  I developed a fondness for the little buggers watching how they interacted with humans.  Squirrels beware: Miss Jessie was back on the prowl the very next day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7th

6.7.11 - the day I lost my Mom.  Sometimes it feels like yesterday.  Other times it feels like a lifetime ago.  I find myself thinking the same few thoughts.  I wonder often what she's doing and what her world is like now.  I marvel at the irony of how we think of someone much more when they're dead, than when they are alive.  At least that is how it is for me.  And I ask God to tell her I love her, and miss her.  But most of all I ask Him to tell her I am happy for her!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do You Remember?

Do you remember when you were almost 18 years old?  Do you remember when you knew everything, and politely tolerated the opinions of others?  And by others, I mean parents.  Ironic how the older we get, the more we see how much we really don't know.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I Must...I Must...I Must Increase My Bust?

Nope, not that.  I must attempt to post more on my blog.  Of course this is the 54th time I've made that statement.

Tonight we attended a performance of "Our Town" at my son's high school.  He had a good sized part, and did wonderfully.  Several of his friends came up to tell me what a good kid he was.  We found out this week that his school will be closing at the end of this school year.  They are a small, private Christian school and don't have enough students to continue.  So he will be attending public school for his senior year.  It will be the first time he has set foot in a public school.

I am dealing with a bipolar eBay buyer.  I wouldn't be surprised if she's reading this now.  She has stalked my feedback and requested my phone number.  Thankfully a buyer like her only comes along once every 18 months or so.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Creative Moms

My son's friend David spent the night last night.  Jacob was explaining to him the process we use to create our ceramic knobs.  David said, "That's very creative."  And then Jacob said, "My mom is the most creative person you'll ever meet in your life."  That made me so happy!