Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We Are On A Crazy Journey

Our life has taken us on a truly twisting crazy journey over the past 3 years, some of it was plain unbearable at times, however, with the love of family and friends, we endured and are on the other side happy and trying to make sense of this crazy journey.

We are looking to transition from our wonderful 5th wheel to perhaps a newer fifth wheel, but placed on our own property where we do not have to worry our landlord will decide at the drop of a hat he wants to sell or not be a landlord any longer. This weighs heavily on me.

We now have a Harley trike which I love to sit on the back and ride, but I am NOT content to spend days traveling looking at the back of hubbies helmet, so I decided with his encouragement to take a trike class.

Let me tell you if you live in Washington state, the best place to take your three wheel class is at Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Safety in Silverdale (my choice) or Auburn (hubbies choice). Either way, the instructors know their stuff! I don't get anything from recommending them, but they really taught me a lot.

Now, about that Harley. All my riding gear is Harley gear, my shirts, etc., then I come home from the class and tell hubby I want a Can Am motorcycle. Why?

Reasons for a Can Am vs Harley Trike:
1- No clutch (I have a difficult time with knowing when to clutch vs knowing when to brake)
2- No front brake/back brake, just one brake!
3- No toe lift or depress for gears, it is done simply with the flick of a thumb.
4- No worries about how to corner because Can Am trike 2 wheels are up front and not in the back (okay being I drive a car and can't see my back tires, this is a lame excuse..lol)
5- Adjustable foot rests  so I am not stuck using the same placement someone with shorter or longer legs is using.
6-About $14K difference in new

Right now I am proud to say I passed the driving portion of my motorcycle test, however, I profoundly failed the written portion and have 90 days to pass it or take the class over again. 

So, wish me peace, joy and happy thoughts because this crazy lady is heading back up the trail on this crazy journey to re-take the written until I pass!

 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Even The Short Rides Destress Life

Perhaps like me at times, you get tired of opening your computer to sad/bad news, watching television with bad news, all you see on Facebook is false news or stories about depressing issues and you need a break!

My health lately has not been something to write home about or actually write anywhere about, my right side is to the point of not wanting to work anymore, it began with my right arm and has now traveled to my back, hip and leg.

Many times, I cannot put my pants on without help, so no matter how wet or cold it gets, I opt for shorts or a skort because I don't have to fight my legs to get in jeans.  The same goes for my shoes..I usually wear slip on sandle's because I don't need help to get them on.

This started in October 2017, I have been through 3 sets of Steroid shots, 11 weeks of physical therapy, to see a neurosurgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon and now a physicist and everyone of them has differing opinions:
1-Neurosurgeon- You are fat and need to exercise more (uh, duh, I would if I could!)
2-Ortho-You have an inflammed Bursa, gave 2 steroid shots and if it doesn't work come back and see me within 2 weeks (uh, that would be great if your office didn't book me out past a month).
3-Physicist - Your right leg is longer than your left, you have an SI joint issue and pelvic torsion. We will resume PT with a pelvic specialist, but I can't give you a steroid shot in SI until you have had at least 6 weeks of PT** (see #2, wanna bet if I can get my ortho to do it??)

Not one of them have addressed the weakness I have in my right leg that causes me to fall forward getting up out of a chair or just list to the right and fall. NOT ONE!!

Now, here is the odd thing...NOT one of these has ordered an MRI of my right hip or leg. So, here I sit, going on 10 months and still no answers!

What do you do in a case like this?
You keep moving and praying for answers!

When life gets you down, you grab your leathers and get on the back of the Harley trike and go for a ride and last evening we did just that.

We rode to a local state park, drove through, walked to the lake and came home.

Oddly, getting on and off the Harley and riding does not bother me one whit! However, I think it is because I stand to get on and off, not sit and try to get in like I do my car. 

I also think it is because the ride is such a stress reliever~!

So, enjoy our journey!
 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blessings of Traveling

We live in a 5th Wheel and while we are blessed to have the spot we are in and when I am not feeling well physically it is truly a blessing, I have to admit at times sitting home can get pretty, well you know...B O R I N G!

My hubby decided to surprise me this past week-end with a cabin on a river, dinner out and an incredible ride to Mt. Rainier on our Harley. Hubby also humored me with stopping in various places to get pictures so I can earn a pin for my vest!

Here are a few of the many pics I took on the way up and back from the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier!






 

Friday, May 4, 2018

I Dropped the Ball On This Ride

It says Tenino Right Here!
So, I love our new Harley trike and I am one of those crazy pin collectors, so the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) gives pins and patches for a variety of things, but I love to do the ABC's of H.O.G. you drive around and get your picture taken with your bike, their touring guide and a picture of something that shows the town you are in.

Sadly, I didn't realize it has to be an 'official,' city, county, state sign so we rambled over to Tenino and took this picture. With a trike it is difficult to get everything into one picture and hubby is never happy doing these goose chases but humors me!

So I get home, go to download our photos and then come to realize it has to be an official sign and cannot be a library, museum, school, etc.. BUMMER!!

I wanted it in front of their city hall, however all it says is 'City Hall.' 

The ride was perfect this day, so I will call H.O.G. and ensure I am reading the rules right and maybe, just maybe I can get hubby to try again.

Well, we are also in the 365 Touring so all we need to do there is take the bike in to any dealership when our miles match the requirements.

Still, if I get my. trike license, I think grabbing the key to the bike out of hubbies hat that sits on the bedside, might just be an idea!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Loving The Tiny Life

Yes, we are still living in our fifth wheel and very stationary while hubby is still working, the big difference this writing, is that I have finally realized what a blessing this life is and I now embrace our tiny home as opposed to feeling the 'poor me pity pot feelings.'

I love my little kitchen with its 2 pantries (1 is a pull out), cabinet that opens on both sides for our kitchen garbage, 4 drawers, 6 additional cabinets, the oven has not been a disappointment as I have cooked everything in it that I would in a regular home.  

Matter of fact, I think having the smaller propane oven wastes much less energy than my old electric oven that was huge when I would only cook a casserole. Now, that casserole dish fits nicely without lots of wasted space.

I love our built-in spice rack and metal vitamin holder which means, they aren't taking up cabinet space!
The diving cabinet/counter between kitchen and living area!

I have learned to be creative with space, hence, we use the top of the dog kennel for my books, our bibles, shredding basket and tissues.

As you can see, our baby is so spoiled sleeping on her Serta memory foam dog bed inside the kennel and YES, the door is always unlocked!

I have to say that when my children and grandchildren were little, we loved absolutely to go to the library and read a book, rent a video, bring home our favorites and living in our tiny home, my love for my local library has been renewed.

The basket holds books I have purchased or my bible study materials. However, if I want to try a new cook book, read the latest travel books, I head to the library, bring them home and when I am done, they are returned. Saves space. My basket holds books I keep or someone has given me to read.

Dog kennel doubles as shelving
The greatest thing about our library, it is directly next to a place one of our grands does some volunteer work for, so I drop her off, head to the library, find a good book, settle in and read until she walks in and says she is all done. Saves gas of running back home, coming back to pick her up, drop her off at home, go home myself!

No one minds cleaning! The grands come to visit and all want to know how they can help us. If I say vacuum, well having a nifty Dyson vacuum that is portable, has 2 of them saying, 'No, I'll do it!'
In 5 minutes the entire carpet is vacuumed!

In the summer, we bring our eating to our deck our yard, have lots of folding chairs in storage and a large table and we can have a nice BBQ!  

We also have a small area for our printer, my Keurig (yes, you saw a BUNN on the kitchen counter), a mail center with envelopes, stamps, etc., has just made it homier! As you can see, I use the slide tops for pictures, battery operated lanterns, etc..

 Home is truly where we make it and today, it is 60 outside, the front door is open, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I am at peace with my tiny home.

My home keeps me warm and dry when it rains. It keeps me cool when it is hot out by opening windows, doors and if needed, I can run the A/C. I can cook, I can take long hot showers, I have a flushing toilet and God has my husband and I in the palm of His hands right where we need to be!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Saying Good-Bye To the Old and Hello Baby To the News

July 2017 - New To Us 2009 Harley


This was our oldest grand daughter and hubby and I last July when we drove to Silverdale to pick up our Harley motorcycle. It was a beauty, pearl and silver and so comfy with lots of storage for our leather gear and helmets when we stopped on our rides to eat or sight see!

Hubby and I spent more time last summer between July and October before the rains hit traveling around the state of Washington than we had in the 10 years we have lived here.

Our first trip was up to a local lake in our area that we had passed many times on the way up to White Pass to watch our grands play football, basketball or other sports. 

I wanted a special place to take photos of the very last quilt that was going to the surviving Granite Mountain Hotshot team from Prescott, Arizona. 

As you may recall on the news, there were 19 of 20 fire fighters from that team that died on June 28, 2013. The news was devastating and Layers of Hope-Quilting 911 reached out and made quilts for the families of those that perished.

The lone survivor was the last one to receive a quilt and to this day, It took 4 more years for this quilt to be sent out to Brendan and while it seems like forever, I am a firm believer that the quilts I make and others make go out by divine intervention and this one was no different.

Please take a moment to watch this documentary about these brave men at https://www.outsideonline.com/1866211/documentary-granite-mountain-hotshots-and-yarnell-hill-fire
 
Brendan's Quilt
 Perhaps you watched the movie, 'Only The Brave,' it was released October 2017. I am hoping that the timing of the movie (which I knew nothing about) and the timing of the quilt was meant to be. 

All  knew is that this quilt for some reason had to be photographed outdoors, in nature and had to take a ride with me on the Harley. I just felt like I was being pushed to carry it one last moment longer.

The background is from the park at Mayfield Lake in Lewis County Washington. The picture of hubby and I below was taken at Mayfield Dam that same day. 
Mayfield Dam August 2017

I won't bore you with the rest of the pictures we took that day, but I am glad we made it to Packwood and back safely and without incident.

Our next trip we took was early evening for a relaxing ride and dinner which took us to Lady of the Lake restaurant on Offhut Lake in Thurston County.  It was a perfect ending to the day, a crisp fresh salad, sipping iced tea on the patio and watching the boaters as the sun began to set.

Sadly,  it was also the first time hubby went to park the Pearl Baby and hit loose gravel and down it went. I was so happy I was NOT on the bike any more and I knew he was alright.

This next picture is on a day late in August or early September, we took a nice relaxing and long ride along the Hood Canal and if you have never been through the area, I highly recommend the trip at least once in your life.

It was gorgeous, sunny, warm but not hot and we passed through places we had never been to with names like Quilcene, Lilliwaup, Eldon and Brinnon.

Here, hubby and I were in the parking lot of the Geoduck Tavern in Brinnon. It was a nice place to stop and rest a bit. The tavern is a local watering hole, but the waitresses and locals are friendly.

Hubby and I had the French Dip and the bun/bread it came in was fresh as in home made that day. The service was slow, but it was slam packed busy and we had no agenda that day, so sitting and watching the water was a great time to relax!

WARNING!! While this place is named after the famed clam, they do not serve them here, if you are looking for Geoduck clams you will be disappointed.
Another Selfie...in front of the Geoduck Anchor

We finished our ride coming over the Hood Canal bridge on Pearl and let me tell you that is a bridge I do not want to have to cross again on two wheels, it is steel grating in some spots and I was not pleased. Still, we made it without incident.

However, getting off the road to visit a friend, we hit loose sand and gravel again and this time, I WAS on the back of the bike when it went down. Three things I have to say:
1- I am thankful to God neither of us was hurt.
2- I am thankful that I learned years ago to scale the back seat before it hits the ground, oh you bet, I feel, but more from the jump down.
3-It is completely ego wrecking and embarrassing when it happens in front of another vehicle.

With that in mind my hubby and I began talking about things most people probably wouldn't feel comfortable talking about...weight and not just any, but mine. 

I had to admit at over 100 pounds more than he is, I was one of the reasons with his arthritis he was having such a time keeping it up when we hit unstable ground. Add that to 900# of bike and he is trying to old up over 1000 pounds.

Well, December 31 rolled around and the decision to loose weight was made for me when it was determined I had Diverticulitis, some food allergies and other gastro issues and needed to lose some weight for my health.

We began talking about getting a motorcycle for me, but I didn't want 2 wheels, at my age and as a newish rider, I didn't feel real safe on 2. My hubby began looking for me a trike, 3 wheels front or rear I wasn't sure of, but 3 wheels it would be. My issue was I did not want a bike if I couldn't pass the written and riding test.

Instead of getting me a trike, we decided on getting US a trike. If I get my license, I can ride it when I want to and if I don't, I can always be happy as a passenger.

So, three weeks ago, we said good-bye to Pearl and picked up Stormy, our Harley trike and it is such a nice ride and I feel 100% safer on 3 wheels than 2. Hubby has already given all the grands rides on it and we took our first ride this past week together.

This is my happy place, away from phones, family and drama, life comes off my shoulders here and I guess in many ways it was meant to be as it brings hubby and I together and we get out and get to see what this beautiful state has to offer!





 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Can you believe it? We are already into February of the new year 2018 and I have not posted since October. How is that possible?

It is possible because we have been crazy busy with the grandchildren and their school, sports, driving them to appointments while dad is once again recovering from a bad injurty.

Now that 2018 has rolled around hubby and I decided we are going to start doing things for us more and son and his girlfriend less as she can get a job, but the bank of mom and dad has officially closed and yes, they do owe a balance and it will be paid when he gets back on his feet.

With that said, we are still living in our 5th wheel and still very much in love with each other in spite of the small spaces and people believing we would get on each others nerves.

I have come to love my little home and appreciate all the blessings it provides us with such as warmth in the winter, an oven that I can bake some amazing creations in, such as this decadent carrot cake made from scratch!

I have hot water for shower and doing dishes, a fridge which holds food and keeps it cold, a recliner for my weary body and a beautiful deck and yard when it isn't raining in SW Washington.

I have changed my mindset to be thankful and making better choices for my health and well being. I have cut out soda, carbs, junk food and most dairy but I am still eating great meals and trying new ones for our family which includes drop in grands almost every week-end!

I have joined an amazing yoga studio that cares about my well being, that doesn't push me to the point of pain and after a year of physical therapy on a shoulder and hip, the yoga and Nia class is working out much better and it is a studio filled with love and support.

I have lost 12.5 pouns since the first of the year and become very involved in getting healthier in walking, exercising, reading, eating and praying.

The one thing I am so excited about is essential oil work and I have joined Young Living oils to make my family and myself healthier. I am NOT pushing oils, but I am trying them for my family to see how they work.

If you would like a sample, please contact me, or if you have someone who has moved away and needs oils, let me know. I will NOT try to recruit you.

Have a blessed year and I would love to hook up with anyone still reading my blog!