Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm Home

WooHoo! I'm in!

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I'm going to go ahead and do it, just in case someone else has encountered the same problem - I forgot the email address I used to sign into this blog so I was locked out. I love this blog. I wrote about my old life in here, lots of adventures at the park with my kids and family, I found my love of photography here, I have posts that really mean something to me here, but I lost my way for a year or two and a half-ish. Now, I'd like to find my way back. I miss writing.

Here's what I've been up to, I'm in school again, although I dropped my one Summer session class today and I'm taking the Summer off of school. I am working as a merchandiser, but I also work for a temp agency which means I get to try lots of new jobs all the time. I live with a whole lot of dogs, my husband, and my youngest daughter, Sarah. 
This is my husband, John, holding two of our puppies and I'll slip Sarah in below....
This is Sarah, in my car, which is a place where we spend a lot of time, because I'm always driving her back and forth to town for some sporting event/practice/open gym. She's grown up a bit since you saw her last, I bet.

John and I have been busy in the garden (mostly him) and we are beekeeping (again, mostly him, although I go peek at those busy bees every once in awhile).  I would like to eventually use the bees as a money-maker for our family. I want to learn how to make skincare products with the honey.  I want to add more mint to my garden, because the mint honey is incredible, although blackberry honey will always be my favorite. Unless you have the bees in a large area of mint/blackberry/star thistle/etc, they honey is categorized Wildflower Honey, I believe. See one of the bees on my mother-in-law's leek flower below.

We spent part of the Spring learning how to train scent detection dogs. It was so much fun! Dogs love to sniff, as you may know, and they love treats, which is how you get them to sniff what you want them to sniff.

I haven't been running much, but I'm slowly starting back. Sarah and I took a puppy out for a long walk last night and I sprinted (if you can picture a turtle sprinting) a few times. I did have a 2 mile run the other night. I find it so hard to get a block of time free. That's honestly my biggest problem. I miss the days when I could jump on my treadmill. I'm also working  yoga back into my routine. I have an old friend that I follow on Facebook and he's turned yoga into his lifestyle. I love reading his posts and seeing his smiling photos. Yoga is good for the soul... and the aches and pains that come with middle-age.

Here's a close-up of those puppies.... dang they are cute!!

Right now, I'm waiting for John to get home so that I can go help him with a load of wood. In the meantime, I made up a batch of BBQ sauce from my canned tomatoes that I've got bubbling in the crockpot with some bear meatballs. Should be pretty good when we get home from woodcutting, if we ever get going.....

I think I'm going to start a new food blog. I will link back here, as soon as I get it up and running. Some other plans for Summer, I'm going to get my photography business (that I started way back when in Chico) going and I'm going to write a book. I have given myself until the end of December to have the book ready.  I haven't written anything more than a paper for school (or this blog post), in a long time. I hope I can remember how to do it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Literacy Blog Project

Hello to you!

I am beginning my second week of school today. No actual-school, as today is Martin Luther King, Jr day, but I have been online working with my online class. It's an Early Childhood Education class on Literacy. We have to do a semester long project and I was scared spit-less at first. I even thought about dropping the class, because this was supposed to be the semester where I eeeeeased on back into school... No. No ease. I'm jumping in and I'm jumping in big-time.

One of the possible project ideas was to start a literacy blog. Well, that's the one for me. I made some notes on what I'd like to do (Make reading more fun for kids, share ideas that will help parents make reading more fun for their kids, etc) and now I'm working on a name for the blog.

Any ideas??

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Well, we are nearing the end of 2012 and I'm not sure what to make of the year. A little good, a little bad, a whole lot unexpected...

I'm working as a teacher's aide at our local elementary school and I love it. I'm heading back to college in about 3 weeks. I haven't taken a class in about 12 years, so it will be interesting trying to get into the groove of homework, etc again.

We are living in our 5th wheel still... no sign of a house in progress across the field, oh well, eventually we will get there. Right now our little home is leaking. Lots of rain and snow - I think we need a tarp or two to protect this place better. Today is the first day I've been able to have internet here. We picked up a little wifi device and are back in business. I do love technology.

My husband got me a Kindle for Christmas. I love it!  Sarah and I are busy with free books. Excellent. :)

Bay is supposed to be on her way here, but there might be a problem with the bus. I'm not sure exactly what's going on. They sold her a ticket online, but there's no way to pick it up?? Someday I will have things back in order with my family. It's my only regret about moving here - no easy access to family.

Well, it's time to get going on my Christmas dish. Happy Holidays to you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Moving, Working, and Other Stuff

My family is moving. We are going to be living in a 5th wheel while we are putting in a more permanent residence. I'm not sure how long we will be in that 5th wheel, but it's a nice one, with a decent kitchen, a regular shower, and a couple of recliners, so we should be comfortable. It's an adventure, is what I'm telling myself.

We spent a few evenings getting our area clear of rocks and weeds - it's next to the spot where John puts in his vegetable/melon garden each year. He pulled out a part of the fence (this area was formerly known as The Arena on the ranch), which involved hooking a chain to a couple of powerpoles (used as fence posts) and yanking them out with his pickup. He loved that.

I'm going to do what I did with the apartment and make my front area as pretty as possible. I need to get down to Chico to pick up Max's tree. I look forward to planting it after all these years.  It started in a petunia pot Max's very first Spring/Summer. I kept it right outside the window from his spot in the house (a big, comfy pillow bed which really helped with his Scoliosis).  I really miss that kid. I think about him every day and sometimes out of nowhere I start crying. Grief is an odd thing, stronger than just about any emotion I've ever felt and it can literally steal my words and make me feel powerless.

I've been doing a lot of landscaping sort of work lately. I left the grocery store back in April and I spend most of my time working on a berm-type island on a ranch (never-ending weeds). I've also subbed a bit at the elementary school. I've been an aide, the school librarian, the school secretary, and my most recent job there was cafeteria cook. I've enjoyed all the jobs and I hope that someday they have a permanent place for me.  In the meantime I keep looking, trying new things out. I spent 20 years doing the same thing - it's taking some time to figure out how I want to spend the next 20 years.

Also, I put a few prints up at Fine Art America. You can see my profile here.

Happy Thursday to you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January, Not What I Had Hoped For

I made a decision to start writing again. I told my writing friend, Cherie, that on Friday I would purchase a notebook and a pen. No more I-can't-get-to-the-computer excuses. Well, I didn't get the notebook - I did get the pen. I sat down and the only things I could think to write about were the death of my son and a horrible fight I had with my husband. Neither are subjects I think anyone wants to read about, but that's all I had. So, I wrote it out, then crumpled the paper and threw it in the woodstove. Does that count, does it count as a fulfilling my promise to myself when no one else ever sees the words? 

I'm not sure I've got any story ideas left in my head. I worry that the space I previously used for a creative side is now filled with endless money-making schemes. In my quest to get my head above water again (water=debt these days) I have fully squelched any creative urge I used to possess.

Oh poor me. Boo-hoo. What a baby.

My husband is home. I just I'm done for now. Not sure this counts either.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Made Soup and I Still Like Barbie

I used to be able to get writing jobs fairly easily. I was hooked up with a big network of moms and I'd just pitch things to them. Later I was hooked up to a big blog network and I just sort of spread myself around pretty well, making a little more, a little more, a little more ... and then it was gone. I've applied for 3 jobs in the last few months and no one wants me anymore. They all say they are looking for a different tone, etc. I can write in a different voice or style, but when I really think about it, I know I want to be me when I write, not some face-less writer who really isn't telling you anything. So many places don't tell you anything anymore. Have you noticed that?  Just a bunch of words strung together in a pretty fashion with no new idea or no real content. Very odd, that is. I want to learn something new either about myself or the subject or the writer. I want to connect. Is that wrong? I thought that was the whole purpose behind blogging in the first place.

In other news, I made some Chicken Soup for my sick husband  last night and it very well might be the best Chicken Soup of my life. It's all downhill from here folks, I've hit the Chicken Soup Peak. ;)  I am going to write it out and get it up at an old food blog that I started forever ago and am pretty sure I'd like to give another go. I love to cook.

I'm going to use my camera every day. Every ding dong day. I used to be that way. I got this yesterday. Tree Moss. It's pretty stuff. Robin and I used to use it in our Barbie houses when we were kids. We were Barbie-girls. I've never understood Barbie-hate. I guess it's because I realized that she was pretend and I did not want to look like her. I missed the whole Barbie ruined my self-esteem boat.  I simply thought she was fun.

Here's the moss....
This came from the bottom of the Christmas tree my husband cut down for me. Sarah and I were watching a movie, he opens the door and shoves this 12 foot tree in the door. It's now about  4 or 5 feet shorter, still not decorated, but it sure is pretty. I missed trees like this when I lived in Chico. I'll post pictures of it tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Year To Get It Right

I have spent the past year trying to figure out who I am and where I belong. I know it sounds melodramatic (whooo am I???), but my life is very definitely divided into three parts - Before Max, During Max, and After Max. He needed me and that made me feel like there was a reason that I existed. I was here for Max. Not that the girls haven't needed me, but they have always had a certain amount of do-it-herself-ness. Max needed me to do for him, because he couldn't do for himself.

I love being home, living in Northern CA again,  I love being married to John, I enjoy certain aspects of my work life (love working outside, found that I enjoy and have a little talent *my boss's words* when it comes to merchandising), but I'm broke all the time. I haven't seen my brother or my sister and their families in over a year. My grandson doesn't know me, Bay is lost and I can't help her. I never see my two best friends or my mom. I feel cut off. (There goes the melodrama again).

I need to figure out a way to work ONE job and make ends meet. Making ends meet with just a little extra would be a dream come true. (Actually that is most likely the American Dream these days...) I need to get organized (my husband's biggest complaint, hey, organize yourself, kid!) and I need to reconnect with my family and friends. I'm going to stop feeling sorry for myself and figure out what I'm going to be. I need to make a list of my strengths and weaknesses, do some research about who actually makes money in my area, and get this thing done.

I give myself a year to get it right.