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 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!

 

 

 

October 21st, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 61°. My current location is starting out foggy again but promises sun later this afternoon.  I’ll be taking a trip to Mount Rainier National Park and will fill you in on that adventure tomorrow.

Today I want to talk about witnessing my mother being abused when I was a child.  The memory that came to me today was when I was in seventh grade.  My mother wanted to go out with her girlfriends and my step father would not let her take the car.  They fought often so hearing them yelling at each other was not out of the ordinary.  Looking back it seems to me that I would catch part of the fight, the yelling, and would stop what I was doing to see if it was going to last.  Time would stop while I waited for the ultimate escalation of events. Abusive langue, the crash of something being thrown or falling over, running or doors slamming.  My young mind racing with what may be happening.  When the event continued I would find myself on my feet walking towards them.  I needed to see but felt nervous and scared as to what I would find.  This time I rounding the corner of my bedroom and standing in my doorway watched my stepfather dragging my mother by her hair over a bicycle laying in the living room that was to be her source of transportation that night.  My mother had no clothes on and some part of the bike had caught her upper thigh and ripped it open.  I could see the blood, muscle and bone, my mother crying and trying to hold her leg together.  So much blood.  Her husband screaming “look what you made me do”.

My mother looked up and saw me looking on and told me to call the police.  I was literally paralyzed.  I stood there processing this scene until her voice slowly came to my attention.  I knew I needed to get to the phone. I knew I needed to move my body.  I could almost feel the location of the phone but could not move towards it.  I could also sense the location of my step father.  He was pacing and looking at my mother and looking at me.  He looked at me and said, “Don’t you dare touch that F’ing phone!”  I feel a wet warmth on my face.  I feel my feet start to move towards the phone. I feel him yank the phone from my hand and slam it back into the holder on the wall.  I see him storm into the bedroom and slam the door and scream out to my mother, “Don’t you come back when your pussy gets hungry.”  I’m unsure about the rest of that evening.

I have had a lot of counseling in my adult years.  I was diagnosed with PTSD and began EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  In this therapy I was taught how to watch a memory happen in third person which allows me to remember but not marinate in the trauma.  I highly recommend this process to anyone who has experienced any kind of trauma in their life.  It is not a cure, and I’m sure there any many other wonderful therapies out there, but this one was a gift for me.

In my opinion, one of the worst things we can do to ourselves is to allow our childhood to negatively affect our lives as adults.  I used to hold tight to those painful memories as well as the people that hurt me as a child.  The promise was that I would wait until I was old enough, until I was no longer a hostage, to return that pain.  However, the truth is; the way to get free is; the way to win your future is; simply let go.  It is so much harder than it sounds and yet truly so simple.  I just don’t hold space for those people who broke my trust, broke my heart or broke my spirit.  They did what they did for their reasons and to an innocent child with no way to protect herself.  Shame.On.Them.

The memories I have are part of me and always will be.  More importantly they are part of my toolbox that allows me to see others in a way that is unique to me.  I can spot that pain, comfort and offer direction to heal that pain in someone else. It is a gift not a burden.  It is the way I choose to use that very emotionally expensive education to better who I am today.  I can help others exercise their nurturing memories and release what will no doubt hold them back in their adult life.  I can teach them about Frankincense.

Today started with a memory I would not have chosen for myself.  Today I shared a little part of me and that is my gift to you.

Never Stop Learning about the world or yourself!  Our education often comes in different forms, different institutions and different people.  It doesn’t end when we graduate a program or receive a degree.  Strive to be a better person today than you were yesterday.  Always keep your feet on the ground~

 

October 20th, 2018

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today in North Idaho it is sunny-ish with a high of 63°. My current location started out pretty foggy but ended up sunny and the perfect temp to go walk around town and visit shops.  You know the kind of shopping in which you buy absolutely nothing but enjoy yourself immensely by simply communicating with others and generally seeing what shopkeepers find to be the next big thing. I did find a few annual planners that I thought my daughter would like but decided I was unsure of the size she would need so I passed.  Sometimes it is nice to pass.

I find that at this point in my life I pass on a lot of things.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am a very social person and have stimulating people in my life.  I just mean that I no longer feel that I MUST participate.  I used to feel that if I didn’t join in then I would be ostracized.  I would find myself doing thing that I didn’t really enjoy year after year thinking Why Am I Doing This!?!?  Most of the time there were activities that I felt were personally unhealthy or people that I thought were unhealthy.  Unhealthy in lots of ways like they drink or smoke to much, they cheat on their spouses, they ignore or avoid their children, they look down on others and generally feel they are to good for people.  And how on earth are you a good person if you’re not in ONE of those groups.  Either your a good person or your a bad person… or are you just a person trying to figure it out!

It was just a lot of energy in the wrong direction.  So today I think long and hard before I commit to a project.  I make sure the time I’ll be giving works for my lifestyle.  I make sure I can give the project what it needs and vise versa.  I’m looking for connection and service coupled with smiles and a betterment of myself and whatever project I’ve jumped in on.  And things happen that are unexpected and that’s okay.  I’m okay with riding out the curves because nothing and no one is perfect.  I’m also okay with saying No Thank You and I Don’t Have The Extra Time.

Today take a moment to know your limits.  Yes, push your comfort zone but know how far you’re willing to go and know that you can and will find the next exit if that is to the betterment of all concerned.  Embrace the life that you create!