Sunday, December 9, 2018

Counting My Blessings

My little kitchen

This is my little kitchen. It doesn't look like much, but it is mine. It doesn't allow me to use 2 pots on my stove at once, but it allows me to cook. It doesn't have much counter space, but things can be rearranged. I must constantly be moving things around to accomodate other things, but I have a place to cook, to prepare my meals and it is my home.

The photo you see is last night as I was preparing spaghetti and a salad and my counter became quite full and I was becoming frustrated to where everything would go so nothing fell on the floor or worse (yes it has happened), the sink cutting board didn't slip and let my food go into my dish water.

You can see next to the stove, my tall pull out pantry, it is stocked with canned goods, peanut butter, other pantry items. Next to it with the picture a grandchild's friend drew for me is on the fridge, it holds cold milk, my refillable water bottles, eggs, fruit, veggies and those amazing left overs.

Yes, it is small and yes I complain at times wanting a bigger kitchen, wanting my quilting room back, wanting my old life back, then I realize I have so much more than those people that lost everything in the blink of an eye in the Camp Fire of Paradise, CA some watched their neighbors burn to death, others pulled out of their drives in time to see their homes go up in flames and I think, I am warm, dry today, I have food, I can go to church. I am thankful!

A few months ago, our dog pulled her ACL and it required XRays and medications to the tune of over $1000. The vet wants to do surgery, but we can't afford the $2800 plus he said she would need the other leg done probably as well.

I had to sell all of my quilting supplies I had gathered over the past 13 years to pay the vet bill, so I can't quilt, I cry about loosing all of that but in reality it is just stuff, but with that stuff, I would be helping others and now, I can't.

My heart breaks because I am warm, I have food, I have a home to call my own. The people in Paradise have nothing left, it has been over a month and they still can't go to see their homes and yet looters have made it in. 

When you sit down tonight to eat your dinner, think of these people who are living in tents, living 10 to 14 people in a hotel room and have nothing left.

When you do, if you are a quilter or make afghans, email me and I will let you know how to reach out and bless a family.

Being grateful is something I am daily as this is what is left of my mom and step dad's home in Magalia just up the hill as they say from Paradise! Everything at 84 years old he has ever owned gone, in the blink of an eye!


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Bye Bye Birdie (At Least For Now)

Me and Birdie
This is Birdie, she is my CanAm Spyder RT and to be honest, I have no idea how she got the name Birdie, but after I saw a Hummingbird fly by her, she seemed to name herself!

On this particular day the hubby and I had decided to ride up to Mt. Rainer, but as is the case on a Sunday in the early fall, there is more traffic than my novice riding skills wanted to handle so we decided to take the back road to Packwood.
 **Note to self and others, don't do that without a truck!**

I took my 3 wheel endorsement training when we were going to head to Sturgis in case I needed to bring the trike back I could, but after 13 days of looking at the back of hubbies helmet, I wanted my own and this is what hubby gifted me with.

I can't quilt right now because I had to sell everything to pay off a vet bill for our dog, so this is what I do when I need to unwind and destress.

However, as much as I love riding, when it dipped into the teens this week, hubby said, wash her up and lock her up. So birdie is resting comfortably in a heated unit until spring!

Happy Wintering to all my friends!
These are just 2 of the amazing faces I have seen since the Paradise fire devastated and destroyed so many homes and sadly lives.

I was blessed to be able to find 2 amazing quilters in Kathy and Lynn that stepped up and sent quilts to this family.

We still have a need for first responders and their families, please contact me and I will give you someone you can reach out to and bless.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

My 13 Day Journey On The Back of a Harley Trike

Day #1 Leaving Home

On July 30, 2018 my husband and I embarked on the first vacation we have had since 2001. Only this time instead of flying to our destination, we took our Harley trike on an amazing adventure.

Since we had been planning this trip for quite awhile and our destination was the Sturgis 2018 Bike Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, I was excited and a bit nervous.

You see, I suffer from chronic pain having arthritis, Fibromyalgia and have suffered since October 2017 with severe pain in my right side that 5 doctors, 2 physical therapists, 4 rounds of steroids has not taken care of the issue. My fear was I would have to get on a plane and come home.

We were also leaving our 17 year old granddaughter to house sit during this time with other responsibilities she had such as ensuring our dog got her meds, a friends farm animals were fed and watered and driving 2.5 hours to her sisters camp graduation. 

Here we are at the house preparing to leave. The trailer was full with a complete first aid kit that had everything in it from allergy medications (oral and topical), to tweezers and scissors. My hubby laughed when he saw anti-nausea and diarrhea medications, but it was a long trip and I don't like surprises.

Also, if you look at our jackets, you will see the Phoenix patch, this was generously sent to us by Kathie Purkey who is Billy Warneke's mom one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots that perished June 30, 2013. I went to Victoria who is Billies sister and Kathie's daughter and she asked to have them sent to us as Kathie was out of town. 
These patches we wear with honor because we know the sacrifice these men and their families made and I tell everyone who asks me about them how they can support hot shot teams!

The first day we traveled from our home near Olympia, WA to a small town in Oregon and let me tell you, the eastern side of Oregon was so hot, I thought I was going to die and that is no exaggeration.

Lunch in Pendleton, Oregon 7/30/2018

 This is across the road from the Subway in Pendleton,Oregon, no more beautiful green tree's, it is more high desert in the area and we never did see any signs for the Pendleton wool mill.

It got so warm at one point in the trip we stopped for gas and there was this wonderful little park across the street with a lake, we shed our leathers and laid out in the cool grass for a bit.
A beautiful lake to rest for a bit

Reluctantly, I got back on the bike, put all my leathers back on and decided it was better to be to warm than go down and have no skin left. That was until...this stop in Haines:
My face was almost as red as my glasses

You can see my hair is matted down from sweat, my face is red and it was so bad, hubby began pouring cold water over my head, down my shirt and this time...I took the leathers off, placed an ice watered down neck gater on my head and neck and we took off again!

Final Destination for the night...Baker City, Oregon and A/C

We did it! We traveled over 10 hours and over 400 miles and made it safely. The bike was unloaded and secured and while hubby was doing that, I ordered pizza to be delivered, I was done riding for the day!

Our motel in Baker City, was clean, quiet and had air conditioning and large pillows so I was able to prop up my legs, while hubby enjoyed the chair and propping his feet up on the bed.

Next morning we got up, showered, had breakfast at the hotel and once again, we were one our way!

Heading out once again (this pic was taken at home)

Come back when I tell you all about day #2. You won't want to miss it!

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
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!

**BTW, I did go back and pass my written and at this writing I am waiting to find my dream ride**

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!