These are a few of my favorite things… (today)

I was chatting with my sister Pauline an hour ago and she asked me “What was your favorite part of today?” I was writing back to her in paragraphs, rambling. I asked her if the 3 items I mentioned should be shared on my blog. I was concerned it may be too personal. She advised me to share, so here I go….

July 17, 2014

Tomorrow is Richard’s birthday and we are staying at the Towneplace Suite Marriott in Medford, OR for two nights. We specifically wanted a suite for the full kitchen. I needed the space to cook several meals that will last a week (hopefully two) as we make our way up northern Oregon next week.

My gift for Richard: home-cooked meals.

While in Medford, we plan to take advantage of the stores, an Asian grocery store to be exact. We’ll visit Barnes & Noble, visit local parks and check out their library. We’re also making a run to Walmart for any RV-needs.

So going back to naming my favorite part(s) of today…..

1. Having a feast at McGrath’s Fish House. As if we were celebrating my birthday, I ordered whatever my taste buds desired.  I had such a great dining experience. It’s been a while since I moaned with a fork in my mouth. I ordered a combination of prawn kebabs, crab cakes and salmon.

2. After our meal, we walked over to Harry & David. Back in California, we know them as “the small store inside the mall that sold popcorn and pears”. But here, it was a size of a Trader Joe’s . There was a section for wine, appetizers for entertaining, the sweet desserts and snacks and finally, the produce. It was one of my favorite part because when we were done picking up items here and there, Owen and I asked Richard to wait for us in the truck. We picked out a few things for his birthday and even had it custom gift-wrapped. Seeing Owen giggle in anticipation was priceless. He couldn’t wait for daddy to see it tomorrow.

Gifts for Richard: chocolate popcorn, pancake mix, chocolate-covered fruits, chocolate bars.
Gifts for Richard: chocolate popcorn, pancake mix, chocolate-covered fruits, chocolate bars.

3. When we got back to the hotel, the boys decided to go swimming and that’s when I put on my apron and put a bandana on my head. I was in counter-space heaven! I made Owen’s Mac-and-Cheese with broccoli and my chicken with mushroom sauce (made from scratch!). I loved being in my element. No TV to distract me, just me, my knife, my stove and the AC on full blast…

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On that note: If I can ask anyone reading this to take a moment and be grateful for what you have- the amount of space you have in your kitchen, your bathroom, your privacy. Not that I ever took it for granted, but our (new) way of living now made me realize how easy it is to forget the luxury of space and privacy.

I went from a 3-bedroom house with a loft, 2.5 bath, two story house- to a travel trailer where my elbow hits the shower stall, where my kitchen has limited space and if I seek quiet time, it’d have to be outside somewhere where there’s mosquitoes and the heat.

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I am grateful for: My best friend Melissa B. who reminds me that this is all temporary; to cherish the moments with Owen. My art friend Jenny P.  who reminds me that other people have less. My spiritual friend Lee Ann who coaches me along and tells me it’s ok to feel this way, that I will learn to adjust. She’s going through worse yet manages to bring out the positives. I am grateful for my friends who I remain in contact with on a daily/weekly basis for their constant support and encouraging comments on Facebook. A simple comment really makes a big difference in my day, so thank you (you know who you are).  And I’d like to thank the Academy for my sister Pauline, who’s been with me since day 1. (Cue music…)

The truth of  it all, this is my favorite part of today. Counting my blessings. For having Owen and Richard in my life, whether it be in a new-built house or a used-travel trailer. It’s a great life.

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In Need of a Friend

June 13, 2014
9pm

Feeling melancholy and claustrophobic inside the trailer, I put on my hiking shoes and took a walk along the reservoir. As strange as it sounds, I woke up from a nap and had nothing to do. I really had nothing to do. And because I’ve led such a busy life back home, I suddenly felt lonely and -how should I put this- bored. I miss meeting up with my mom and sisters and my friends, especially the ones who lived in my community. I missed having one-on-one moments with friends.

Out of nowhere, a dog came running from behind. My sadness immediately vanished as I pet Abby.

This is Abby, who came to the rescue!
This is Abby, who came to the rescue!

Abby’s owner Rebekah came over and she and I began talking. By this time, Abby’s job was done and she was off frolicking. Like us, Rebekah recently became a full-time RVer. She’s an artist and a photographer. Her work is based in her motor home. I told her about my paper quilling hobby and Art Abandonment.

This is Rebekah, another earth-bound Angel.
This is Rebekah, another earth-bound Angel.

 

It turns out that she came from Lone Pine and arrived yesterday, the same time as us. When I told her about our experience, her jaw dropped. She was out in the Alabama Hills taking pictures and saw the whole incident with our truck, the fire, etc.

I talked to her about my deep fears and advised me like a long time friend. She told me not to take long drives, take our time, change plans if you must and to limit driving for only 2 to 3 hours.

On that note: instead of hauling our trailer to Lassen Pines on a 8-hour drive, we decided to break it off in two trips, staying at Carson City, NV and Susanville, CA two nights each. Owen is excited to venture out of California, but for now, we still have a lot of exploring and hiking to do…

I needed a friend and help came in the form of a dog. What more could a gal ask for?

 

 

Homeschooling: geography lesson.
Homeschooling: geography lesson.
Playing bananagrams to give me "something to do".
Playing bananagrams to give me “something to do”.

Final Goodbyes

A roller coaster ride saying goodbye to family and friends.

I made my mom sob, which was hard to see as a daughter do to her mother. But we have an understanding. With the support of her friends, she is realizing she needs to let her children go.  I will make sure Owen keep in touch with her. I know this will make her happy.

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My niece Abby, who is notorious for never holding anyone’s hand while walking or crossing, asked to hold my hand. She let me hug her for as long as I wanted. Many of my friends know that I babysat Abby since she was a toddler, not speaking yet. Now she knows my name and mistakenly calls me her mom sometimes. She’s practically my little girl.

In saying goodbye to my sister Donna, I realize talking about an episode of Game of Thrones or Greys Anatomy will never be the same. I teared up when it dawned on me that like the characters in Greys Anatomy, Meredith and Christina, my sister is my person.

Owen & I met Eden and Jacob 2 yrs ago in my community when I created Lego Night for kids (Owen’s original idea.) We became best friends and they will remain close to our hearts. Thank you for the memories. I consider her as part of my family.

 

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The Scovilles are leaving California as well and heading back to their home state Virginia. We met Elizabeth and her well-mannered children at a homeschool meet up that I coordinated with my homeschool mom friends.  2 years later, we’re going our separate ways. We look forward to seeing them in Virginia.

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Marsha is my brand-spanking new friend who I met a few months ago while attending a doTerra essential oil class. She and I hit it off right away. She has inherited Richard’s car and will make it her own.

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Not pictured, Sheila H. has opened my eyes to Art and Spirituality. Her goodbye prayer had me in tears. I look forward to sharing God’s beauty with her.

 

 

It’s OK to have a bad day…

June 6, 2014

I had a tough day yesterday. One, I wanted to wash my hair but became claustrophobic in the mini shower while I was shaving my legs. I forgot there wasn’t much space behind me (like an average shower/tub). I panicked a little and decided my hair was fine as is. Second, I wanted to change my bed sheets. But the thought of pulling it out of the storage beneath my bed felt like a 3-hour hike. I didn’t feel like it. I was tired and the extra steps were just too much for me. Third, I put something away in my mini closet and decided to just throw it in without a care. As I settled down for the night, I got brave and attempted to close the sliding door in my room. That was a mistake. All hell broke loose.

Can't. breathe.

For many of you, you know me as someone who is well-organized, positive and always happy. Yesterday wasn’t my day. I started thinking about my old life. I had a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house. My walk in closet was ridiculously spacious. My linen closet was every woman’s dream. I had a shower stall that was clear and those stepping corner where one can shave their legs. Oh how this invention was taken for granted…

A friend of mine emailed me and she mentored me in feeling better. She said I am actually still mourning and she was right. I no longer own a house and my many material belongings. Although I’m still able to communicate with friends, the security of having them nearby is gone, too. So if you add up my claustrophobic moment and my sadness, it equaled a bad day… And one thing I learned: it’s ok to have a bad day. I’m allowed to feel this way. I’m human and proud of it it 😉

My friend’s advice: go outdoors and be in nature. I followed her advice. I took pictures of Owen and the lake and doing so reminded me of my passion for photography and nature. Thank you Lee Ann from La Grande, Oregon. Nature is the best physician.

My personal remedy: had lunch with my sister, my niece Abby and my mom. We ate to our hearts content and even went shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond. I purchased organizational items.

My bad day spell is over. I used my organizational skills and tackled every nook and cranny in our trailer. From pantry to bathroom to my mini closet, everything has its place. I also had Richard help me change the sheets… Now I can sleep peacefully with my clean hair and the windows open.