Monday, September 7, 2009

Shot From the Blue

What turned Tom from this happy-go-lucky guy...

Into this poor sick guy??

(Still happy, and good spirited - even with a tube in his nose, and IV's in his arms - ) The answer is Streptococcus pneumoniae - pnuemonia.

Wow - Where Did Summer Go???

We had a "rain event." DANG! I should have sold tickets! Actually, I have missed the rain. know I will loath that statement in a few months, but I am glad to have it freshness it brings. Sure wish California could get some to help with those wildfires. They are going to have their hands full until Thanksgiving. That is the usual pattern. I remember going camping over Thanksgiving weekend and hearing about the wildfires that were FINALLY getting under control because the rains had started. (Our prayers are with you.)

I've been in an odd place (besides the obvious Oregon) for the last few months. More mental than actual physical places. Fought a lot of internal battles. Seem to have won some high ground for the moment and have the desire to blog again.

What an odd phase - "the desire to blog" - what IS that in us??? Why am I sitting up at 5 am typing my thoughts into a computer screen??? What IS the "desire to blog"??? and WHY am I doing it?? I do it for myself first and my kids second. Some of whom never even check it out. So since I am doing first for myself - I come back to "WHY"?

All I have right now is - "WHY not?" I'll have to think about that..... I'll do that as I type.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Flower Update

I found this rail-mounted basket at WalMart. I like it because it hangs from adjustable clamps that attach to the rail rather than being mounted on top of it. It has been the best color spot I created this summer. Tom and I liked it so well, we went back and bought enough to put one between each of the posts for next year. The petunias have just avalanched over the rail and down the front!

This view shows our little "apartment" windows -

This shot is looking north towards the driveway -

I just love how they turned out! I visit them every morning! Next year the whole deck rail will be decorated! I was telling Tom we should plant red, white and deep purple/blue next year - then when the 4th of July came, we'd already be color appropriate!

Painting Finished

Our "guest room" is in the back of the house and faces the hillside. It never gets direct sunlight.

It has always been the off-white color from when it was built, twenty some years ago. I wanted color in there. Tom and I chose blue and green - bolder rather than pastel. I was trying to use the existing bedspread for my colors. We had the brown carpet and yellow furniture to factor in.

I wasn't sure I liked it until we completely done. I kept looking at that green and hoping it would tone down a little. I didn't like how much yellow had been in the room before, but I think the yellow goes much better now. We were considering getting rid of the chair, but we are going to keep it.

The room is much less crowded with the extra bookcase out. It's amazing how big that room really is! This shot is looking out towards the living room.

I like the blue, green, yellow and brown together.

My problem now is trying to fit what came out back into the room. I am only going to use those that coordinate with the colors. That means a lot of stuff is going to stay in boxes! I really like the way the globe goes with the rooms colors!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nail-Biting Time

The unthinkable has happened. We bought an external hard drive to save-guard our digital photos, genealogy records, and all my church related lessons. If our computer crashed, I didn't want to worry about loosing them.

So they were backed and transferred to the new hard drive. (Please learn from my mistakes). Well, the new hard drive crashed. It's only a few month old. My data is all lost in digital hell. I have SINCE been told that I should have used the hard drive as a "back up"....having the data on BOTH hard drives. Which bothers me little linear mind. ("Why would I put data on BOTH when I am trying to free up disk space on my PC so it will run better?? Wasn't THAT the point of buying an external hard drive? I could have back-up data on DVD's....)

The questions go on and on. I'm sure they are probably laughable to anyone even slightly nerdier than I am. But, here I am waiting for a phone call from my "go-to" person to see if he can reclaim the data without going to a "data recovery" company. (Oh, please, please, please....)

My little hard drive is under warranty for the next two years. They will be perfectly happy to exchange mine for a new one - minus the current data stored within mine. THAT is NOT covered under the warranty. They refer you to someone who is willing to help recover the data for a mere $700-$1500. I'm NOT kidding.

How important is the years of family history and research I have done? How much do I want the digital pictures I have taken for the past seven years? Do I really need the gospel doctrine handouts, lesson outlines, YW stories, activities, craft patterns, favorite talks, etc? I wouldn't have bought the hard drive if I hadn't been concerned about their preservation.

Come on, Cory, work your electronic, digital magic....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July - Red, White and Blues.

On the Oregon coast, we get foggy weather when it is hot in the inland valleys. It pulls the fog banks in. It is cold, windy and dreary. I have a friend who said, "When the sun is out on the coast - EVERY one is happy." So true! It DOES make the fireworks amazing, though. The fireworks light up the fog and make the display a little misty and luminous. And then all THAT is reflected back from the waters of the bay. VERY cool ...and cold. My joke used to be that the coldest day I ever spent was a 4th of July in Waldport. Also, so true.
We made a trip in to Toledo Thursday - to do some early birthday shopping. (Matt's birthday is the 17th) And driving up Hwy 20 we were faced with car after car after car coming out to the beach for the long weekend. Tourists are needed and welcome - by the small businesses. Not by those trying to go somewhere to get something done. We decided to go back home the long, non-highway route and had a lovely drive.

Today we forgot our discovery of yesterday - tourists - and wanted to get out of the house for a while. We headed towards Newport and got as far as South Beach before coming to a standstill. We growled at ourselves, did a turnabout, and raced back home.

BUT - in Seal Rock, there was the neatest little man selling bird houses and bird feeders that he makes. I bought a couple - reasonable and SO well made (pictures to follow in another post). We enjoyed our visit with him more than anything. I am going to give him the seasoned planks from the wheelchair ramp that are still usable. He is going to give me a couple free birdhouses for the trade. Barter! Gotta love it. I'm happy the boards will go to a craftsman and happy to get more birdhouse. I was planning on making a few. They would NOT have been as nice as what I am going to be getting!

Nice things have been happening. Don't know why I've been fighting depression all day. I know I cycle moods. I have moments of "okay-ness." Even bright sunburst moments. But I keep sliding down this slippery slope of...I don't know what. It is what the majority of my past couple of days have been made of. It doesn't mire me down - but it's just always "there."

What it reminds me of is hiking along a river, when I was on BYU Survival. A river doesn't run straight; it meanders. It forms sand bars. then the river speed picks up - it carries the sand and particles along with it's flow. There is a formula that allows you compute the load water can carry based on it's velocity.

(Anything that that can be computed is science. Science is based on eternal principles. I have learned that sometimes physical laws have spiritual significance. So - I think there is an eternal principle I haven't "gotten" yet. I have the physical model - the walk along the Dirty Devil River in southern Utah. I keep having this memory come back up in my life. Over and over. It was a VERY difficult day for me. VERY. To that point in my life, it was the worst day I ever walked through. There were many lessons. I'm still working on this one.)

So - when water velocity decreases, the "load" it is carrying starts falling out of the current. Larger pieces first, depositing into what becomes a sand bar. When you walk a river canyon, you don't walk the way the water flows. We plot a straight path through, usually, because it is shorter and more direct. Plotting that path takes you up and down these sand bars. You cross the river - walk across the sand bar, go into and out of the water again, walk across another sand bar - and so on and so on. My legs got so-o-o sore that day.

Did I mention that sand bars are made of sand?? Loose sand. Not the packed kind down the ocean where the waves come in and out. The loose kind you have to walk across to GET to where it;s nice and wet and packed and easy to walk on. And your boots are wet because you just came out of the water - hello! So the sand sticks to your boots, AND your pant legs, and socks.... getting the picture? Nasty!

After about the fourth or fifth crossing, the boots aren't keeping the water out of themselves anymore. Your boots starts "taking on"water, making them heavier. Your socks are soaked. You can feel the water sloshing around inside a place it was never meant to be. I repeat - NASTY!

I looked ahead, down the canyon. All I could see was MORE canyon. Another bend just ahead. I couldn't see the end - only the next bend. The walls of the canyon towered over our heads. I was only aware of the passing of time - and I was still stuck in something that gave me no concept of if or when I would ever get out. (Did I know it WOULD end at some point - of course. But I couldn't conceptualize it. I FELT despair. I wanted to quit. (like THAT would solve my problem!! I'd STILL be sitting in that freakin' canyon with wet feet, a tired, sore body and a lousy attitude)

Not only was I miserable - in every way possible - but that wasn't enough. I resented everyone else know, I don't know why I resented them. I was having a pity party and no one cared. No one came. I isolated myself when I needed. I think I do that a lot. And I think it comes under the sin of Pride. I made myself unpleasant to be around. Negative. Not only was the glass half empty - I was pretty ticked off at the type of glass it WAS IN!

I was a joy to be around. NOT! And only one (physical) person WAS willing to be with me. (I KNOW I had angels...) And that is another story.

But what relates to my situation now is the walking a straight line down a meandering canyon. The sandbars discouraged me. Some were quite large. Some were covered with thickets that you had to walk through without getting hit in the face by the branches. Some were short. Straight up and right back down. But I feel THAT the same way about my daily situation here as I did back then.

I remember looking down that canyon and just DREADING the next crossing. And some mornings I feel the same way about going downstairs. I can't see the end of the canyon. I FEEL like if I KNEW what day this would be over, I could manage. But - it's NOT going to be over...and I'm having a hard time ...

I think it's time to go back on anti-depressive medication. Life isn't getting LESS depressing....

Under Construction

Samara sent me some beads - and what I love about having someone else pick out beads is that is expands my imagination. I would never have had the nerve to buy one of the pendants - but she sent me two. This darker one...

( And this is what I came up with for the earrings - to go with it...)

This is my favorite - I think it must be a fire agate. I found some smaller beads that went so well with it...

And these are the earring I made:

These were the result of components I cannibalized from some other projects -

These also - they are a deep teal with silver. I need to work on how I can represent them by pictures better....

I tried some bracelets with the natural beads I have had for a while. I got them in a "grab-bag" purchase at Salvation Army. Has to be a way to use them...

I used the "tube-type" in the "right angle" stitch and actually like the result. Mixing them with round beads wasn't too bad!

So - Samara - there is your preview into your next package. I think you will like what I found to go with your beads.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Earrings, Earrings

I have tried a few new things in my beading. Feel a little more confident in my choices and colors, so haven't posted much about them. I've started making earrings - as both Chrissy and Samara both asked me to. They like earrings. I never wear them, so had no internal gauge of what looked good. This don't. But the girls have liked what I've sent them so far. So - here's the latest:

this one reminds me of my bead people!

This shot doesn't show the true color of the hanging bead.

So I tried to get it in the sunlight. it is kind of like a tiger's eyes gem stone. It isn't as dark as it looks in the first shot. The lower beads are a faceted, dark amber and has some silver on them. Cool.

This one if my favorite. I think it looks rather Victorian/romantic. Again, the lighting was dark - so I tried again.

This color is more accurate, but I couldn't get it hanging - which I think is a better shot.

And these are "Chrissy" earrings - she loves dragonflies. I'm looking for a good turtle bead for Samara. Maybe an angel earring? the shop in Nye Beach DOES have angel wings like the dragonfly ones.

Maybe take the one that reminds me of the "bead people" and add the silver wings? Tom wanted to share the picture that he got from Samara for Father's Day. She had gone to New York and got to walk right by the Dakota, where John Lennon lived with Yoko and Sean. It was where he was killed. She found a vendor selling this:

Anyone who knows Tom knows he loves John Lennon. She had quite an adventure actually getting the picture home to mail to him. (It took two trips....ask her sometime.)
Lennon has been the subject of several gifts between tom and Samara. She made a charcoal/?pencil? drawing of him for Christmas one year, which he loved. And another gift was the word "Imagine" written in large stencil form. Within each letter, she wrote the lyrics of the song in small script.

He mentioned that he wished he could go there sometime - see the Dakota and Strawberry Fields area of Central Park. So - now we are planning to go to see Matt & Samara in Philly at the end of August - and do some sightseeing of our own!

Got Flowers!!

In honor of "Wife's Day," Tom got me flowers! I told him there wasn't any wife's day and he said there should be - lol! So, I said there wasn't any "husband's day," and he shared that EVERY day is Husband's Day!!
What I loved is that the florist tried to sell him roses. I don't really like roses and Tom actually knew that! He told her was more a "daisies and wild flowers person!" How cool is that! I feel LOVED!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Today was the longest day of the year.

I have a different reaction to this than most people. Know what this means to me???


I live for March 21st (the Spring Equinox), when the day start getting longer! I rejoice in the months between March and June!! I treasure and obsess over the days between June and September as the days dwindle down to the equal length of daylight and darkness. The Fall Equinox brings out my depression big time.

The Pacific Northwest has very diminished sun exposure in the fall and winter. It has grown to be an issue for me. I start dreading the darkness from this time of year. Crazy I know. But true. I don't mind the rain as much as I mind the darkness. Have to plan ahead to have coping skills in place.

From our position on the coast, we can actually track the movement of the sun from June until December. This time of year - the sun sets to the north of us. It will start moving south again until September, when it will be directly west of us. In December it will be setting to the south of us. Interesting to watch.

Maybe I will have to build my OWN version of Stonehenge! Have landmarks to mark it's progress across the yard!! Druids! where are you???

Summer Flowers!!

Gardening has become very important to me. I love my flowers! I think it is the opposite of what is occurring IN the house. I love watching them grow - day by day. Expand and blossom. It's just the best thing. It's something I can contribute to, something I can help.

Tom told me about this planter on one his trips to Wal-Mart. next time I went, I found one and bought it. I think I actually over-filled it - almost too many plants.... A cup of color and fragrance...

I attached a hanger I found in the garage to the deck rail. Turns out to be a good placement. The railing helps block the wind a little.

Found this at Wal-Mart too. I didn't want to place a box ON the rail, but the basket hangs over and the attaching hooks can be tightened to clasp tightly onto the rail. I bought some spreading petunias, and I think they will creep all over the rail and down the front of the basket before they are done! Next year I will get at least three more!

I am a big petunia fan! Simple little flowers - but I love how they spread and how fragrant they are! It's cool enough here that they will last until frost.

Another petunia pot - just another color. These are white - with a pink blush in the center. So pretty! You can see the dead bulbs in the pots on the deck. I have since dug them up and gotten they ready for another planting when October comes around. I'm hoping it will into a dedicated bulb bed by then.

This is the view from the second floor.

I've never gotten to plan the landscaping anywhere before. I'm looking forward to seeing the front yard look pretty again, like it did when my dad was alive. Having a home I am proud of is an old issue with me. I want it to feel like a home.

Front Yard changes

I took this picture back in April before we starting making changes. You can see the wheelchair ramp coming out from around the back of the house. We found it had dry rot and needed to be removed.

Our house faces west. There is a small grove of coastal pines between us and the road. We had the dead limbs trimmed up and tops trimmed last year, so they look very manicured now. I'm trying to create a little "glade" under there. Raking the pine needles is a never ending task!

There are overgrown flower beds on the north side of the driveway. My folks planted juniper in there - and it just took over. I HATE ground juniper. It killed the heather and everything else. It is like the cancer of ground cover! We took a chain saw and attacked the lower flower bed last summer. The top one is still a mess.

During May I started buying plants and planting. I have made several "color bowls" to put up on the deck by the kitchen window. That is where Mom spends most of her day and it gives her something to enjoy. This is what I did to the south side of the driveway. After I raked the needles enough - I discovered another flower bed! Who knew???

The second morning after planting them, I went out to water them and found THREE ground squirrel burrows had been dug right up in the middle of the plants. They had snacked on the petunias. Guess they thought I had created a buffet bar for them! Luckily - the petunia's weren't to their taste. They haven't eaten them all yet. Never touched the begonias...

We hired a couple to work on the yard when they have time. They have removed the wheelchair ramp and done a great job. They removed all the nails and stacked the still usable lumber on the side of the house. Now we have the material to do some shelves in the garage and to build a wood rack outside.
I wish my able-bodied sons-in-law lived closer and could help me with the yard. I really hope that I CAN get it finished this summer. I plan on building a tiered flower bed and using that for my bulbs this fall.
So many projects...sigh. Wish I was twenty years younger.