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!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Quilts Needed for Las Vegas


 If you are a quilter and still following my blog and I know I have not been posting as much lately due to family issues, please, please send a card, a lap sized quilt for even a box of Keurig cups to the unseen heroes of this tragedy.  

Remember, if they get to many, they will share with others involved in this massacre! Any questions, please feel free to contact me!

LAS VEGAS ADDRESS UPDATE! Please share this on your page or with friends. Also , there is one agency that has decided to buy each Center a Keurig machine so if you are looking for something to send them send them a box of the most current version of Keurig cups for coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Other than that gift cards for Starbucks or fast food places are other ideas along with anything from your region of the country that might be fun. Okay here is a comprehensive list of the two primary agencies within Las Vegas that handled the shooting Sunday Night. Las Vegas Metro Communications 911 Center had 40 dispatchers on duty. Their total amount of dispatchers is 150. The address to send cards, letters and Gifts of support is 400 South Martin Luther King Boulevard. Las Vegas, Nevada 89002. Make sure that you attention it to the Bureau of communications or 911 Center.

Las Vegas fire handles fire and emergency medical dispatching. They had 11 dispatchers on when the event happened but called in additional help so they worked with a total of 16 people that night. They're total complement of dispatchers is 54. You may send support Cards & Gifts too Las Vegas fire Communications division 500 North Casino Center Boulevard Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. We know there are additional communication centers like private ambulance companies, North Las Vegas, Henderson Police and the highway patrol. We have asked Metro and the fire department to share with them rather than Post 6 or 7 different addresses. Thank you for your support both Las Vegas Metro and Fire have asked us to share their appreciation for all of the love and out reach they have received.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Last Granite Mountain Quilt

The Last Quilt To Granite Mountain Hotshots

Blowing in the Wind
On June 30, 2013, nineteen of the twenty Prescott, Arizona Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Those of you who are still following this blog and our Facebook page know as quickly as we could gather information, an all call went out to quilters all over the world to help make quilts for the families.

Without hesitation, quilters from all over began 'adopting,' family members, (parents, spouses, siblings and children) were sent quilts to comfort and let the families know in our own quiet way, that we were thinking of them.

After everyone was covered that we were aware of, I began to think about the survivor Brendan and what I could do for him, how much pain and sadness he must feel.

Once again, you answered the call and these amazing quilt blocks began coming in from New Mexico, Iowa, Washington and several from Australia and I knew then, Brendan had a quilt...let me rephrase that, Brendan would one day have a quilt.

Life happens in many different ways and my family is not immune to having issues, my husband and I downsized and moved, the quilt squares got put away in a safe place.

Once I found them, with the amazing quilting talent of Michelle M. in Oregon, I was able to send them to her and she said she would put them together and WOW!! 

After the quilt was made, Michelle began to look for a border and back and it had to in some way represent what these men represented and loved and that was the outdoors.

Michelle picked the gold border and it reminds me of autumn and the dry straw that is growing in my area. Sadly, as I write this, we have dozens upon dozens of firefighters and hotshot teams in our area from two fires that started earlier this week and they are waiting for all the fires, embers to be out before they leave.

Then Michelle picked the beautiful pine green backing and worked her magic.

On June 6, 2016 just prior to the 3rd anniversary of Yarnell Hill, Michelle mailed the quilt back to me alone with postage, the quilt label and I was to finish the binding and did and then, I wrapped the two together and put it away in a safe place.

So safe, that I forgot where I put it but eventually located it in our storage safely tucked in with other quilts.

I brought it home and all I wanted to do was get the perfect picture with a nature background, perhaps snow covered trees, Mt. Rainer, a river, but alas, we had the rainiest season last year and I could not get the picture taken.

My husband and I purchased a Harley and on the maiden voyage, I took the quilt and found the place to take the picture, Mayfield Lake in Washington, I loved the fact that a gentle breeze blew up and ruffled the quilt. I felt the 19 were gently blowing it and saying, 'this is the place!'
This October there is a movie coming out about these amazing 19 men, I have not decided if I will watch it or not, having almost been hired by Prescott as a dispatcher and then being a dispatcher for both fire and police in another city and having met the sister and mother of one of those that were lost, I am not sure I would be able to get through it.

However, if you would like to see the movie and watch the trailer, please click this link: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfp-t-s&p=granite+mountain+movie#id=1&vid=c4fd33a6f8d6bd94dbe2c11f5ba968ab&action=click 


Thank you all for trusting me and may you all and Brendan forgive me for the delay in mailing this beautiful love filled quilt out a bit late.

 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Headstone For Unclaimed Baby

On July 1, 2017, I posted how I had attended a coroners funeral for unclaimed or forgotten people. If you read that post you know how I was not planning on going and then decided I needed to go.

I spent that entire day crying about the little baby boy whose cremains were placed in a vault with older people. Seriously, it hurt my heart to know that while this child's soul may no longer be here, this baby deserves a proper burial.

Well, here we are, 24 days later and I have been able to have the cemetery donate a plot on a hill next to another baby for this child's final resting place.

I have also been able to speak to our local monument makers and found out, I can get a reddish heart shaped stone with an angel on it for this baby so it will NOT be forgotten and someone will see someone cared.

I have $200 of the $409 needed to pay for the headstone next week and I am asking if by chance I still have any readers out there and you feel like you would like to help me give this child a proper burial and headstone you contact me please.

I could do a Go Fund Me account, however, they take a % off the top and I don't want to do that. I will take picture and post here once the stone is set.

I do NOT know the story behind this baby. All I know is he was 7 months gestation, died the day he was born or was still born and he has been with the local coroner for two years without a parent claiming the body.

As a mom who lost a child, I cannot imagine this parents pain. But I do know in my heart, that someday this mother, a father, a sibling, grandparent may reach out to the cemetery and ask about this little angel and they will see someone cared enough to not allow this baby to be forgotten. 

This is the actual invoice for the stone. I have to collect the money prior to paying for the stone and in Washington we have such a short window to do so.

Please contact me if you would like to donate!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Funeral For The Unclaimed

Last evening I was reading my Facebook posts when I came across one regarding our county coroner who was have an internment of cremains this morning for seven people who have not been claimed by family or friends.

Six of them were between the ages of 57 years old and 80 years old and only one was a female. The 57 year old was homeless and froze to death last year in a local park.

The seventh, I have not been able to shake. It was a baby boy whose age was 7 months gestational, so I can only presume it was a miscarriage.

This morning, I got up, made my bed, ate breakfast, sat down to watch television and I just felt the Holy Spirit telling me, get up, get dressed and be there for those people who have no one and be there for that baby.

I don't like funerals and I decided I was not going to go. At 1019 I was getting dressed, putting on my lipstick, my shoes and on my way to an internment service for those people have forgotten.

I stopped and picked up a small orange Teddy Bear to be interned with that baby boy. I had to do something and even though his body is no longer with us, I can feel his soul.

I pulled in and the service was very dignified and peaceful. There was a white sun cover set up in the parking lot, a long table with a white table cloth, 6 large boxes and a very tiny box and all had a single red rose on them.

The coroner was there as well as the owner of the cemetery in what you would expect a funeral director to wear from the 1800's. There was a county chaplain, a patriot guard member with the flag, 2 women with small children, myself and a few other people.

What was missing was the stories about these men and this woman, who they were because there was no one there to tell them. There was no laughter about memories, no tears from a mom whose child did not make it.

Instead, there were strangers who didn't know the deceased and didn't know each other, but we all came together so those who died at least at the very end when they were being laid to rest had people who cared enough to get up, get dressed and be there.


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