Thursday, March 29, 2012

What to do on a rainy day...

Why you should spend the afternoon at Papa and Gramma's house building tower cranes with Daddy.

Momma was at work and daddy and Tate entertained themselves while Papa was at Birds of Prey and Gramma was working.

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery!

Friday, March 23, 2012

How I Spent the (Past) Weekend...

Isn't it amazing when you plan for something "off in the distance" and suddenly it's the week before and then in a blink of an eye you are home again, unpacked and some-what rested.

Hubby picked me up after work on Thursday and we headed West. It was a wet drive across the Columbia River Gorge. Because of our late start I'd made reservations to overnight along the way and we arrived around midnight for a good night's rest in Cascade Locks.

AM Photo Shoot in Cascade Locks

Friday AM we were up early enough to drive the last 2-1/2 hours to meet our friends Mike & Linda at the Deli in Centralia. There was a plate of Debbie's biscuits and gravy with Tim's thick sliced bacon with my name on it! We had plenty of time to catch up on family news as well as a visit with Debbie & Tim.

Our drive to the coast was still wet. We were surprised to see snow standing on the sides of the road. Of course we usually are heading this direction in July... We were so pleased to see the clouds breaking and blue skies as we neared the coast.

Once the cars were unpacked we headed for the beach, before the kids arrived. Winter storms shuffled the logs around from our last visit in September but we could still find a path with minimal climbing. I managed to get a few shots of the beach before hearing my husband say "Linda fell and hit her head!".

I took this picture just prior to Linda (behind her Mike) falling... dang!

Linda's husband Mike and I backtracked to find her laying on her side, between logs. Her knee gave out on her as she was climbing over a log. She hit her arm on a partially buried log in the sand but managed to catch her head from smacking into same log. We gradually got her back up sitting and then gingerly lifted her where she could sit on a log and twist her legs over to the other side. Her husband took her 'good side' while I grabbed hold of her jeans and we got her to the next log where we repeated our forward motion. It took awhile to clear the logs and rocks, and get her up the stairs.

Once in the cabin we assessed she should probably get her arm x-rayed. The guys asked at the Lodge and a Park Ranger was sent to the cabin. Lesson #1. Park Rangers are also E.M.T's. He took her vitals, checked her glucose (she is diabetic and breakfast was a ways down there), wrapped her knee and splinted her arm in a sling AND recommended she go to the hospital in Forks for x-rays. Lesson #2. There is a hospital in Forks. (Who knew? - although later I was reminded that Carlisle Cullen worked at the Forks Hospital in Twilight - silly me!)

We were still waiting on our kids so Mike & Linda headed up to Forks where she was x-rayed and found out the shoulder was broken at the ball and fractured in the bone down her arm. They contacted the hospital in Everett, around the Sound, for surgery. Unfortunately this also meant returning the 40 miles to the cabin, retrieving their dog and belongings and then another 4 hours to Everett. She was thoroughly braced, iced and medicated for the trip. :-) But by the time they dropped the dog and emptied the car at their home and returned to Everett, it was 1:30 in the morning. The hospital didn't know they were coming (not sure who Forks Hospital made arrangements with...) but Linda finally was admitted by 4am.

Linda had surgery Saturday around noon and remained hospitalized until Monday night. We were able to keep tabs on both of them via the occasional texts and phone calls when we found enough bars to complete our mission.

We missed them dearly - our weekend plans didn't go quite as planned - however we had wonderful weather for our visit and some quality time with the kids walking the beach looking for treasures.

We taught GS to play Trouble... he's too good!

We were blessed to spend time with Papi, Burt and GS. We hiked to Beach 2 (where we scattered the cremains of Mike's folks in '97) in the sunshine while the tide went out. We combed the beach and found treasures - possibly some Tsunami 'artifacts'. We told stories about Nan & Papo. We enjoyed the beauty of a pair of mature bald eagles as well as a yearling. It seemed appropriate since every visit (since scattering the cremains) has been met with bald eagle sightings.

NOT the Newlyweds NOR Bald Eagles - just two old duffs on the beach

The Newlyweds were enjoying a "mini-honeymoon" last week, bunked in a cabin next door and shared meals with us. They explored north to Browns Point, definitely a place where the rest of us will wander during a future visit.

We decided to stop in the Portland area on the way home. Unfortunately due to an accident on the 405, we missed all but the last 30 minutes of great-niece Savannah's soccer game. Fortunately we were able to share a meal all together with the Oregon Shaws before heading east again.

It was a fast weekend with unexpected drama but we learned a few things, relaxed and returned home ready to face our Spring 'to do' list. (H.E.L.P!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Construction Junction

Matt and Tate educated Gramma on the ins and outs of Heavy Equipment 101. I am IN the know!

PS/ my favorite part of the lesson was Tate spelling the words and sharing what the equipment was called... E-S-C-A-V-A-T-O-R... "esca-mator".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

From - A Great Reminder...

1. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Don’t try to be friends with everyone. Cultivate closer relationships with fewer people. Start focusing on being everything to someone. Helping or pleasing everyone is impossible. But making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus and be yourself.

2. Do what you know in your heart is right. – Stop doing immoral things simply because you can. Start being honest with yourself and everyone else. Don’t cheat. Be faithful. Be kind. Do the right thing! It is a less complicated way to live. Integrity is the essence of everything successful. When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life. Keep life simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.

3. Organize your space. – Start clearing clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t use and then organize what’s left. Keeping both your living and working areas organized is crucial. If you have a cluttered space, it can be distracting and stressful. A clear space is like a blank canvas, available to be used to create something great.

4. Be efficient. – Stop being inefficient simply because you’ve always done it that way. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Many times we live with unplanned, complex systems in our lives simply because we haven’t given them much thought. Instead, streamline your life by finding better ways of handling common tasks. Focus on one system at a time (your cleaning system, your errands system, your paperwork system, your email system, etc.) and try to make it simplified, efficient, and logical. Then, once you have it perfected, stick to it.

5. Let things be less than perfect. – Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have, and all the problems I know you don’t have. You must accept the fact that life is not perfect, that people are not perfect, and that you are not perfect. And that’s okay, because the real world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards people who get GOOD things done. And the only way to get GOOD things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.

6. Let go of needless drama and those who create it. – Never create unnecessary drama, and don’t surround yourself with those who do. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Don’t walk away from negative people, RUN! Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

7. Forget what everyone else thinks and wants for you. – One of the greatest freedoms is simply not caring what everyone else thinks of you. Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be. The best thing you can do is follow your heart. Take risks. Don’t just accept the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what others will think, or afraid of what might happen. If you do, nothing will ever happen. Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big. They aren’t.

Backyard Progress...

I'm sure the Bride & Groom-to-be are a bit uncertain when they look out into our back yard... Doesn't quite look up to entertaining for a Rehearsal dinner right now.

Last fall we removed decking from the deck frame in order to rebuild and redo the top. The weather is rough on wood... lesson learned.

Our oldest son is smartly reusing the weathered boards to create raised garden beds. He also used the boards to frame out a deck space for their home. Smart lad!

Lumber will be ordered the end of the month and hopefully the weather will continue to improve so the guys may start rebuilding our deck.

The area between the house and the shed will be covered with flagstones and pavers. We want to create some paths and an area for the BBQ (read future 'outdoor kitchen'). We will finally have a nice area for the fire pit - away from grass, trees, deck and house.

We started removing topsoil and leveling out the area. Top soil will be carted over to the new raised garden beds - look at us recycling and reusing...

Meanwhile our oldest son removed the older boards from the original deck - and found Riley's stash. It was one of those moments that make you smile in your heart and feel sad all at the same time. Sigh...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Egg on Our Face...

I am fastidious about record keeping. Read OCD. I file our warranties. I file our receipts. I organize the file cabinet and keep it updated.

Our washer has been off balance a couple of times. Today it was NOISY - not loud-in-the-same-room-noisy - we're talking upstairs-too-loud-to-carry-on-a-conversation.

I called our trusty repairman. We've used the same company for several appliances.

They were out within the hour. Started up the machine. I sighed when it started the loud whirring noise in the spin cycle. Verdict... bad bearings and an $800 estimate. Time to go shopping...

We ventured out to the appliance store to look around. Our favorite sales person recommended someone in the store to help us. He nodded sympathetically and asked when we purchased the machines and didn't we get an extended warranty.

We were sure it was in the past 4-5 years. After all, we've had the repairman come out at least two times for something previously. The warranty - no idea. Surely it had expired by now.

Our knight in shining armor checked the records and (ANGELS SINGING) we purchased the set less than 3 years ago AND purchased a five year extended warranty. CHA-CHING. We were no longer looking at replacing our washer on our dime. The store repairman will come out tomorrow, verify the repairs that need to be done and determine if it will be fixed or REPLACED!


Of course all the way home we sat shaking our heads. We immediate went through the folder with all the washer and dryer documents... not one thing mentions a warranty purchased. But NOW it does!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Lorax...

Tate and I have been chuckling at the commercials
for Dr. Seuss' The Lorax for several weeks... "That's a woman?!"
so naturally we had to include a trip
to the Cinema this weekend
with our favorite nearly-five-year-old and his folks.
Dr. Seuss, popcorn,
and a giggling little guy in the seat
between you and his Dad.
What fun!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hockey in McCall...

Coach Jared and Coach Chris


Our daughter plays club hockey with the Vandal women. This weekend they traveled to a tournament in McCall. We were able to drive up to see their final game Saturday evening. Sorry the outcome wasn't as successful as they'd hoped but it was great to see them play. Great job ladies!

Guilty Pleasures...

Ha... not quite what you think I bet. I'm home alone! Yep! All by myself.

No one else home... like running with scissors... lights on when you leave the room... TV AND iPOD speaker going in TWO different rooms... EGHAD! whoop whoop!

I've had w-a-y-t-o-o many cups of coffee. I made my breakfast-slash-lunch. I watched MY shows on the DVR. (Did I ever tell you I'm a closet watcher of "Switched at Birth" and other shows on channels that actually BLEEP out the questionable dialogue?) I cleaned up the kitchen. I showered and dressed... I danced in the kitchen. I jumped in the hall.

Why do I like this so much?! Probably because it seldom happens. Hear that? Yeah, that... Know what it is? Peace, quiet and the ticking of the clock. Two more hours. Ah serenity!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Act of Valor...

Friday is date night in our household. I work until 6:30 and Mike picks me up. Tonight we went to see the movie "Act of Valor". We purchased the book and Mike read it last weekend. Yes it's one of THOSE books... (i.e. can't put it down.)

For the average bear the movie may not have the same punch to the soul. For this Navy household it had meaning.

At the end, it had a moving poem by Native American Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh. The poem moved me very deeply and so I had to find it and share it. I hope it encourages you, lifts your spirit and helps you to strive for the greatness that you were created for.

"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filledwith the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home." ~Tecumseh

Here is a trailer from the movie. It is a very powerful movie.