Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dwarfed by trees, I find my peace.

Many people find their peace near the ocean. The crashing water, the cool sand, and being able to see the curve of the earth in the horizon calms the turbulence of their lives. They are able to take the salt air into their lungs and breathe out the bad. Feel the calm of the air and find the calm within themselves.

I am not one of those people.

I enjoy the beach. I find it lovely. I dislike sand though, I hate taking it home with me. I enjoy seeing the ocean and walking along the shoreline, but that is not where my peace lays.

My peace is being surrounded by trees.

“All forests have their own personality. I don't just mean the obvious differences, like how an English woodland is different from a Central American rain forest, or comparing tracts of West Coast redwoods to the saguaro forests of the American Southwest... they each have their own gossip, their own sound, their own rustling whispers and smells. A voice speaks up when you enter their acres that can't be mistaken for one you'd hear anyplace else, a voice true to those particular tress, individual rather than of their species.” -Charles de Lint

Some of my fondest memories of growing up involve being in the woods. I remember wanting to grow up and be a horse, a magical one of course, and having my mother time me as I raced around the campsite and having her tell me that I was the fastest horse she had ever seen as I neighed and stomped the ground. (I was a weird kid, I know this. I believe my name was Sparkles…I KNOW.)  I remember my father dropping my sisters and I off at the top of a ridge and pointing down to the road below and telling us, he would see us down there. I remember picking berries and hunting fairies and pretending my cousins and I were airplanes. (Weird, I know.) I remember going on adventures through the woods with my best friend who was my dog and my constant companion. I remember taking pine cones and building signs on the ground with my sisters so my grandparents would know where we were. I remember the smells, the colors, and the cool of the forest floor against my bare feet. My happiest memories come from being surrounded by trees and learning what they had to teach me.

This past weekend, J and I were riding the motorcycle, killing time between dinner and our movie and J decided to ride up to Mt. Tabor.  If you are not from Portland than you probably have no idea what I am talking about, but to bring you up to speed, Mt. Tabor is a 196-acre park in the city limits of Portland. It sits on an extinct volcanic butte and the entire thing is covered with trees. It has a variety of things to do there but one of my favorites is simply to find a quiet spot and enjoy what the forest has to say.

The temperature was much cooler under the tall trees and I felt the trees and their quiet presence wash over me. I felt myself relax against J as the wind made the tall trees creak, ever so slightly as they moved. It was incredibly quiet, even though there were a lot people in the park. I felt strong, healthier, calmer and much happier with myself. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a tree hugger, but I sure feel like they reached out to hug me.  

We were not in the park for very long, but I felt cleaner and happier as we made our way to the theater. I found my peace, in the middle of the city, in the middle of summer for fifteen minutes.

Where is your peace found?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting my green on

J was kind of enough at the end of last summer to build me two raised beds. I was super duper excited to get started. I never imagined I would be so excited to get dirty and grow a garden, but here I am. So excited. In fact, I maybe too excited, my eyes were bigger than my beds but I do not even care. :) Let me take you on a tour of my garden. :)

This bed has sting-less green beans, two kinds of lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, crook neck squash, three kinds of cucumber and onions.

This bed has two kinds corn, four kinds of pepper (hot banana, cayenne, mexi-bell and jalapeno), tomato, cilantro, beets and carrots. Between the two beds I am growing green onion!

We have out of control mint growing along our fence. I am still trying to figure out what to do with this, I would hate to waste it. It just keeps growing!!!

Also, I am growing strawberries and another tomato plant.

I am hoping I actually get a crop...besides the mint!

Do you grow anything? What are your favorite recipes from your garden?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Haves and wants

Just a basic list:

 I have a happy, caring, loving, funny supportive husband.
I have a house full of pets who love to snuggle.
I have a job that covers our bills.
J’s back is getting better.
I have a family who loves me.
I am rediscovering a joy of gardening long ago instilled in me.
I am going to start c25k as soon as the rain goes away.
I have two stepdaughters that crack me up and keep me on my toes.
I have a generous mother-in-law.
I have friends stretched all over the states.
I have a roof over my head.
Mother Nature is giving me a beautiful spring.

I would love to become more creative in some way.
I want to stick with a workout program long enough to actually lose some weight.
I want to be comfortable in my own head.
I want to incorporate more color into my life.
I want to see the yard and house come together like we have planned.
I want to get in the habit of making monthly healthy menus.
I want a new canister set for my kitchen.
I want to master making biscuits.
I want to find as many things to use mint for as possible, so our mint doesn’t go to waste.
I want to make more friends.
I would like my hands to stop hurting.
I want to start riding on the motorcycle again.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


 Definition of WORRYWART : a person who is inclined to worry unduly. 

I am a worrywort. Big time.  

I worry about everything. From big stuff, like how we will manage to get ourselves out of debt in a reasonable amount of time. To small stuff, like if I bought a flavor of capri sun the kids really like. I recognize the fact that what I worry about is silly nonsense stuff, I am happy and healthy and I have a job and am married to the best husband a girl could ever ask for, but I cannot seem to stop. I am always in a state of anxiety because I am worrying about something. J on the other hand is the worrywart's antithesis. He is always calm and has an attitude that everything will work out. (He is usually right.) 

I wish I could adopt this attitude, it isn't like the world will stop if I STOP worrying. In fact I can see that it actually would get a lot better. I would love to stop worrying, feeling more balanced and centered, more in control of my life. But I can't stop. Because what if I am wrong and if I stop worrying then something will go unnoticed and the world will end as I know it. (Dramatic I know, but it is how I think!)  

So unless I figure out how to be balanced and centered without worrying, I shall continue to worry and be anxious and cry over silly stuff while my ever patient husband tells me everything will be okay. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A change on the horizon

J started a family very quickly after high school and made the very noble choice to be a participating father and provider for his little family. He had to back burner his desire to further his education, which was a shame because he is so stinking smart and loves to learn. Upon us getting married we had a very serious discussion about him going back to school and eventually myself going back. Going back to school seemed to be pushed down on the list, he has a medical issue that require medical insurance and his job has very fantastical bonuses every so many months. It never seemed like the right time for him to go back.

And then, we found out that J will be losing his job.

He isn't particularly broken up about it and after an initial "My-world-is-coming-to-an-end" moment I am feeling a lot better about it. His job is being transferred to Arizona, if we didn't have the girls then we would move in a heart beat, but having a relationship with the girls is extremely important to both of us, so we will be staying here.The nice thing about it is that his job ends June 1 of this year but they will continue to pay them with benefits till October. Which is...AMAZING. And something I am extremely grateful for.

After many talks it looks like he will be trying to find a contract job for the next year (after a long paid vacation) and then hopefully be going back to school next year for a degree in paramedic-emergency services. He is really excited and I am excited for him. I know I will see a lot less of him but it fills my heart to know he will be doing what he has really been dreaming to do.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Does anyone have any suggestions for books?

My last 3 that I have started have been duds. I need help!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Every day is a battle:

Depression is something that runs in my family. I have been aware of depression ever since I was a young girl. My father was on ‘happy pills’ before it was the ‘hip’ thing to do. Our family can trace depression and bipolar back for generations, although both things were called something else if you go back a few generations. My first bout of depression came after my mom died; although I am sure I had it in much smaller doses before but did not know what to call it. I mean, as a little girl I planned what my funeral would be like…not my wedding, something was PROBABLY wrong. Ever since then I have ridden the roller coaster of depression, the highs and the lows. I have taken medicine, done therapy, ignored it, worked out, prayed…you name it I have tried it. So, when friends tell me to just, “cheer up, it will get better” or “you are just having a bad day” or “choose to be happy”, I just roll my inner eyes, because if it was just.that.simple. I would be better in a heartbeat.  I am honestly to the point; I don’t even bother telling people because no one really seems to understand what depression really can do to a soul.

I bring this up; because I am dealing with some of the worst depression I think I have ever dealt with. I am sadly, without insurance, at least for a few more months and am unable to seek medical help. Trust me though, the day I have medical I will be sitting in a doctor’s office and asking for meds. I try to be happy. I look for things that make me happy, but seriously, one-teeny-tiny-thing could go wrong and I am weeping in a ball on the floor (I wish I was exaggerating.) For example, last night I couldn’t get the silverware out of the dish drainer, they got caught in the mesh, I cried into my dish water for the rest of the time I was doing dishes. It drives me crazy, because logically, I know what is happening to me, but I have NO control over it. It consumes me. I am drowning in it. I am anxious, nervous, stressed and generally just sad all.the.time. I wake up with it and I go to sleep to it. I hate it. I hate the part of my brain that is broken and allows this to happen and I wish I was stronger so I could fight it.

This post really isn’t about me. It is about J and how amazing he is and how grateful I am to him. The only calm in the storm that is me is my loving J. He is the only thing getting me through this. I can honestly say I do not know what would happen to me without him. He can make me laugh and never makes me feel crazy when I cry over stupid silverware that gets stuck. He gets extremely frustrated when I put myself down because he sees what I cannot. Without him I would drown in my own sadness. He makes me want to put one foot in front of the other so I can get better, because a happy life with him is all I want. I know he loves me with a love that I cannot fully understand and I will forever be grateful to him. I adore and love him.

Thank you Snuggle…you are my anchor in my crazy.