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My Cute Family!

My Cute Family!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just try.....!

Why?  Why do I have to defend so many things that are important to me?

I understand that a lot of my beliefs/loves/passions are not common....even strange to some.  But nothing that I do/believe is evil, illegal, immoral, and most the time, not even fattening (I'm on a diet)!

I'm Mormon, I'm a proud Conservative, I have a deep craving for all things animal and I just joined this crazy business called AdvoCare (a multi-level business, no less!!--gasp!).  Every one of these things are NOT ok to MANY people!  Just google it if you don't believe me!  (ok, maybe you can't google the animal one, but still, I have to defend myself more often then I care to on that one!....see my previous post on animals.)

In times of trial on these things, I try to think about Jesus.  His beliefs were less than popular also.  Am I comparing myself to Jesus?  Well, yes, I guess I am.  I'm told to walk in His footsteps....I'm told to be perfect like Him....I'm told to follow His way and obey His commandments.  I'm a stanch Christian (yes I am....just TRY to say I'm not....one of my BIGGEST pet peeves, by the way), so I do try to do these things.  Imperfect I am, but every year I can see improvement!  :)

Ok, so back to the point......  Not long ago, a friend on Facebook complained that so many people are haters.  I have to agree with him.  Not so much to my face, I've noticed, but to my beliefs.  Right now I'm trying to defend a point about my religion on a FB post.  Jeez.....just let it be!  No matter what you say, you won't change my mind!  And I know I won't change yours, so let it be!!!  You go on and be happy knowing I'm wrong and I'll go on happy knowing I'm right.....agree to disagree.  The problem is, not many want to let it be.  At that point I just say, "ok....you're right, I'm goin' to hell.....thanks for the warning" and walk away.   Thank heavens I believe in a much more loving God than they do....I won't be going to hell, and neither will they.

Another hot subject.....multi-level marketing:  Amway!  My first love!  I fell in love with MLM quite a few years ago when I was introduced to Amway from some friends when we lived in Washington.  The products were ok, but it was the plan that pumped my vibes!  I GOT IT!--I mean, residual income is, like, magic!  Those who also "got it" understand what I'm saying.  I found out quickly that most people think MLM companies are scams and pyramids.  Well, most aren't.  Hard to hide a pyramid scheme that big or that old.  So, because people think they are scams or don't work, they scoff at it.... disregard it.  Not much I can do about it....try explaining and it's just no use....just like religion!  It IS a great way to make money....lots of it!  But it ended up being too much of a chore to convince people of that and we quit before we could get off the ground.  I've been dreaming of Amway ever since.....  Just a dream, though.  Jump forward 15+ years.....some good friends of ours invite us to a business opportunity meeting.  Ok, sure.   I found out right away it was a health and nutrition company called AdvoCare.  But when they started talking about the pay structure, it sure was sounding familiar.....like Amway! and that excitement I remembered so long ago came back.  Dreaming was once again given root!  I knew right away I was going to do it!  And I won't quit this time because I had a stronger drive and more knowledge and maturity to back it!   Five months into it....yep, still have to convince people it's a good thing.  Still have people avoiding us, thinking we're gonna try to hog tie them until they buy something.  *sigh*  It's ok.....we'll find enough people, eventually, who "get it", and together we're all gonna do great things!

Politics:  Being Conservative is kinda hard to admit and talk about sometimes.  Not because I'm ashamed of it, but because I don't want to be driven to some deep discussion on politics.  I'm not that into it to be able to talk intelligently about it.  So I avoid it.  I'm conservative because I think it's the closest to how I think and feel morally.  Period.  See, I'm even having a hard time explaining that!  So, I'm gonna stop there.

In the end, I really am good with my beliefs.  I just don't like having to defend it.  Should I have to?  Can't we just live and let live? (Is that cliche?  lol).  If someone wants to talk to me about it....I mean, a meaningful, intelligent conversation..... then I'll talk their ear off!  Nothing funner than sharing my joys!   And that's just it!  They ARE joys!  All of them!  They help make me happy!  They add spice and fun and give me something to think about, to do, to dream about, look forward to!  But try to convince me I'm crazy and I'll probably agree with you just to avoid an argument.  But just know I'm firm.....so you might as well stop tryin'!


Monday, May 7, 2012

My Biggest Dilemma

I love animals.  To anyone who knows me, this is no surprise.  I've often contemplated why.  I've also wondered what it would be like to be without animals in my life.  I know I'd be a lot less busy!  My house would be in better condition, I'm sure.  I'd have more time for other things that I love, like crafts and my family. 

My husband, as well as others, think I'm crazy.....no one, to my recollection, has ever come out and said those words, but I know that's what they think.  Once in a while Jim hints that they really should go.  Ain't gonna happen.....at least not any time soon.  You're only young for so long....there will come a day when I can't physically handle taking care of them all.  When that happens, then they will go and then we can do other things....you know, old people activities.  I'm not sure what that will entail, but I'm sure it will be fun for us.  ??

I get a kick out of people when they say that they have a dog and a cat and it's so much work and it's hard to go on vacation or any lengthy trip.  lol!  I've had multiple animals for 13 plus years and we've managed to go somewhere almost every year.  We've always been blessed to find people to come and take care of everything.  Usually we can get them to stay at the house.  I like that kind of arrangement.  One year Jim and I went to Hawaii for two weeks and had to find a place for all the kids, too!  But it all worked out and the trip was great!  It's amazing how easy it is to find help when you offer to pay them!

I find my obsession a mystery and hard to explain to people.  It dawned on me, one day, that it's very similar to men and their love for....well, love!  They can't really help it.  They think about it a lot.  And when they don't have it they miss and long to have it!  It's just the same for me:  I can't help it, I think about it a lot and when I didn't have animals (and even when I do!), I do nothing but dream about when I could have a pet again.  The other thing is....I never have enough!  I still long for more!  *sigh*....it's a dilemma, yes it is (right guys?)!

There is great satisfaction in taking care of another creature.  Mothers know this feeling with their children.  It feels good to be needed, and children and animals both fulfill that.  I do appreciate that part!

Sometimes, though, I wish I didn't have any animals--I curse this desire I have:  when I'm tired, have no money to buy feed, have no time........  But the feeling goes away eventually and then I'm happy I have them again.  Unfortunately, this hobby is not the kind you can just walk away from when it's inconvenient.  Animals have to eat and drink...every day!  They have to have their areas cleaned up....often!  You can not NOT buy food just because you don't have the money for it.  I've always been able to buy feed.....not sure why, but they've never gone hungry even though we've had times when we are scraping to feed even ourselves.  I've been very blessed!

Yep, I'm crazy.....I admit it.  But, I can't help it!  I supposed I could just go cold turkey and be without.  I could go see a shrink or some similar person to help me with it.  Nope.....  I figure, if men can have it when it's available, then I should have it, too.

Not sure if that's good logic, but it works for me!.....for now, anyway!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Michelle, my belle......

I wonder how many little girls would have been named Susie, or Sally or Jane if The Beatles had not wrote and sung that song: "Michelle".  I'm glad that song came out a year after I was born, or I may have suffered the same fate.  LOL!  Actually, I think it's a lovely name.  I've had many friends with this name and they hold special places in my heart! 

Let's start with the best:  Michelle V.  I didn't meet her until I was in High School.  She was introduced to me by a mutual friend.  We all loved horses, so it was a great start to a very long friendship.  We had the same view on many things: animals, boys, God.  Our adventures went from many hours horseback riding, to beach trips, to sharing a house for a little while.  From horse/dog/bird/rabbit buying, to working at the same place, to cruising Market St.  We shared dogs, clothes and crushes on the same boys.  We did daring and dangerous things, and things that could be embarrassing if it was to be admitted.  We fought, we had differences of opinions, we cried, but we always made up.  She remained my best friend until I found Jim.  (He has replaced all best friends and remains my best friend ever since....sorry Michelle!  lol)  I'll always treasure my time I spent with her.  Some of my best memories of all time include her and wouldn't trade them for anything!  Thanks Michelle!!!!

Michelle C. was my best friend through most of my Elementary School days.  She lived across the street from me, so it was easy to get together with her.  Like me, she also loved animals.  She got a horse as a Christmas gift from her parents and we had the best time riding him and hanging out at the stables.  We'd spend our days outside on our bikes, in the hills and down at UCR.  She had a younger brother named Michael.  She also had two dogs:  Monique and Midnight.  My dog's name was Mickey.  We where all "M's".  We called ourselves the "M" club.  What fun!  But of all my regrets regarding friends, it was her.  For some reason I got terribly mad at her.  So mad that I cut off our friendship right then and there.  The horrible thing is, I can't even remember what I was so mad about.  I wish I knew....I wish I could talk to her and tell her sorry and tell her how much our friendship meant to me at the time.  We had so much fun together.  We were such a good pair!  Love ya Michelle!

The next most important Michelle was Michelle R.  She's the mother of Chanelle, the girl who lived with us for four years.  Very nice lady.  We spent a lot of time together....so much so, that when she was loosing her apartment and knew she was going to be spending time on the streets, she asked me to take her daughter until she could get on her feet again.  She spent some time living at my house while Jim was here in Oregon and I was needing help at home in California.  She writes wonderful letters to us saying the most nicest things!  I do wish her the best!  She is loved!

Currently I have two Michelles that go to my church.  I admire them both very much.  Michelle F. is RS president of our ward and does a terrific job at it.  She's humble and sweet.  She keeps a very nice home despite having three children that keep her busy.  Michelle J. is also one who is always on the ball.  She has four young children and manages to keep up on her house and her talents (music, art, homemaking!...just to name a few!).  She cans, makes home-made bread and even held a cheese-making class at her house.  Both of these ladies are fine examples of the kind of woman I would like to be.  Love you guys!

Many other Michelles have come in and out of my life from elementary school to the present day...all of them playing a different role in my life, whether a friend, an acquaintance, or someone who was animal or business related.  It's all good!  I love 'em all for who they are even though I don't associate with them any more.

Thank you Beatles!  Without you I would not have had an excuse to do this blog entry and highlight some of the wonderful ladies in my life!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Bucket List

I've never really thought about it much before, but I've never written down a bucket list.  Maybe because I don't like the word "bucket list".  It sounds like you are working toward your death.  I don't plan on dying any time soon, but I do know there are some things in life I'd really like to do some day.  I've actually done some pretty amazing things so far.....a lot of them that most people wouldn't ever be able to do.....they're fun to think about and share with people cuz they are so cool.  Just a few off the top of my head:

1.  I marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade with my high school marching band in 1981.
2.  I participated (like, ON the field) in a pre-game show for a Super Bowl.  It was in San Diego.  I don't remember the year.....like, 1986..??
3.  I've been to Washington DC twice, Hawaii twice and on a cruise twice.
4.  I've been to the top of the World Trade center.
5.  I've been to Disneyland at least 30 times in my life.  Quite a few of those times were free!
6.  I went to President Hinckly's 95th birthday party in the Conference center.
7.  I've seen "Annie" on Broadway and also the Rockettes!
8.  I've participated in 4 (so far) musicals on stage here in Roseburg, OR.--"Cinderella", "Peter Pan", "Judge Dundson's Secret" and "Annie".
9.  Swam with wild dolphins when we were in Hawaii.

Anyway, so I think I'll just start making a list here so I can refer to it as needed. 

1.  Ride a horse on a hunt....like they do in England for fox (I don't need to be actually hunting anything).
2.  Take a real good river raft trip.
3.  See all the National parks, monuments, etc. in America.
4.  Fly an ultralight
5.  Participate in a Flash Mob.
6.  Take dance classes.
7.  Lead an orchestra in Tchrocoski's (sp) "1812 Overture". 
8.  Sing the National Anthem somewhere good.  (I wouldn't even be embarrassed that I'm not all that good!)
9.  Train and participate in a cross country event on horseback.
10.  Own either a Gypsy Vanner or an Alkatek (sp), or both!--these are horse breeds.  I wouldn't turn down a Fresian, either.  hehe
11.  Do the timed trial in an "average-priced vehicle" on Top Gear.
12.  Visit all the LDS Temples in the world.
13.  Go on a mission with my husband.
14.  Get financially free!  (Go AdvoCare!)
15.  Go deep-sea fishing.
16.  Shake hands with a prophet.
17.  Get a concealed weapon's permit....and actually own a gun to do it with!

Well, that's a start.  I didn't even mention all the places I want to travel.  That would make the list way too long.  Let's just say that I'd travel the world if I could.  hehe.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Letting Go.

I lived and grew up in the same house all my life.  I was even concieved in that house!  My dad built it.....that is what he did was build houses.  He had built several that they had moved into then sold just to move into another one that he had build.  This was the last one for our family:  A tri-level, blue house that holds lots of memories for me.  I spent the better part of 23 years in that house, and I loved every part of it!

I moved out of that house a total of six times as a young adult.  Each time, I didn't know if I'd be coming back.....who knows what could happen in the short time you're gone?  The first time I moved was when I went off to college shortly after graduating from high school.  I was only gone for two semesters....not long at all.  But I could have easily have found a husband in that time!  But I didn't so it was back home for me!.....

Next I moved out to live with my cousin.  She needed a nanny and I needed to get away, so it worked out well for both of us.  That only lasted six months or so.  Back home again.....   Next it was another nanny job.  (How does this happen to me??  I really didn't even like kids!)  I had been recommended by someone, and after an interview and short visit with the family, I was hired.  That was in Palm Deseret.  It didn't last but seven months.  I got bored of it and besides, I was offered a job at a Thoroughbred farm!  Wow!  How could I pass THAT up??  I moved straight from Palm Desert to Palm Dale in the heat of the summer!  Ugg!  I could only hack the heat and hard, six-days-a-week work for ONE month!  Back home....AGAIN!  After that I moved in with my sister.....once again, to get away.  I don't recall that lasting more than just a couple of months before I was back home to that blue house!

My best friend at the time was Michelle.  She and her husband had just moved into a house with horse property!!  And they had an extra room that they wanted to rent out!!  I couldn't resist!  It was not too far from home, and it was sure wonderful to have my horse in my back yard and miles of riding behind that!  It was great while it lasted, but I decided that I didn't need to spend the money it took to live on my own.  There really was no point in it when I could live for free at....HOME!  So home is where I went.

Each time I moved out and then back home, I was always welcomed.  I never felt the pressure to move out....to "grow up and be on your own".  Even though it was never verbalized, I knew I was welcome to stay as long as I needed.  I knew I didn't WANT to stay forever....I wanted to get married and have a life!  But I always felt like that house was HOME and would always be mine.

It was not long after that last move-in that I met and married Jim.  Of course, we lived on our own, out of the parents' house...thank heavens!  Shortly after we married, we moved to Washington.  We lived there over three years when the feeling hit both of us that we need to be back in California.  We were not sure why, but we both were having the tug and so we obeyed.  There was no job to go down to, so we moved back into (you guessed it!) the blue house!  We lived there one year while Jim found a job and got us up on our feet.  We moved out to Highland into an apartment of our own not knowing that that was the last time I would move out of that beloved house. 

It was several years after Jim and I had moved back to California that I figured out why we felt the tug to be back.  Both of my parents got sick and died within 18 months of each other.  I will ever be thankful that we heard the whisperings of the Spirit that told us where we needed to be.  Because of that, my kids got to know their grandparents, and we were there during their ordeal to help.....to be there through those last precious years of their lives!   I miss them terribly.

I inherited quite a few things from them.....my mom was a collector of fine nick nacks and now many of them are now with me.  I do love them.  But the house.....the house had to be sold.  That wonderful blue house!  The couple who bought it were young with a small child.  They were very nice to us.  They told us that we could come and walk through the house whenever we wanted to....we did it twice.  I did love doing that, even though they had changed much about it to suit their tastes.

Several months ago, my sister informs me that it is now in foreclosure.  My precious blue house......

Jim and I took a trip to California last month so I could attend a school reunion.  I wanted to drive by the house.....maybe even get out and talk to the people for the last time, or take pictures.  Funny thing.....I really didn't have any emotions when we sat in front of that still-blue house.   I felt like that house was just that.....a house.  It wasn't my house any more:  it was the bank's house now and soon it would be some stranger's house.  I told Jim to just drive away.

I loved that house, yes.  But I realized that is was not really the house that I loved....it was the memories that it held that I love---that made it a HOME!   You can take the house away, but you can't take away all the years of living and laughing and sorrow and love that existed there.  That will stay with me forever. 

And that is, by FAR, more precious to me than any blue house EVER will.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Our New House

We moved the end of February.  It is now the middle of July.  I still get people asking how we like our new house.  First of all, sadly, it's not our house....we moved from one rental to another.  If it was, then the answer below would be quite different.

When we moved to Oregon 5 years ago, we had a goal to buy a house within a year.  It hasn't happened yet.  In fact, it won't happen until at least next year.  It's not from lack of trying; it's our dang credit that has halted our goal in its tracks!  Not only that, but Jim is his own boss, which lenders DO NOT like!  With the fact that we own a house in California, and that we've been able to pay $1100 in rent a month for the past 5 years, AND not only did Jim's business survive through this horrible economy but did WELL....you'd think we'd be a good risk for the banks.  Nope....our own personal bank won't even give Jim a business credit card.  So he has to pay cash for everything that he needs for his jobs (not always easy!).

So, renters we are.....and renters we will stay until we start to make, oh, I don't know....like....$500,000 a year, or something.  Actually, I'm not sure WHAT they want from us!  We don't even have that much dept: only our house in California and my car.  We do owe the dentist some money, but that does not show up on our credit report.  It's been a very frustrating venture, to say the least.

ANYWAY!  The old house was a nice 2,000 spare foot house that was well taken care of.  New kitchen, nice paint and carpets, fenced yard, nice neighborhood.  Our master bedroom was HUGE.  Central air and heat.  Nice window coverings.  We liked it.  But I have always wanted a large piece of property with room for my animals and a garden and such.  I'd like to get a cow or goats or something that will help feed us.  In the old house, we totally overflowed the garage with Jim's business and a lot of my animals, and there was no way we were gonna park a car in there!  We were even hard pressed to get all our vehicles parked in the driveway.....four cars and Jim's work trailer.

The new house is bigger....about 2500 square feet.  It has two garages (one is used as a normal garage.  The other is totally Jim's garage for all his tools and business paraphernalia.  It's VERY nice to have it all separated), a nice barn (it holds ALL my animals:  rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, rats, mice, chickens.) and one more bedroom and bath (the extra bedroom is Jim's office).  The dining area, family room and living room are all much bigger than before.  It's on an acre of beautiful property that backs up to the river.  There's a brand new deck off the back of the house that is a wonderful place to sit and just enjoy the view.  There are fruit trees in the back and I can legally shoot my rifle.  It fits our life style much better than the old house.

What don't we like?   The yard is not fenced (a problem with three outdoor dogs!).  The absent fence also means that we can not keep wild critters out to protect all my small animals.  We had to fortify the barn so the rabbits would be safe.  Everyone on our strip of houses along the river mows their land.  No problem except we don't own a rider, only a push mower.  The house has not been touched for remodel since it was built, I'm sure.  It has old flooring, old cabinets, ugly wall paper and paneling.  The plumbing is weird.  Every light bulb in the house was a 60 watt or less (had to change them all out so I could see!).  The kitchen is small and all the appliances are old and don't work well.....I have to wash all my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher.  We finally replaced the vent over the stove because it didn't work well and we needed a microwave, so got a combo.  The windows are all old....most of them stick and IF they have a covering, they are old, ugly and broken.  Some don't have screens.  The only air conditioning is a small window unit upstairs in the Living Room.....it doesn't work all that will, either.  Our master bedroom is MUCH smaller.  We really don't have room for our dresser and the bed-set blocks one of the closet doors.  To top it off, we don't like the property manager and the neighbor is weird, almost scary.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining.  I really am happy I'm here!  Things are much easier with the barn and extra bedroom and garage.  We'd buy the house in a heartbeat if we could!....it IS for sale!  I'm just a little frustrated because I don't want to put any money into improving things when it's not our house....I mean, it does have potential!!  If is was our house, I'd be ripping wallpaper off and knockin' out walls!!  lol!  Maybe next year.  The loan broker that we are working with right now said that next year should be much better for us since Jim's work has really picked up in the past two years.  All we can do is pray that she is right.....that, and be patient just a little while longer.  It's not a matter of IF we will ever qualify for a house....it's when! 

(Pictures coming soon!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zzzzzz....

I live with constant tiredness.  I can hardly get out of bed in the morning and then I can hardly wait for bed time to come around again.  I try to avoid naps....it just makes it that much harder to fall asleep that evening.  I must keep active or I'll just end up in bed for a nap because I can hardly keep my eyes open while sitting at the computer or while watching TV or reading a book or, worst of all, driving!

I used to blame my life style:

When I was a teen, I woke very early to attend an early morning bible class called Seminary.  I was also very active in school with track, marching band and riding horses.   Weekends was spent with friends either at dances or the roller rink or cruising Market St.  Sleep was not on the top of my to-do list!

After graduation from high school, I went off to Rick's College in Rexburg, ID.  College life certainly did not lend an atmosphere of restfulness.  And I was WAY too social to spend my evenings just sitting in the dorm or having a decent bed time.  Dancing, chasing boys, playing in the snow, wandering the campus were my normal evening activites--lots of things to do to keep me from dream-land.

After that one year at college, I became very active in the Young Adult groups at my church.  Once again, there were lots of activities to occupy my life.  Dating was ALWAYS at the top of my list of things to do.  Also, I started working a lot and still had a horse or two to keep me busy. 

I finally got engaged and married at the ripe old age of 24.  Marriage did not help the sleep situation.  Being in the same bed with someone--even a KING sized bed--kept me from sleeping well.  Every time he moved it woke me.  I'm a light sleeper, I concluded.  Getting pregnant added a whole new element to sleep.  As I got bigger, I got more uncomfortable, thus making sleep harder, and making bathroom runs more frequent. 

Having kids totally knocked me off my feet!  I was in a dazed condition most all the time.  They boys were the worst.  Max got up so often at night to eat that I'd fall asleep sitting up in bed with him still nursing.  I'd wake up with a kink in my neck from my head falling forward and a sleeping baby on my lap....with a dried line of milk where it had drooled down his cheek from his mouth to his ear.

Austin woke up every night for at least five years for one reason or another:  hungry, wet, scared, potty-training, he heard something.  I didn't think I would ever sleep through the night again!

I finally came to a time in my life where the kids were older and I thought I really should be sleeping and feeling better, but I never did feel like I was refreshed in the mornings.  I still drug around during the days and constantly wanted to just be in bed again.  It acured to me that maybe I had something wrong with me.  *lightbulb*!

I knew that I snored.....I was informed of that while at girls' camp one year.  It was news to me, but I had heard if from several sources....so it must be true.  I also found out that I had an abnormal thyroid.  Fixing the thyroid problem did not help.  So next was a sleep test to find out if the snoring was an indication of sleep apnea.   The test came back after a horrible sleep-test experience (that's another blog!).  I have severe sleep problems but only a slight case of apnea.  huh??  So.....how do we fix this?  They don't know!  OH!  Let's fix her by giving her sleeping pills.  After trying different kinds, I find that I do sleep better with Lunesta.  But when I went to go get a prescription filled for it, I found out that it's going to cost me over $100 a month..... just so I can sleep better!  grrrr.  The other problem with the sleeping pills is that you HAVE to be in bed within a half hour of taking them and you have to make sure that you have at least 8 hours in bed to sleep them off.  Talk about losing control on your life!  Forget it!  I'll just deal with the tiredness.

One thing I did change on my own was not sharing a blanket with Jim.  He was not happy about it at first, but he's learned to live with it.  I did that because I realized that every time he turned over he'd take the blanket with him and it would wake me.  It would wake me even more if I had to pull it out from under him to cover myself back up!  It has helped a lot since making that change.

I've make up my mind that I'll just have to live like this.  I'm sure it's because of my chronic tiredness that I have no motivation for much of anything:  housework, exersize, raising kids, being romantic, etc.  It stinks, but that's my life.  I'll trudge along with forever thoughts of bed and what joy sleep brings. 

When I die, and I lose this tired, ol' body, you'll see a new me, I'm sure!  I'll be up-beat and energetic.  I'll flit from here to there all the time, with endless energy to do whatever I want!  I so look forward to that!  And I hope you are all there to see it!!!