Sunday, February 19, 2012

In the middle, a thought to ponder

Many times my posts on this blog have been about changes in my life. I am not a person who likes change or welcomes it when its not my idea. However, if I initiate the change, I tend to like it. If someone else initiates change that I would have initiated, but they got to it first, I have to pretend I don't like it for a short time before stretching a grin from ear to ear and delving right into it.

That said, I have been experiencing a lot of change in the past 8 months. I have re-enrolled in college; I have learned to say "no" instead of "yes" in order to please others - at the expense of friendships; I have learned to stand for what I believe in, with the ability to challenge that belief if necessary - also at the expense of friendships. God is redefining who I am and what is important in my life. I like what He is doing... which is great because I believe we are truly happy and satisfied in life when we are going with His flow and not against it with our own agendas and ideas. Something to ponder...

I am currently in my second semester of my first year back to college. My goal is to complete my Bachelor's degree in Justice Studies at Lewis-Clark State College with a graduation date of May 2013. So far I like it, in fact I even have an A in my math class. That is a huge accomplishment, as Math and I don't generally get along. I have the same instructor (on purpose) as I did the last time I took a math class at LCSC and I truly believe he has a gift of making math make sense. Besides, he has a sense of humor that quite matches my husband's and that makes our class much easier to tolerate. :)

I am also beginning a new journey into lifestyle change. This time last year I was gung-ho about an eating plan called Greysheet. It worked well for me, for 6 weeks, and then I just couldn't do it any longer. God helped me realize over the past year that an eating plan alone won't help me lose weight, keep it off, and solve my body-image issues. I am seeing a counselor (for other "issues") and I told her that I would really like to get to the root causes of my eating problems. She agreed that that was a smart route to take, so she suggested reading a book called The Solution. As soon as I was able to purchase it I started reading. I am really connecting with this book; I wrote 7 pages in my journal as I read the first 18 pages in the book! I feel God orchestrated the events that led to me finally reading this book at this particular time in my life. I know that I am going to be successful, because I will not shame myself - I will not deprive myself - and I will not fail because I will pull the roots out that continually produce rotten fruit.

I am looking forward to succeeding in my academic, personal, family, and social aspects of my life this year. God has planned great things for me in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Seems I have been seeing red a lot these days. Is this what raising teenagers does to a normally sane person? As much as I love my kids, I find myself "hiding" in the office or my bedroom. No matter what I say I end up making someone cranky with me. Or maybe it isn't the teenagers at all. Maybe, its me.

Have I changed so much that I am completely out of touch with others feelings? Am I so socially disconnected and self absorbed that I can't relate to anyone but myself?

I do find that I have isolated myself from friends, and even from family. Recent stresses in my life have found me pulling inward, rather than reaching out. No one seems able to understand or even to empathize with where I am. Few of my friends get me, or get the situation I am in. I can think of two wonderful women that I can talk to about these things. We don't see each other often, or talk much, but when we do, it is instant relief.

Unfortunately, I don't want to talk to anyone, even them. I don't want to explain myself, I don't want to consider what to do next, or the consequences of what's already done.

I just want to live my life in peace. And so, I continue to hide.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bipolar Disorder - It's not a choice I would make.


About four years ago I was diagnosed with a "disorder." The diagnosis was triggered due to the shift work I was dealing with while working at Potlatch Corporation. I worked two 12 hour days followed immediately by two twelve hour nights. The crazy sleep schedule was too much for me and a close friend noticed things weren't quite right about my thoughts/behaviour. She suspected Bipolar Disorder. (Formerly known as manic depression... ) I went through a questtionnaire with a psychiatrist (a PHD) and he confirmed the Bipolar Disorder. This was very scary to me. I had heard of BP D before, and it always seemed extreme and very negative. I wondered if that meant I was crazy... loony... wacko...

Actually, it was just that they gave me a name for symptoms I had experienced for quite a long time... probably beginning in my teens. It was (after the initial fright of it) kind of comforting to know that there was a name for what I go through, and a possible treatment.

I was assured that I was not crazy; that I am normal, and that my life will go on (and be better than before) with an understanding of the disorder and how it affects me. Basically, I tend to have high energy moods/days followed by low energy depressive moods/days. (Mania / Depression : this is where they got the name manic depression) I take some medications that help my brain not run a thousand miles a minute (sure, I like racing CARS but not racing thoughts!) However, this medication tends to slow me down a little too much, so I take another medication to pick me back up a bit. The combination really works well for me and I feel more "normal" than ever!

I do notice a difference in my behavior and mood if I don't take my medication, and it really isn't a great thing to miss the meds, so I continue them. Many people out there don't understand the need for medication and think that the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies are just out to make money by drugging everyone (I believe that a portion of that is true - companies that try to make a profit are not always altruistic in nature)... however, I believe that my quality of life is greatly improved through medication.

Life with mild Bipolar Disorder isn't as bad as I thought, in fact, the worse part of BP is when people describe someone that is moody or has emotional difficulties as probably being Bipolar... and they mean it in a derogatory way - not in a way meant to want to help or understand them. Since not everyone I talk to knows that I am mildly Bipolar, when they label someone in this way it really bothers me.

Instead of judging people and labeling them in such ways, we all should try to understand each other and seek to help (in loving ways). If you suspect that a friend or loved one may struggle with Bipolar Disorder, please help them by first understanding that it is an affliction - not necessarily a choice to behave in such a manner - and secondly, encourage them to see a doctor or trained mental health counselor / psychiatrist. It may even save their life. (Especially if they are BP and it is severe... sometimes their behavior can put them in dangerous situations.)

Most of all, be kind and loving. Isn't that the essence of the Golden Rule?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Life Changes in a Moment

How can it be that life is going on along, just (or mostly) as you expect and then WHAM! your life is backwards, upside down, and you can't stand? My dearest friend Amber Nicole, was killed in a car accident on her way to work.

She was supposed to be here today, feasting on prime rib and enjoying the wonderfully festive Christmas background music. She was supposed to comment on the rub Phil used on the meat, she was supposed to hold hands with us as Phil prayed with thanksgiving for our meal and for our family. She was supposed to be the one misty-eyed at the love we feel for her.


I am the one, misty-eyed at the loss of a sister. One I could just look at in certain ways or say one word and we would both crack up.

Amber, I love you. Don't know if I ever told you that, but I do, I have and I always will.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No News is Good News (or something like that)

Hi all. Not posting for a while really puts the pressure on to post something fabulous. This will not be a fabulous post. Just so you know.

Grandma died a bit over a week ago. I am the estate executor and personal representative for her assets. Big words that mean I have a big job on my hands. I have already been to Oregon twice in a week. Lots of driving. Lots of stressing out because there is so much to do. And lots of pressure from family regarding Grandma's memorial service and burial (and her money...). Unfortunately, Grandma's paperwork was not filed neatly with detailed instructions on what to do. So I am making decisions and making family members frustrated with me. It's only by God's grace that I am staying strong and keeping good boundaries.

It looks like I am heading back to Oregon again this week. Finishing up with getting personal items taken care of and making a trip to California to deliver some of her stuff to the people she promised it to. Then, hopefully, I will get a visit in with my grandpa and step-grandma (she isn't doing too well health-wise) and then stop by my sister's on my way back home. A big loop, quite a bit of driving (but I'm used to that) but looking forward to being home and getting more of this paperwork taken care of. Prayers for wisdom, focus and motivation are much needed and much appreciated.

Until next time...

I'm "on the road again"

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's been a while... but oh the things that have been happening!

June is almost over which means two things:

1. One third of our summer is already past us

2. It's almost my birthday

Since the kids get out of school so early (May 22 this year!) our summer starts fast and keeps gaining speed. I feel it whizzing by and my head wants to spin because we haven't even done the things I wanted to do.

I start every summer with ideas of keeping the kids entertained. How I wish we lived in the days where you just rode your bike around the neighborhood and played games with the neighbor kids. My girls don't have video games that keep them in the house; there just aren't many kids in the neighborhood to play with. So I had planned on having swimming days, library days, craft days, and such. I was going to incorporate the rest of our study of Esther (which we started last summer and never finished). So far we have gone swimming once, been to the library once and haven't even cracked our Bibles (together at least... still hoping the girls are reading their Bibles on their own time). But to be optimistic, we still have 2/3 of our summer left, so there is no reason not to get started on some of these goals. I think I will do just that... tomorrow. :o)

Part of the reason I haven't done much in the way of entertaining the kids is that I have been busy with appointments and such. Orthodontic, dentist, and church meetings. Add in the fact that two of my girls go to their mom's every other week, and the whole schedule gets hard to maintain.

Another reason we haven't followed through is because of #2... June is almost over and that means my birthday!! July 1st marks my 35th birthday and I wanted to celebrate with a party. I Looooove parties. I love having a birthday and getting all the attention. Really, I am quite the birthday diva. Hey, it's only once a year! So, I decided to host a backyard bunco birthday bash. In MY backyard. The backyard that is full of weeds and such.

For the past two weeks Phil and I, as well as Melanie and my good friends Kim and Virginia, have been planning, pruning, tilling, and planting. It doesn't look like much work went into it, now that the areas we focused on are finished, but Phil told me that it shouldn't look like you did a bunch of work. Phil pruned trees and tilled up my flower garden areas, then dug up irises and transplanted at least 50... Kim and Virginia helped me decide what plants would work well for the areas to landscape. Kim and I did a bunch of shopping and I planted 2 pygmy barberry shrubs which I promptly dug up and replanted one full size barberry. I also planted 8 candytufts which will also be dug up and moved out (they are too close together). I put in 48 petunias, 8 marigolds, and 8 dianthus; 6 hostas and one bleeding heart finished things up. I also filled a broken whiskey barrel fountain with dirt and planted some nierembrugia (or something like that) with some pink carnations and cirrus (Dusty Miller). Phil hung up a planter I filled with petunias... the lemon zest are my new favorite. I have had so much fun learning the names of flowers and plants and knowing what they are and where to put them! It is not so overwhelming now as it once was. I am excited to see everything grow and fill in!

Once the planting was done, it was time to set up for the party which we had yesterday. I invited 50+ women and had 16 come; since Melanie and I played, it brought our total to 18. Some women brought their daughters, who entertained themselves by drawing, coloring, and playing in the treehouse.

Bunco was a blast. Some of the women hadn't played before, and our rules are a bit different, so there was some explaining to do, but everyone caught on and soon we were "ROLLING!" I missed Andrea (Moser, who was the leader of our bunco group...) I loved how she always got us back on track when we would start chattering... a hefty "ROLLING!" always got us moving again.

I appreciated the way these women were so friendly with one another. Each person there probably only knew three others, so there was a lot of introducing and getting to know each other. The only bummer is that Bunco doesn't give you much time to visit before you are moving on to another table.

I have absolutely nothing to complain about. The weather was perfect, the cake and punch delicious, the friends delightful! I was given cards and sweet gifts (which made me feel strange... just having my friends there was a gift to me. I was actually dumbfounded. I had no idea how to respond to such graciousness!)

Even my husband was picture perfect. Running the dog to the groomer, running back to see if I needed anything, running our daughter off to babysit. He didn't mind at all that we had a flock of hens (and a few chicks) running around our yard and in our house!

So, a beautiful backyard, a gorgeous afternoon with good friends, pizza dinner later... but wait, there's one more thing (that always makes me think of the old Ginsu knife commercials... but wait, there's more!) Anyway... all of this wonderful-ness, and it's not even my birthday! Nope... my birthday is coming up this Wednesday. THe party wasn't even the beginning. Angie and I went out to lunch last Friday, and then had pedicures together. Then the backyard bunco bash yesterday, and I still have two days until my birthday!! Wonder what will come next? Wish I could say "Disneyland" but that is just not happening this year. Still, I am excited to see what the next couple of days hold for me. Spontaneous road tripping? Dinner and a movie? Sitting in my beautiful backyard with a good book?

Life couldn't get much better. And that is good.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Basement Remodel

The basement remodel is almost finished! I plan on posting some before, during, and after photos here soon for those of you who have been wondering how it has been going.

I am feverishly painting the trim this weekend, to put up on Monday. The color is "nutmeg" and I thought it was darker. When I started painting it on, I was actually relieved because I was second-guessing my color choice. Oh, if you know me at all, you know that I have a hard time making decisions of the permanent type. Ugh! First how to design the space efficiently; then paint color(s), light fixtures, carpet and vinyl... I nearly had a mental breakdown! I asked a good friend for help at the last minute, and she wasn't available because I asked... at the last minute!

I finally settled on a paint color for the walls, only to find later, that I need to choose a paint color for the doors and trim. If Phil had his way it would all be WHITE. Thankfully, I get my way: a case of anxiety over choosing three different colors. YIPPEE! Once that was finished, I had to find a vinyl flooring for the bathroom. EEK (have you noticed I have a love of onomatopeia? Can you believe that onomatopeia was a bonus spelling word for Rachel, who is in 3rd Grade?!?!) Anyway, I wanted to choose a vinyl pattern that didn't look like Corelle dishes from the 1970s and would not clash with either my carpet (which was only half decided on) and the vanity I had chosen. UGH So I picked out the vinyl, and chose the carpet hoping they would go with my new paint colors... Thankfully all the flooring and paint (and bathroom vanity) have worked really well together!!

The plumber is coming Monday or Tuesday to install the toilet, finish the shower, and connect the faucet in the sink.

After that, we only have the trim to install as well as closet organization system and doors. Unfortunately, this project has eaten up so much money that we have to wait to purchase new furniture for the girls! They are so excited though, that I think they would be happy to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags rather than waiting for new furniture before moving in!

Photos to come soon. I have to stop avoiding and get to painting the trim!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Old Man Winter is Not Dead Yet

I love the weather we have in the valley. Well, all except the times when it's hotter than Mars and you have to hide in A/C comfort all day lest you get your lungs seared and your eyebrows burned off by stepping outside.

Anyway, weather here is crazy at times. Just the other day it was 60 degrees and blue skies, then yesterday, it was rainy and cloudy and then beautiful sunshine. All day it kept up with this pattern of rain and yuck and then sunshine. Until...

Old Man Winter and Sweet Spring had an argument in the weather room. They played rock paper scissors to decide and Old Man Winter won.

These really weird, misty-like clouds came over Clarkston, and the wind was blowing the rain sideways. Rain turned to hail and a lot of it! And then, just like that, the wind stopped and it was lightly raining. I was at my friend/hairdresser's getting one of my girls' haircut and as we drove home (a mile away, up a hill) the rain changed into snow. For two hours it snowed HUGE beautiful flakes. I really couldn't be mad at OMWinter because he was reminding us how beautiful his work can be. We got about a half inch of snow, completely covering the ground.

Today, it's bright sunshine, just bouncing off the snow and sparkling on the early spring flowers that had dared to come up. I know all the snow will be melted and gone by afternoon, but how I loved OMWinter's last hurrah. Now it's time for spring. I can say goodbye to the snow for now, and welcome Spring and daffodils.

After I take another long look at the snow and thank God for little surprises.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dear Blog:

Oh blog, dearest blog, I have not forgotten about you. Yes, I have been reading other blogs; but it's not cheating unless I twitter, follow, or subscribe!

I would blog more often, but I just can't think of anything to say, write, or wish to publicize in all my stupidity... Some of these people can really write! And man, are they funny!

Besides that, I don't know how to play "tag" or post awards or even photos for that matter. I need "Blogging for Dummies." I need a million bucks. I need a nap. So far, I am 0 for 3.

So thanks to Merrie for my beautiful award... if I knew how to post it, I would. And thanks for those of you who "tagged" me, I don't know how to play. And for those of you who are so masterful at posting photos... I read your blogs and pretend the photos you post are really my life, since I can't figure out how to post photos of my own. (I swear, I am not stalking you... besides, it's not stalking if you post the photos for all to see!)

I know I have some things I really want to blog about, but they are just ramblings at this stage. When I can give birth to full thoughts, I will write them out. For now, I am still gestating (is that a word?).

I think I better go to bed now. This post is getting weirder by the moment. But you know what? I love you blog... because I can express my freaky weird self and still you love me; you wait ever so patiently for me to come and post another freaky weird blog entry.

See you again soon, blog. By the way, blog, you need a name. You have a title, but not really a name. I think I will name you: ???

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One Word for the Year

I am sneaking this from my good friend's blog:

She writes about having a "word" for the year and challenges you to choose one for yourself. So here goes:

My word is TRUSTING. I made it an action word, not just "trust" which is more of an idea or concept. I put the -ing on it so that I would remember that it is something I need to keep doing.

We have really had a hard time this past year (yet some things are better than ever, go figure!) and although the first words I thought of were Blessings and Security... it all comes down to TRUSTING the one who made all things, provides for all things, and has a plan for all things.

I will be TRUSTING God in 2009!!

So, what is your word?