Saturday, February 28, 2009


When we moved into my Mom's house, I gave my granddaughter my collection of beads. I figured I wouldn't have the time or space to play with them. She said then, "You like beads don't you, Grandma?" Yep. I do. And I haven't given them up. Here is my current collection:

This is my most expensive project - I made it for myself. Jade and polished jasper. Jade because I like the color. Jasper because I like rocks! And it reminded me of Utah and Survival. We used jasper as our flint in making flint and steel fires. I have several pieces I collected while living in Hanksville, UT.

I love the translucent quality.

Here are my leftovers from prior necklaces. Too pretty to discard. I'll find a way to use them.

I put these together and will make my next projects of of these. I like seed beads - I grew up in the 60's, remember. Love beads. I like to mix other beads with them. I want to find some juniper berries. Another Survival memory. They called them ghost beads and they are in a lot of Native American jewelry.

Here are my latest necklaces.

I have finished two lap-size afghans as well. (It's a sickness....)

That's not all I have been up to, either. I have been working on the quiet book again. I'm creating my own pages, based on the Book of Mormon. I'll post on that later. I want to do a quiet book with a gospel focus.

Bulb Update.

I got Mom an azalea for Valentine's Day. I wanted something we could keep and use for color out on the deck. It's really small but if we re-pot it I'm hoping it will be the ones we left in Tidewater. I can control the soil's pH in a pot better than I could if it were in the sand.

Nature out performed my planted bulbs - of course! These came up unexpectedly. I am going to make the spot and add to them for next spring, now that I know they WILL come up.

These are daffodils.

grape hyacinth

And the short-lived crocus - I LOVE their color!

As for my efforts in the fall, I'm so excited how they are turning out!
I planted tulips and daffodils together in this big tub.

This is my strawberry pot. I put hyacinths in the top and crocus in the little cup openings.

More daffodils and hyacinths!

The pink one is already blooming. You can see the colors on the other buds. they look like little pineapples in the center of their leaves. What I like about hyacinths is that they have a sweet fragrance.

This is one of those entries where I feel silly writing it, except that I am doing it for me. I am so "into" this project. I was soooo depressed when I planted them. It was an exercise in delayed gratification. And it has been sooo worth while. And I'm not talking about just the bulbs becoming flowers.
There are things we do that we never know why. Things that seems to have no "pay-off" as we are in the midst of doing them. The project of planting them actually WAS fun for me. (unlike some of the routine day-to-day things we have to do)
It was an amazingly beautiful day. I thought it would be a good project for my mom. She chose not to participate. It turned out it was for me after all. I had a glimpse in my mind of what was possible. I knew what I wanted for spring. I exercised faith in that goal. I'm enjoying my reward.

"MY Peace I Give Unto You..."

I find that I AM "getting a life." It's not very exciting, but it is my own. After 9 months of living with my mom, we are falling into a routine, of sorts. It's different than everything from before, but I am finally starting to feel "at home" at times. Some things just take me a while to adjust to. I am finding time for myself without feeling guilty.

A big part, for me, was admitting that I needed help sorting out all the feelings and pressures of the hand I have been dealt. I went to an Alzheimer's care giver support group which gave me much info. Gave me a map of the new landscape in th world I find myself living. Helpful, but not enough in the long run. As stress started attacking MY body and I started having physical symptoms as well as emotional overload, my good doctor suggested counciling. It's not like it is someting I have never done. Heck, I've spent a good portion of my adult life talking to SOME one about one traumatic event or another in my life. (Thank God) It wasn't a big step to say yes.
Enter the light at the end of the tunnel. Talking to this woman has been the best part of my life the last three months. She helps me see what I am dealing with in this bazarre relationship I have with my mom. She helps me define what is mine and what deserves to be left in the responsibility of others. This spring seems particularly significant for me. A re-birth. The fear just isn't there - which seems strange considering the events and economic conditions that surround us. I am peaceful.

John 14:27 - 27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I'm there.

It's quite unusual for me to feel this way, but here I am. And I count it to the Lord. I'm doing what I need to be doing. It's even okay that there are days when I rail and complain. It's part of the process. I have a lot of grief. This is my path.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Psycho Says Hi

Psycho has been almost friendly to me since I started staying home.

He sit quietly under his cover in the mornings, until he hears my voice talking to Tom. Then he starts making noises. I have started uncovering him in the mornings. I fold the cover and open his cage. Then I get him a Cheezit cracker. He loves them. He knows the box when we take it out of the cupboard. He sees the red box and he starts hopping all over and chirping. We stick it into his seed dish and he hops right down and starts chowing down.

We have made some changes in the room. We got a good tax return and it arrived in time for a special customer appreciation sale at the local furniture store. We got a great deal on two new recliners. I got Tom one when we were living in Hermiston, but I have never had my own chair before.

Here's what it looked like in the store:

Mine is leather and a little darker than I would have picked out myself, but I LOVE it. It is so comfy! Both have nice firm seats and are set up a higher off the floor than his old one. Makes it easier to get out of. Mine rocks as well. I would have liked to get a swivel-rocker-recliner, but am very happy with it being a rocker. It's perfect for me.

We got free delivery and they hauled off our old sofa bed for free as well. Here's what Tom's looks like:

He lost his little compartments in the arms and all the goodies, but it's a much nicer chair structure-wise. When he sits in it, his feet barely touch the floor! It's huge. And SOOO comfortable!

We did some re-arranging and like the new set up. We still have our office area, but we stacked the bookcases and moved my craft boxes over by the window by my side of the bed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Preparedness Note

We have a new food storage/preparedness representative in our branch. She is the same lady who taught my mom the temple prep classes. I'm totally impressed with her and she has hit the ground running in getting us excited about preparedness again. (Our previous leader was totally inspired to get us all organized before the big winter storm December of 2007. During that one, we had hurricane force winds and power outages for three days. I mean the entire area was down, including the whole City of Newport.

She passed out some information that I am going to pass on. She brought it to our attention that the Church has set up a web page giving directions on how to prepare for the possibility of an avian flu pandemic. I haven't given much to attention to the media coverage of this, but when the church starts telling us things that we should do to prepare....well....

There something we are going to ordering, as a branch, that I thought was worth passing on, as well. She has found a stove that seems to be a great idea - and it is environmentally friendly! It burns both wood and charcoal VERY efficiently. AND it isn't very expensive.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Have a Request

I know we are all busy. (Well - YOU are all busy - Tom and I float along wondering what will come up next...)

BUT keeping family contact up is important. My kids need to know that Tom checks your blogs almost every day. (I do too - ) It has been weeks (months in SOME cases) since you have updated. Your dear old, excitement-deprived parents LOVE reading your blogs. It doesn't have to be full of pictures, or earth-shaking news. We just like to "feel" like we are in touch.

Tom REALLY likes reading the blogs better than Facebook. I am seriously addicted to Facebook - it's embarrassing to admit. I waste way too much time with the games and all the distraction it affords. But I miss reading your entries and feeling your personalities. Even a few sentences. We enjoy even the most mundane things. You don't have to be profound.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day...

And it was Friday the 13th!!

No problems here. Maybe we are immune - still floating on our being an eternal family cloud. Things just FEEL different. Can't explain how - just that it does. There is a sense of ....peace. Way cool.

Today we got our tax refunds - both state and federal. We made a trip into Newport and got new tires on the Altima. (The back two were bald...) With two cars now, we don't have to use it as much and so have just been waiting for our tax refund. We had lunch out together, which is always fun. It was a beautiful day again. This winter has been quite unusually pretty. More breaks between the storms. The valley cities and metro Portland haven't had the same good fortune. Another blessing of being on the coast.

Tom is planning a trip to California next month, for any of you that haven't heard the news yet. He's going to see family and friends (include In & Out Burgers, Pinnacle Peak's, Molly's Cafe and Taco Joe's in his itinerary). Shall we say he WON'T be watching WW points for THIS vacation???

Molly's was the first "our place." He used to bring me breakfasts from there when we first started being interested in each other. It's located right across the street from the San Bernardino court house. It celebrates the Route 66 mystic. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. Amazing food. I LOVE their hash browns. Never seen found another place that makes better. They are my standard for judging anyone else's.

I've made trips away while he stayed home with my mom - most notably when I went to Utah to see Briggs. The only weekend that worked was Tom's birthday weekend. I went and have paid the price ever since! He would NEVER leave me home along on MY birthday.....sigh. So - this is his little mental hygiene vacation. Getting out of Waldport and my mom's house. He hasn't been down since before his mom passed away. This time he will have his own car and time to travel around and hit all of his old stomping grounds. He will get to spend time with his buddies at the county yard. I"m really excited for him. He deserves this.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

January Was Busy!

The end of January was PACKED with events and I've been tardy in updating my blog - like my family in UTAH!! so - here it goes!

We had a whirlwind visit from Matt "Octane" Wright. He had contacts to meet for his job and worked in getting to build me a new computer! It's SO amazingly fast, I can hardly believe it. I now can play any game I want on it - probably WHY it has taken me so long to update....

He also single-handedly took out the non-working stair lift we have been frustrated with since we moved in. What a bear of a job! But now the stairway is unobstructed!

While he was here, my mom and Tom got their patriarchal blessings. That was really a neat experience. My mom was quite impressed and was really excited to get the written copy so she could re-read it.

Matt left the morning of the 27th and we dropped him off at the airport on the way to the Portland Temple, so that my mom could take out her endowments. I had been worried about how it would go, with her memory problems; but with the wonderful temple workers help it turned out just fine.

This is a shot from the atrium, looking into the lobby area of the temple. It looked so beautiful!

Ericka was able to come in the session with us because Jared watched the kids for her. I was SO grateful to have her there. I was so nervous about my mom's reactions and attitude that having someone there as back-up relieved me. The couple who taught my mom the temple preparation classes also came to go through with her. It was really wonderful.

The 28th was Ericka's birthday! We celebrated with her while we were up the weekend before. I'm not sure it was a "happy" birthday - there were a lot of holes in our plans. I was balancing a lot of things and dropped quite a few...including doing a birthday post for her. But I DID get a cake....but it wasn't angel food...

Friday the 30th, we made another trip up to Portland. Samara and Scott and David and Jill were coming in on the same flight! We had a good visit catching up and getting ready for Saturday. \

Finally our big day arrived and we went to the temple early - WAY early. I guess that is pretty uncommon because no one there knew quite what to do with us. The entry desk was so surprised that they didn't even mark us off the list as having arrived. (Which scared all our guests later as they arrived.) Ericka and Jared were the first ones there for our sealing, and the temple workers thought THEY were the Archers! So the Skinners started wondering what could have happened and tried calling us to see where we were. Of course, our phones were off - we were in the TEMPLE! So there was a flurry of confusion and concern going on, of which we were totally unknowing.

We were asked to wait in the inside lobby area, as our escorts were still busy with another assignment. We WERE early. So, we sat and waited until a worker came with our file and took us into the records room to make sure all the paperwork was correct. We were doing four sealing that day and there were a lot of papers. We had talked to no less than three different people before going in the record room - but none of them passed on the information that we had arrived and were working on our paper work to our guest and escorts when they arrived. The concern and confusion continued outside our quiet little office.

Tom, as the time went on, felt the call of nature and excused himself to find a bathroom. He found a lot more than that outside the door. He was grabbed and questioned and all HE wanted to do was get to the latrine. Questions were answered. We were each escorted by our own little temple worker and things progressed. Before we could go into the sealing room, it was noticed that we hadn't been given our little yellow name tags that said who we were and that we were being sealed. I guess that is a big thing. They called the supervisor of the temple workers and she questioned us and made the trip back to the recording office to retrieve the yellow tags.

Coming back, she pinned them on for us and commented on the pile of paperwork we had left in our wake. I told her, "We don't do ANY thing easy. Sorry it rubbed off on you!" We then were able to take care of what needed to be done before going into the sealing room.

We walked in and there were all our family and friends. Samara was Tom's mother, which was neat. I had my mom there. It was so neat to sit and look at their smiling faces. He took such tender care of me as he walked me to the alter and helped me get on my knees. When we knelt across the alter from each other, it was amazing. We had waited so long for that. We just kept looking into each other's eyes and everything else seemed to melt away. We both had tears in our eyes by the end.

Then we had my mom sealed to my step-dad. Tom acted as proxy for my Poppo. The poor little sealer got confused with the names and had Tom as the one who was dead. He almost sealed Tom to my mom! Several of us said "No!" before it was too late. He realized his mistake and completed the sealing correctly. It was quite a day!

Then I was able to be sealed to my mom and Poppo. That was a lot more emotional for me than I thought it would be. It was the neatest thing. I had wanted to have "born in the covenant" on my children's records. It was just something that was really important to me. I wanted that blessing for them. And hearing the blessing that go with the sealing were just overwhelming for me. Suddenly I HAD those blessing for myself! I hadn't considered that and hadn't listened to the words before. They were to my very heart. It was such a wonderful feeling and moment.

Then Poppo was sealed to his parents. Quite a day.