Thursday, December 31, 2020

Word for 2021

 On New Year's Eve in 2019, I reflected on my word (Dream) and thought about where I wanted to go in 2020. I spent the year 2019 dreaming - and boy did I dream. So many things I want to do. So the appropriate word for 2020 seemed to be motivation. I needed motivation to make those dreams happen. 

Here's how I started 2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice at 2:02 a.m. PST. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. The solstice occurs when one the Earth's pole's maximum tilt is away from the sun. For the Northern Hemisphere, this happens in December and in the southern hemisphere it occurs in June. So for the U.S. (where I live), the winter solstice occurs in the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

 It is the first day of Winter. And to add to the excitement, tomorrow at sunset the "Christmas Star" will be visible!

Thursday, December 3, 2020


 Every year, thanks to my friend Terri, I choose a word to focus on for the year. Then, as the year comes to a close, I focus on how that word impacted my life. Well, last year I chose Motivation. Motivation - the reason we have for behaving in a particular way or a willingness to get something done.

When I chose that word, I thought it would spur me into fulfilling directions - making dreams happen. But that isn't what happened.

The end of December my husband got really sick. As we moved into January things got worse, and continued to get worse. And then covid struck. The world as we knew it was turned upside down and inside out. As I think about all the events, the word that comes to mind is purge.

I purged my house. We took loads upon loads of boxes to the local thrift store.

I purged my yard. We finally tackled the ominous task of getting rid of English ivy and bamboo. A job I thought would be far simpler than it was.

I purged relationships. As tensions rose with the uncertainty, who we are showed itself. I lost friend who stabbed me in the back - I stepped away from a long term, toxic friendship - a relationship with no respect for differences and no interest in understanding.

And it hurt deeply. One I chose to move on from, others decided to move away from me. It's hard to understand why some people would rather be someone different to your face than when you are around. It makes me wonder what their "motivation" is.

Purging means getting rid of things that are unclean or undesirable. It means to purify or clear. So 2020 was really not motivation, it was purge. But purge taught me about my own motivation.

Why do I procrastinate? I know something needs to be done, but I find excuses not to do them. Why do I pursue those friendships that closed on me? Why do I want so desperately to stay friends with someone who's motivation is clearly self-serving?

That's when I started thinking about motivation. What is my motivation. I want my home to be inviting, but I don't know how to give myself permission to rest - So I try to do it all at once and burn out. Procrastinate. Why do I pursue friendships that have clearly ended? I want to be liked. I want people to understand me.

And so I am thinking about my word for 2021. So much has changed this last year. I think 2021 will be a year of rediscovery. A year of redirection. A year of transformation and balance. A year of harmony.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Childhood Cancer

 Childhood cancer has to be the most horrible thing to have to endure. There have been several children in my life that have been afflicted and their families have had to deal with so many different and difficult things. The thought that their child might die. The skyrocketing costs of medical treatment. The feeling of isolation in coping. And in this lonely year of covid, all those things are multiplied. 

More than 70% of children with cancer survive, but the toll on the family can be devastating. Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance is an organization that is dedicated to supporting families dealing all the confusing facets of the journey. 

On this Tuesday, the annual day of giving, I am asking anyone who can to donate $5 to help support these families. It is one very small way we can help. We've set up a donation event on Facebook and invite you to stop by - Candle Lighters for Children with Cancer Fundraiser on our page. 

Please let me thank you in advance - on behalf of all the families that have been helped by this amazing organization. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

As We Wait

 I imagine you, like most of the country and me, are watching the news intently waiting to see who the next president will be. And I'm worried about how people will behave.

 President Trump has encourage his followers to be aggressive and intimidating. And it continues. The crowds that have gathered around polling places with weapons accusing the ballot counters of cheating for Biden. The president sits in his resident tweeting falsehoods to spur the unrest and a winner hasn't even been called yet! But the fact is, whoever wins, it is the voice of the people. That's why we vote. Isn't that what Trump supporters said when he won four years ago? And he didn't even have the the popular vote! 

And nothing is happening here that has not happened in the past. It was speculated all along that he would lose and contest it. His son stood outside the polls and stated, "they are stealing the election from us". I think they think to highly of themselves to think that the US government would go to such extremes and violate it's own laws and values to "steal" an election. 

Mail in voting is not fraught with abuse. In Oregon we have been voting exclusively by mail for twenty years. There have been 38 convictions for voter fraud out of more than 60 MILLION ballots. 

But Trumps rhetoric has put his followers into a fury and are blaming the process and calling it a trick by the "dems". He said "the fraud and abuse will be an embarrassment to our country". Trump tweeted "STOP THE COUNTING" to which the Italian Prime Minister tweeted back, "IT'S CALLED DEMOCRACY". Who is the embarrassment?

The only thing different with this year's election is the volume of mail in ballots due to the pandemic that continues to kill hundreds of Americans every day. Another bone of contention to so many. 

It's time for us all to come together and start thinking about each other, not just ourselves. It's time to realize the mask doesn't infringe on your civil liberties any more than wearing a seat belt or bike helmet does. It's time to remember the person you might be exposing is someone's grandmother or your own parents or sisters or brothers. 

It's time to let go of the nonsensical conspiracy theories and start treating each other like ONE nation! 

Come on America - we're better than this!

Note: Respectful comments are welcome. Any disrespect towards either party will be deleted. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I Challenge you to Entertain

 I am saddened and confused at how some people place politics above relationships. Their actions say, If you don't believe like me, then you're an idiot and I can't be kind or respect you. 

I recently saw the end to a fifty year friendship over politics. And it makes me sad, but also somewhat relieved. Let me give you some background - see if maybe you can relate. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Fall is in the Air

 This has certainly been a strange year. Winter moved quietly into Spring and Spring blended it's self into the early days of Summer. We've dealt with unusually high temperatures, little rain (for the Pacific Northwest), horrible fires and, of course, the pandemic. But today as I look out my window I see Fall. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fire! Are You Ready for an Emergency?

 This has been a year for the record books. As we try to deal with the pandemic, staying on top of all the finances. We're in the process of refinancing our house and now fires. 

Last Monday we had heavy winds in Oregon. We had a rather large tree branch fall into our front pond - big enough to need to be cut before we could move it. There are branches and grapes all over our backyard. 

And then there are the fires. Those heavy winds fuel existing wild fires and turned them into an almost apocalyptic scene. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Time Waits for No One

 I've been thinking a lot about getting older and being closer to the end of the journey than the beginning. My husband is 11 years older than me and I think about what he must be pondering. Time seems to have passed so quickly. 

I just read an article on the Geo-Punk Project, What kind of ancestor do you want to become? I never considered that I will, someday, be someone's ancestor. Will they know who I am? What did I leave in my wake? What will my legacy be?

I have no children I birthed. I don't know if my step-children will consider me in their family legacy. I hope so. But what is it that I want to be remembered for? 

I've spent some time thinking about this. I want to be remembered as someone who cared. My family and the people around me matter. I hope that throughout my life I've demonstrated that. But I also want to be someone who allows myself to have my own thoughts and values and doesn't allow others to devalue or shame those ideals. I want to set the example for my children and grand-children and great-grandchildren, that it's not only OK to stand up for yourself, it's sometimes necessary. But I also want to be the example of how to disagree with respect. 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Where did the Time Go?

 It's been awhile. I can't believe I haven't written anything for awhile. I'm still in captivity. My husband has serious respiratory problems and his doctor has said I need to stay sheltering in place. He's my world so I'm following directions to keep him safe. 

I've spent the last few months trying to reclaim our yard. The previous owners planted ivy and bamboo, two incredibly invasive plants. Fast forward twenty years and our yard was nothing but bamboo and ivy. We have two ponds that were connected by a creek that was totally surrounded by bamboo and it leaked! It's time to go!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

National Gardening Exercise Day

I think they have a day for everything! Here's one the combines a workout with gardening (as if gardening is a passive activity!). The idea here is add a little workout to your gardening chores. Add a few squats before you get down to pull the weeds. Stretch up and then touch your toes when you're getting ready to dig with that shovel. It's that simple.

Monday, May 18, 2020

World Plant a Veggie Garden Day

Tomorrow is World Plant a Veggie Garden Day - I'm not sure who comes up with these "days" but they are fun. I've been wanting to put in some raised beds and grow some veggies for years! But time has eluded me and our yard decided to take on a mind of it's own!

Enter Captivity.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Eating in Captivity

How many of you have gained weight over the last month or two? Well I certainly have! I gained back ALL the weight I lost in January and February. I need to give my little ten pound loss token back!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Nature Time

Today is Arbor day and Wednesday was Earth day - And this crazy time we're living in has been good for the earth. And it's been good for me.

I've spent a lot of time outside trying to reclaim my yard. We have a 1/4 acre of what we've lovingly always referred to as controlled over growth. And then my husband got sick and couldn't work it. Now it's just overgrowth. Well I want it back.

If you look at the whole thing, it's so overwhelming. We started last year with help from our grandson, our neighbors, and some great high school students. They helped clear out the berries and some of the bamboo. But this year, some of those berries thought they were coming back. Ha!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

National Dandelion Day - Make a Wish

Today is National Dandelion day. It's supposed to be a day to educate people on the qualities of these bright flowers outside the scope of lawn weeds. They are edible, full of vitamins and minerals - and have medicinal properties too. But when I see a dandelion, especially when it's gone to seed, I see a wish. A childhood memory. Something that goes far deeper than vitamins.

These unpredictable times of what our futures will hold and what each day will bring, it is more important than ever to hold on to some magic. 

I've been using this time in captivity to clean some things around the house. get caught up on my blogs and to reflect on what I want from the rest of my life. There are so many things I could choose. I want to retire soon - I want to write a book - I want to take more time for myself. And more than anything, I want to remember that anything is possible. That family is everything. And that life is what we make of it.

So grab yourself a dandelion today. Make a wish - then believe in the magic and make it happen.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Are We Living in a Suspense Novel? COVID-19 and Life as We Know it.

It's pretty scary times right now. The world is shutting down and many are dying. So many people don't seem to want to take it seriously. "It's just the flu". My friend in Italy, two weeks ago said just that. He's changed his thinking now. This is a very dark time in our history.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Who is Marie Kondo (a late exploration of the concept)

Who remembers Marie Kondo? I kept hearing about this woman and her "organizing method". I haven't heard much lately, but I decided to look her up.

The KonMari method of organizing looks at categories, not rooms. Hmmm.

I'm intrigued. I'm working on some organizing right now. So I decided to, finally, see what this is all about.

Friday, February 14, 2020

What is Valentine's Day

I remember as a kid, I loved Valentine's day. At school we made special boxes and everyone brought Valentine's for their classmates. But even then, there was an air of "I have someone and you don't". Remember the boy you had a crush on? He gave the snooty girl in class the best Valentine and the candy heart that said, "love" and "love bug", and you got the one that was blank? I remember that. It sort of hurt.

As an adult, my husband and I have had fun with the day. But never, ever did we expect diamonds or rolexes. And we always show each other we care in many different ways every day. Our anniversary was that special day to celebrate our love. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

It's Oscar Night!

Tonight is the 92cnd Academy Awards show! 

I remember as a kid watching the awards show with my mom. We got our TV trays and our TV dinner and loved to see what the celebrities were wearing and make our predictions of who would win and who wouldn't.

I was obsessed with old movies and the glamour of the night. I went to the library and scoured books, collected pictures -

and the night of the awards was full of excitement!

Times were different then. Celebrities flaunted their beauty and style

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Spouses Day

After re-reading my last post, it seems appropriate that today is spouse's day.

My husband started to get sick on Christmas Eve and continued to go downhill until January 13. We were in the emergency room, urgent care, getting EKGs and multiple lab tests. He was so bad he could barely tie his shoes.

Now let me give you a little history on my spouse - the love of my life. He has been a functioning alcoholic for many years. He knew his health was at risk but all the tests on his liver showed minimal damage. What he didn't want to hear was other organs are being damaged as well - including his brain.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Bring it on 2020!

Each year I chose a word to focus on. At the end of the year I reflect on things that of done or experienced and how my word fit into it all. 

2019 Word was -  Dream to consider, imagine, a possibility