Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's been a busy past few days...and there are a few more busy days to come.

Lake Almanor

  • I took my boys to stay at a cabin at the lake with two of my girlfriends and their sons...3 moms and 7 sons all together. We got there Sunday and came home last night. It was a nice little getaway...
  • Seth turned 18 can that BE?
  • Today was filled with laundry and preparation to return to work tomorrow after 5 glorious weeks off. I feel like I need just one.more.week. It sure was nice while it lasted.
  • My cousin is getting married this's gonna be a good time!
  • My mind is filled with going up to the wedding early with grandparents, someone to watch the animals while we're away, getting back in time to rest up a bit and get ready for the work week...will the nude underwear I just bought really not show through my white pants? 
Yes, my friends, these are the things that keep me awake at night. ;)

Friday, July 26, 2013

last Saturday...

Last Saturday Chris and I were both up early...him watching morning news, me checking email...when I got the bug to go to yard sales. "Hey babe...we should go to some yard sales this morning."

His reply? "Let's do it!"

We quickly got dressed, brushed our teeth and headed out the door...the boys still snoozing away in their rooms.

(Never mind that we haven't had our own yard sale yet and have no business bringing more stuff INTO the house...ahem.)

We hit a few yard sales and found a few items...a book, a skateboard deck...nothing big but fun to be out on a sunny morning nonetheless. When we pulled up to the 4th yard sale I hopped out of the car and saw a baby bird with long legs and a big beak wandering along someone's driveway. I had a feeling it was a baby heron, and knowing that my husband likes herons called him to come see it.

The baby bird was so ugly he was cute. And he was alone. There was no mama or or siblings to be seen. We couldn't just leave him there. So after talking to some helpful neighbors and worrying over leaving this little guy to be eaten by a dog or cat or run over by a car we decided (well, I decided and my husband, knowing me all too well, lovingly agreed) to catch the baby bird. I had a box in the car as well as a blanket and after a bit of chasing here and there we were able to corner the baby heron where Chris gently picked him up and placed him in the box.

After the helpful neighbors took phone photos to show to their kids we headed off to our local Wildlife Rescue Center about 15 miles away. When we arrived we were informed that they don't accept water birds. (Never mind the fact that I had called 20 minutes earlier to let them know we were bringing in a baby heron.) However, they directed us to another local rescue, the International Bird Rescue, about 5 miles further down the road.

Off we went...and once there the nice lady at the front desk took the little guy right in, letting us know that he was a baby Green Heron and that it was a good thing we brought him in because he was still too young to fend for himself. Aww...poor guy.

Well I finally called yesterday to check on his progress and was informed that he was doing GREAT...eating and growing and living in an enclosure with other Green Herons. And that in a few days he was going to be moved to a larger enclosure outdoors to prepare him for release when he's ready. Good news!

Don't you love a happy ending? I do, too.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right 
hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Mark 14:62

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

as of late...

At least I make my bed every day...:)
I came to the realization the other day that my summer vacation was just about over...and I lost all motivation. My long to-do list, rather than a motivational reminder, now mocks me.

I sleep too late...because I go to bed too late. (It oughtta be interesting going back to work and having to rise with an early alarm. I know, I will adjust. I just hope it's a fast adjustment!)

I sit on the computer...browsing, posting, reading...relaxing...or is it just wasting time?'s both. But sometimes I take the "relaxing" a bit too far...and it becomes more like procrastination.

I used to say that I work better under pressure. But I don't think that's true. Yes, I work harder and faster under pressure...but better? I don't think so.

So...yeah. I am kinda stuck. There are so many things to do that I don't know where to start. I made my list. And then I even broke it down into what needed to happen when...what was urgent and what could wait...what I could do and what I could delegate to others. And yet...another day flies by and I didn't accomplish what I wanted to...needed to...intended to...

On the flip side...I could look at what I DID get done...which was quite a bit.  Closets got cleaned out and organized. The garage sale items are sitting in the garage, waiting patiently to be sold. Two major things on my list...eating better and exercising...have been put into play. (This has been a huge accomplishment...and since so much of it is internal it's not something I can actually check off the's ongoing...but it's an accomplishment, still.)

So there's that. Glass half-full, right? So I've been at a bit of a standstill for the past week or so. But...I'm gonna say, "That's OK". And I'm going to sign-off and tackle that hall closet...wish me luck! I'm goin' in!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Focus on the right thing.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday morning...

  • smile at a stranger
  • buy the person's coffee behind you at the coffee house drive-thru
  • give an ice cold water and a sandwich to a homeless person
  • tell someone her hair looks pretty...or that you like her outift
  • focus on someone's good qualities...not their faults
  • pay someone's bridge toll
  • make that call when you're thinking of someone...they probably need to hear a friendly voice
  • share your fresh garden produce with your neighbors
  • let someone into your lane...or move when they tailgate you...maybe they really are on their way to an emergency
  • sit and chat with that lonely elderly person in your life...they have great stories to share
  • help someone reach the top shelf at the grocery store
  • make a meal for someone who can't make it for themselves
  • smile at a young mom when her child is misbehaving...she needs it
  • tell someone "it's OK"...because really, in the big scheme of things, it is
There's lots more...add to the list...xo
You are blessed today and every like it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

food, exercise and putting it all out there.

A few weeks ago I was trying on clothes at a large department store. As we all know, dressing rooms are not the most flattering place to be. The lighting, the mirrors, ugh. Unfortunately, as I tried on a blouse, I caught a glimpse of my rear-end in the dreaded three-way mirror. And once I realized that, yes, this really WAS my big butt in the mirror, I just stared at it for a while...wondering how this could have happened!?

Well, I know how it happened. It happened because I've made a series of poor choices...the poor choice NOT to exercise, the poor choice to eat more fast food than I should and the poor choice to eat larger portions than necessary. Or how about the poor choice to eat ice cream at 10 o'clock at night? Really?

The last time I was at a reasonable weight was about 10 years ago. Since then I've gained about 25 pounds. Yes. Twenty.five.pounds. I know. Tell me about it.

That day in the fitting room was a wake-up call for me. At that moment I knew I had to start doing things differently. I am 46 years metabolism is definitely NOT what it once hormones are going nutso...and this weight thing is not going to rectify itself. Especially if I continue to treat my body the way I've been treating it.

Since that dreaded day in the fitting room I have been making better choices. I've been walking and/or doing a light yoga routine almost every day. I've been counting my calories and making sure that (most of) what I put in my body is going to nourish it...making (almost) every calorie count. Salads with yogurt dressing for lunch, oatmeal for breakfast, yogurt or cottage cheese for a snack, smaller portions at dinner and (usually) no seconds. For a sweet treat I got some fudgsicles...did you know they are only 40 calories? I had no idea! I've also been enjoying strawberries dipped in Greek yogurt and brown sugar. Yum! And also low-cal.

And ya know, that's really where the problem lies...I really had no idea the amount of calories in certain foods, in any foods. I've never been a calorie counter, ever. I used the Weight Watcher's method before our wedding to drop a few pounds and ended up losing 15 pounds almost effortlessly. So it's good to at least be aware of how many calories you're putting in your body. And how many calories you're burning with exercise. It's really not a complicated equation.

I'm not going crazy over any of this. If I want something, I will eat it. I'm not one to cut out ALL of anything. I know myself too well. If I cut something out completely that's all I will want. So instead I am going with the "all things in moderation" approach. It worked for my will work for me, too.

I feel good about this. I feel good about moving my body. I feel good knowing that what I'm eating is going to fuel my body. I feel good knowing that my jeans are fitting just a little bit looser around the middle. I feel good knowing that this isn't a diet, but a lifestyle change. I'm not doing this just to lose weight, at least that's not my main focus. My focus is to eat better, to move my body, to take care of myself. And because of that the weight will come off as a result. I don't just want to be lighter. I want to be healthier. I want to be stronger. I want to be more fit.

I'm kind of excited about it all. And believe it or not, I'm even grateful for that dreaded three-way mirror!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2 more weeks.

lazy girls...

  • I've got two weeks left of my summer vacation. So far it's been good...and (somewhat) productive. 
  • I have gotten into the habit of sleeping in...well, "sleeping in" for me is 7am...sometimes 7:30 if need be. But anything later than 8am and I feel like half my day is gone. 
  • The garden is kinda lame this year. The tomatoes are producing a little...but the zucchini? Nada. One plant got one flower and then it died. What's up with that?
  • And the chickens? One or two eggs a day. That's it. 4 chickens. And one or two eggs? That's not adding up. It's time to think about what I want to do...get more chickens and continue chicken keeping? Or give them away to a nice little farm somewhere and just buy the dang eggs. I'll keep you posted...
  • I stopped biting my nails. It'll be a week tomorrow. 
  • I've been doing some sort of exercise every day for a week and a half...mainly walks but I've also done yoga a few times. It feels good. I feel good. And accomplished. 
  • I found my cooking mo-jo again...nothing fancy, but there's food on the table and my family isn't constantly having to forage in the kitchen for sustenance.
  • I still have no artwork on my walls since taking everything down to paint. I don't want to hang things just to hang things. I am being selective with what I bring into this small, small space.
  • My oldest son is heading off to college soon. Some days I am better with that fact than others.
  • My youngest son completed his driver's ed training and will soon have his permit. Are we ever ready for any of this?

All in all life is good. As I list these things out, the accomplishments and the challenges...I can see that no matter what, no matter what I do or don't get done in a day...I am blessed. I am blessed to have two amazing sons and a very hard-working husband. I am blessed to have a really good job to return to in two weeks. I am blessed with the ability to grow a garden and care for chickens. I am blessed with time...time to rest and rejuvenate and learn to take care of myself. I am blessed with a home and food and options

I am all things, all the time. 

And I am thankful.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

“Behold, I am coming soon...

Revelation 22:12

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

time keeps on slippin'...

I know, I know...terrible post title. Sometimes I can't help myself. I just can't.

Especially when it's so TRUE. Where IS the time going? And it's not like it's flying by...days aren't whizzing past me. If anything they're sort of creeping past...moseying along...and next thing I know another day has passed.

And what's so strange is that I feel busy...I feel hurried...I feel...overwhelmed?

I gotta say, I am really starting to dislike that word...overwhelmed. It's so...wimpy. Such a cop-out.

I have used that word a lot in my adult life...always overwhelmed by this or that or the other thing. And if I'm honest, and I am, I have used it as an excuse at times.

Don't get me wrong. I don't say it just to say it. I do get overwhelmed. And I get overwhelmed easily. But that doesn't mean that I need to allow that feeling to control me, ya know? It's just a feeling. That's all it is.

Yes. Life can be overwhelming. And hard. And too much at times. And yes, it can feel as if life takes over and overwhelms me. But that is just a feeling...and as Joyce Meyer says, feelings cannot be trusted.

I don't want life to control me, I want to control my life. I want to live my days with intention and purpose. I want to set goals...and achieve them. Even if the goal of the day is "stay out of bed". (Hey...some days are just like that, right?)

You know what? I just had a realization, just now, as I wrote all of this out: The only reason I get overwhelmed is because I don't do what I need to do on a regular basis and then everything piles up on me. And yes, overwhelms me. It does. But it's my own fault. If I just do what I need to do, rather than just thinking about everything I need to do and then not doing it, I won't be overwhelmed. Rather, I will be accomplished. And that is a much better feeling. Much better.

Yes. I am going to do my best to stop saying, "I'm just so overwhelmed." And, if I am starting to feel that way (and I will...old habits die hard) I will stop and take a look at what I am not doing and not getting done and then DO IT. No more making more allowing my feelings to be in charge.

From here on out, instead of saying, "I feel so overwhelmed.", I want to be able to say, "I feel so accomplished!"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday morning.

But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

Psalm 130:4

Saturday, July 13, 2013

list maker, list maker...

One of the things on my to-do list...get stuff back on the walls.

My summer break is going by way too quickly. I've been so spoiled these past years being able to work a traditional school year schedule and being off when they boys were off. But now with my new job I am off 4 weeks less and it's making me sad. So spoiled, I know! I'm trying not to be ungrateful...I mean, really...5 weeks off in the summer? Not everyone gets that...and I am grateful. But I can still wish for more, can't I?

I got a lot done at the beginning of my break (thank goodness I just dove in and got started...I must have known this time would fly by).  I cleaned out closets and made piles and piles of items to sell at "the yard sale" (that still needs to be held). I still have to go through stuff in the shed...some of that has got to go, too.

(Oh how I've accumulated....and accumulated.)

Yesterday I realized I'd come to a bit of a stand still, though. And I felt myself getting overwhelmed about all of the things I hoped to do over this summer break. I was wandering in circles, thinking about doing this thing or thinking about doing that thing...but in the end not getting much of anything done. (Well, nothing but a whole lot of mindless surfing on Pinterest...many of us know how that goes.)

(And to give myself a little bit of credit I dusted, did tons of laundry and scrubbed the tub. Oh, and made a good dinner. I wasn't a total sloth.) 

It was time for a list.

Would you believe the list was almost a page long? No wonder I was spinning in circles!

So. I've got the list. And today I will take some time to break the list down into manageable chunks...things I have to do, things someone else can do, things to do before I go back to work, things that can be done after the break is over, things that are long-term, etc. Right now it's a big jumble of thoughts dumped out onto a piece of paper.

But at least it's not swirling around in my head anymore. That's never a good thing.

Are you a list-maker? How's your to-do list coming along?

Friday, July 12, 2013

learning something new.

I made a blouse yesterday. 

A friend of mine showed me how to read a pattern, 
and how to how to attach it to the fabric. 

She showed me how to attach a sleeve and sew a hem. 
(I'd never sewn a hem before, ever.) 

I can sew. But up til now, only straight lines. 
I've made pillows and duvets out of two sheets..that kind of stuff. 
But never an article of clothing. 

So when my friend found out that I didn't know how, 
she immediately said, "I do! I'll teach you!" 

And she did. 

Thank you are one of my favorites. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:1-2

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ya gotta start somewhere...

Bear helping me stretch before my walk this morning.
The other day I decided it was time to make some lifestyle changes. Those will include making better food choices and moving my body on a daily basis.

The other night I chose grapes over chocolate. Yesterday while having lunch with mom I chose the chicken dish on the PF Chang's menu with the least calories. And for a snack later, mom and I shared a Raspberry bar at Boudin rather than each having our own.

I've been Pinning Weight Watcher recipes like crazy, too. (Some of you may have already noticed this...?) I'm not going to DO WW, but I will use the point system, loosely, to just be aware of my choices and intake.

I'm not the type to cut out sugar, or caffeine, or everything white, or anything, altogether. I am a firm believer in moderation. My grandparents lived good, long lives living by this philosophy. So I will, too. (The problem, however, is that I wasn't moderating!) I will eat what I want. But I will eat less. And I will make small changes in the preparation to lessen the calorie and fat content.

A friend and I went for a walk the other night. It was nice. And I felt accomplished afterward. It wasn't a long walk, or a strenuous walk, but it was a good walk. This morning I was sitting here reading blogs and Facebook and got up to let the cats out. I realized how beautiful it was outside this morning. I decided to go for a walk. I could have waited until tonight to see if my friend would have been available to go with me. But I decided to just do get up and move my body.

So I went and changed clothes, put on my walking shoes and visor, grabbed my ear buds and found a good Pandora station. I stretched a little first...calves and thighs. And off I went.

I took a nice route. (I'll drive it later today to see how far it actually was.) As it turned out there were several slow grades that upped the exercise ante a bit. I could feel it in my thighs and in my breathing...and my feet, too, unfortunately. (Note to self...get better shoes.)

I walked through my neighborhood and up and around a local park. There were lots of people out...walking, running, riding bikes. There was one old man walking the path at the park with his cane...he was keeping a good pace. He made me happy...and teary-eyed. Good for him, ya know?

About halfway through my walk I felt sweat roll down the middle of my back...and I didn't hate it. I actually felt good about it because I knew that my body was working and burning calories. It actually made me feel good. Which is kinda weird because I'm not a "get sweaty" kind of girl.

I had music in one ear and the world in the other...I ended up listening to worship music which was a great idea. I could feel my pace get a little faster and a little more determined when I switched to worship. That was kind of cool.

I also took the time to pray while I was walking...thankful for family and for the cool morning air and for the change in mindset to make these lifestyle changes. I asked God to encourage me in my bless my meager efforts...I prayed for others, and for the old man. I smiled at everyone I passed...whether they were walking, driving or running. And they all smiled back.

I don't know how long I walked...or how far. But I know that I walked...and I'm happy about that. Ya gotta start somewhere, right?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday morning...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

choose wisely.

Friday, July 5, 2013


We just endured a week long heatwave...triple digits every day...and not much cooler at night. 

I don't usually run the a/c 24/7. 
But I made an exception. 

But today? Cool and breezy. My feet are even a tiny bit cold! I'll take it. 
I'll even take a high of 90...which any other time would make me cringe.'s a funny thing, isn't it?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Be safe and have FUN!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday in the Word

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
- Psalm 107:9

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Art is what fills your spirit."

"It saddens me when people say they're not artistic. Just because you don't like the way you draw doesn't mean that you don't have a form of art in your life. Art is what fills your spirit." - McKenzie, Oliver and Abraham's

It saddens me, too. We are all artistic...creative...created by a Creator to's in us. Some can draw, some can paint, some can sculpt. Some can take photos, some make movies, some sing or play instruments.  Some can sew...or design homes or buildings or bridges. Some paint with flowers and create beautiful gardens, some weave, or knit, or crochet. It's all art. All of it.

I have always been creative. When I was four years old I remember knowing that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I didn't know that it wasn't easy to make a living as an artist...or that it wasn't a "real job". All I knew is that I loved to create and wanted to do it forever.

Ever since I can remember I loved to color and to draw and cut and paste. In 2nd grade I would do my best to finish my times tables first so that I could choose Art as my next activity. I didn't care what we were making, I just wanted to make it.

As I got a little older (I'm talking 8, 9 years old) I would make "floor plans" in my dad's garage using brooms and shovels as the "walls". I would sit and look at floor plans my parents would bring home after looking at model homes. I was intrigued...I loved to look at them. And eventually, when I discovered graph paper (insert angels singing...I still love graph paper to this day!), I'd draw my own. I took Drafting in middle was one of my favorite classes.

I took a few art classes in junior high and high school...neither of which were a great success. (Although I found a small pig sculpture the other day that I'd made in junior high that actually wasn't bad!) I took a graphic design class in high school that was a definitely wasn't my forte and I allowed my poor grade and lack of teacher enthusiasm to determine how I felt about myself as an artist. After that I pretty much stopped creating things.

Thank goodness, I found my artistic voice again years later and since then I have been making things again. I sewed for a while. I made rustic painted signs and sold them in a craft booth. I then got into collage and assemblage...that lasted quite a few years. Then one day I was given a 35 mm camera and that opened up a whole new world for me...the world of photography. And as you can guess, the photography stuck.  :)

Anyway...all this to say...I believe that we are all artists. And the only reason people say they're not artistic is because, I believe, someone told them that they weren't.

I look back now and wonder why I gave that one art class so much power over my creative self. I didn't even like graphic design. I wanted to draw and paint and sculpt. So why I allowed that experience so much power over me I still can't figure out. But, I did. And if nothing else, it taught me to encourage others in their creative endeavors...especially kids. I mean, you just never know what someone might become if given the right surroundings, the right tools and lots of encouragement.

Every child is an artist. 
The problem is how to remain an 
artist once we grow up. 
- Pablo Picasso

Monday, July 1, 2013

good things.

I got back in the canoe...and I didn't even cry this time. 
  • buying lemonade and rice krispy treats from a "bake sale". 
  • ripening tomatoes in the garden.
  • purging items that are no longer beautiful or useful.
  •'s a week of triple digits here in Northern California.
  • a dear friend from high school is sailing the ocean blue...what an adventure!
  • finally figuring out what to do with that pesky garden space by the deck.
  • making up a recipe...and everyone really liking it.
  • overcoming fears.