January 19th, 2019

The Barn
The Barn

Today in North Idaho it is overcast with a high of 40°.  The attached photo is of an old barn that has been remodeled on the interior and is rented out for various uses.  I have been attended a wedding at this venue myself and that memory is most beloved.

I have taken many photos of this barn over the years.  However, this photo draws me in because at first glance it is cold, shaded and lacks detail. The air is chilly and still on this quiet morning while the world yawns and stretches getting ready for the day.  The snow appears crusted and the trees are sleeping that deep winter sleep.  Still my heart knows the grass beneath that snowy crust will be green and lush with children running here and there having gladly lost their shoes and socks.  The tress will be full and provide much needed shade from the summer heat.  The sun will shine high and warmly light all of the shadows and highlight the rustic architecture that brings so many people here to celebrate one of the most remembered moments in their lives.  Music, laughter and love live in this barn lying dormant until its doors are opened again.  I adore everything about these truths and how that speaks to my own heart.

The New Year has brought great change in my life.  My divorce papers signed makes a long and exhausting chapter shut.  And I find myself examining how I got here but not in this moment so much as how I have survived pain and abandonment in my life.  And this is what comes to me sharp, strong and with no little amount of fortitude:

Stand Up
Spread Your Feet
Stick Your Stance
Stand Your Ground
Shut The Door to Pain
Move Forward with Joy
Make Your Own Path
Be Better, More Determined, Stronger

When I look back I cherry pick how I got up instead of how I fell.  I try not to focus on who pushed me down, how I held myself down or failure.  I draw strength from overcoming that pain and that has become such a known characteristic of who I am as a person that I can move past negativity in its many forms.  Is it ever easy?  Am I moving forward at break neck speed?  Not at all.  But there is something about knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel that I can count on even when I’m in the middle of chaos and needing to reinvent myself.  There is joy there too!  I have such a great capacity for joy.  That great capacity coupled with the skill to evolve from the ashes is like magic!

So today I ask you to take a moment and recognize your own skills.  Know your own brand of magic and draw strength from it.  Brighten the winters in your life with the knowledge of your warmest light.

November 14th, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is overcast with a high of 44°.  Bare feet fount the floors abrasive and were immediatly comforted by a warm pair of wool socks!

Yesterday I managed to remove the leaves in the front yard.  I love the large maple trees in the front yard; however, the leaves they produce are numerous!  I finally purchased a blower and now blow them into piles which makes the task of collecting them go a great deal faster!!

In preparation for winter I have collected all the hoses, lawn furniture, gardening equipment and outdoor pots and put them in the shed.  I also brought out the snowblower and shovel and placed them on the front deck.  I still need a bag of snow melt and then I”ll be finished preparing for cold weather. This is only my second year back in this home (The Nest) and I feel no small amount of pride in getting my place winter ready without help.  In general, the overall beauty of this home is that it is well within my power to care for and in fact make it more beautiful and homie.

Tomorrow I go back to work after two months off.  I am genuinly excited and looking forward to weekly continuity.  For the better part of my career life I have worked 8 to 5 with weekends off and I feel “normal” in that schedule.  This is the beginning of a new career for me after having gone back to school.  I have approximatly fifteen years before I can retire and I hope to do that in a career that I truly love and where I feel that I can be the best version of myself.   I believe I have found my place in cancer services and I feel truly blessed and grateful to wake up for work each day.

We have all had jobs where we have found ourselves feeling incomplete or unhappy in.  Some pay well and some do not but in the end it does not matter because you realize there is something else you are meant to be doing.  Some act on those feelings and some do not.  There is no way to say what is the right choice for each individual.  For me, the jounry has had its ups and downs.  I have doubted myself along the way however I kept moving forward.  I have made mistakes and conqured mountains and somehow found myself on the othere side of the original dream of obtraining a career that fills me.  I feel like every cliche I’ve ever read about following your dreams.  I feel like a warrior having returned victorious from battle.  I feel capable and whole and I’m read for whatever comes next.

Today I say to you that when you really want something in life you must do it your way and in the way you feel is necessary and correct.  Also, that your live may very well turn out in a way you did not foresee or plan for however they may turn out even better.  In the middle of your journey a road may present itself that you never had imagined and suddenly you know to the depths of your being that that road was the real reason you even started your journey.  You just didn’t know.  You had no way of knowing until you put your foot outside of your comfort zone.  Its okay to be afraid because change can be scary.  Its okay to be excited because it is also exciting.

Don’t be afraid to be afraid.  Make the best plan you can and follow your dreams.  You have one life and you should love it as much as humanly possible!!

November 5th, 2018

 

 

Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 39°.  It has been rainy for the most part but the sun makes an appearance occasionally as it is now.  I am posting a couple of pictures of a pallet photo frame I’m making.  So easy and inexpensive.  Just the way I like it!!

I have spent the last couple of weeks settling back in at home and repainting my kitchen and living room.  Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make your house feel clean and new!  I call my home The Nest.  It is the first house that I ever owned and which has been a rental for the past twelve years or so.  I moved back after my husband and I separated after twenty plus years of marriage. I could not manage the big house that we built and truly love The Nest where we raised our children and so being back in this home truly feeds my soul.  It feels like being in a place where hope and promise live and where every corner hold a memory of growth and love.

My home is located in N. Idaho just outside of a tourist town and close to walking trails, a restaurant, marina and lake. Just out of the daily hubbub in a very peaceful setting.  In fact, when my family first moved into this home our girls were very young and there were hardly any children to play with and the population was mostly comprised of elderly individuals that had lived here since they were children.  Now there is a big development right across the street from my house with million dollar waterfront homes and a flock of children playing in the streets daily.  How quickly things have change but not my little Nest!

Today I went on an Ellen binge.  Sometimes when I’m feeling unmotivated or low I’ll watch her past shows.  She makes me laugh and brings me up with her inspiring guests.  Her producer Andy had his annual scare at the haunted house last month!  He literally makes me laugh out loud and cry at the same time!  Where would this world be without Ellen Degeneres, I ask you??  She is the one person who constantly searches for ways to motivate her viewers to be better people and inspires them to love one another.  We just need to clone Ellen!  She is a real person who has a real and very public past both good and bad and has persevered with a kind heart!  Ellen is a perfect example for us all.

Tomorrow I’ll be moving into the spare bedroom and begin painting.  The weather is supposed to perk up a little and I’m hoping to collect my leaves before the snow falls.

Tomorrow I plan to leave a baggy with money in it in a random location with a note that reads “This is for you. Please enjoy this gift of kindness and don’t forget to pass on your own kindness when you can!”

Why…because someone may need warm socks…or a smile!  And because it feels good!

 

 

October 24th, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 58°.  I am packed up and back on the road today heading out of Washington and back to North Idaho!  I will be taking a scenic route off of I5 and over to 20 through the Cascades. I’m hoping the weather holds out but I might run up against some fog.

It amazes me sometimes how my perspective can so quickly become tweaked. How a simple road trip can open my eyes and expand my heart. I imagine the lives of the people living in the towns I pass through. Some homes are so remote. What do they do for a living? Did they go to college? Do they work from home? Is there WiFi in these here parts?!?!  “Mow the lawn and find a tractor.”  And then the cities and the obvious loss of connection that the smaller towns can’t help but have.  The beautiful old architecture and massive manufacturing, a zillion shops, restaurants and pubs.  Different strokes for different folks.

How did I land in North Idaho?  Those little feet kept walking, my life had the same direction that all school children had in life.  After I graduated high school I married a man nine years my senior and went to college for stenography. I had my daughter shortly before I received my state CSR license. My mother had moved to North Idaho with her third husband about a year before I passed my exam and invited us to move up too. The area was beautiful so we packed our belongings and we went. My daughter was nine months old when we started life in North Idaho.  I must have sang Somewhere Out There from An American Tail a hundred times. Her favorite song and it kept her attention on the long drive!  The move was a big change. It was a new beginning.  Life was so full of promise and I’ll never regret moving to North Idaho and raising my daughter here.

My daughter has told me several times that she had a great childhood. I can’t begin to tell you the depth of peace that brings me. If I die tomorrow!  If I did nothing worth while with my life but give my daughter a happy childhood then I’m okay with that!! That is the only thing that has ever had my feet solidly placed on the ground. Her happiness was my only true purpose.

So know your purpose and fulfill it. It may take a life time!  It may be more than one thing!  Keep your focus because in the end everything else is just noise.

October 23rd, 2018

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Pallet Birdhouse DIY

 

Today in North Idaho it is sunny and 61 and from what I understand the weather in general has been wonderful for over a week. If you are located in a place where the summer forest fires bring in thick smoke then you will appreciate a few extra weeks of nice weather at the end of the summer in a seasonal area.  The last few years our summers have been downright miserable which is extra difficult when you have only a few months to be out on the lake. It is hard on tourism and local businesses. Also there are many hard working men and women firefighters away from their families and facing danger. Crossing my fingers that next summer is better.

Today I took a moment for a little DIY birdhouse project. I love repurposing pallets and birdhouses are easy, useful and quick.  People always love getting these little birdhouses and what bird doesn’t love a sweet little home!!

Joy comes in small packages! Just the smallest amount of effort can make all the difference.  I’ll give this gift to someone who will then gift me with a smile or a hug in return.

I make my future and so can you!