Hi There!

I seem to be averaging one blog post per year. That wasn’t my intention. But sometimes intentions are pushed to the back burner by circumstances or needs. So, maybe more on that later.

So here we are. About 5 months into the current life of Covid-19 avoidance. So I thought I would share in this blog about how the year has been so far.

When the new year started, I just had a feeling that something big was coming and this was going to be a different year. I didn’t even consider a virus, or any of the other issues going on in the country, to be that “something big”. So before the quarantine was announced, I had noticed that more people were arriving at Costco and lining up outside the front door before the store opened. Once inside, I had noticed that folks were loading up on toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water and disinfectant wipes. One lady really had her priorities in order, as she also had 3 bags of coffee. So I thought that it might be prudent to buy some extra items. I really didn’t feel panicked. Just at peace.

So the quarantine here in Oregon happened kind of suddenly. The day began with hearing that schools were going to stay open, and by the end of the day, schools were all closed. My husband heard from his boss that they weren’t going to switch to everyone working from home, then by 5PM, that changed and he was going to be working from home. Going to church changed suddenly and it was decided that church services would be available to watch online. A lot of adjustment followed.

As some of you know, our adult son is on the Autism Spectrum. He is more secure, when he knows what to expect, and if his routine is unexpectedly changed, even a little bit, he gets really irritated and it takes us about an hour to “talk him down” from his trip to “Bummerville” (and as a parent, I want to tell the bearers of bad news, “Thanks. You aren’t helping”). That happened several times because we’d hear information that sounded hopeful, only to have information declaring the opposite come later. We don’t watch the news on tv, but do stay in touch on Facebook. My husband and I know how to filter the news we do here, but our son doesn’t and that kind of overload that he was seeing on his Facebook feed, was overwhelming to him. It took him about a month to get used to the new routine (and not read as much news) He’s settled into the routine now, but that first month for him was rough. His teacher had to quickly switch to putting together worksheets and e-mailing her students regularly. I think that the fact that he was home-schooled growing up, helped in his ability to adjust to doing school at home. He only saw his teacher two more times before the end of the year, however, she did call each of her students every week to check in with them and answer any questions they had about their lessons.

My husband started his work from home set up in the living room, and Zoom meetings started in the dining room. So I had to watch where I was walking in the house at times, because I wasn’t prepared to be seen in a Zoom call. Eventually, he set his work area up in the garage. He has privacy and there’s a smaller chance of interruptions by family (however, cats interrupt regularly). I will say, that at home, he’s been more relaxed. I think that we’re both more relaxed and well rested because we don’t have to get up as early as we usually do, in order to catch the bus to work and I’m not rushing our son into town to go to school. We haven’t set our alarms since this quarantine started. Waking up naturally has been one of the best things about staying at home.

Another thing that has started from this quarantine, is that we walk more. We started in March, just as a way to get out of the house to see something other than our 4 walls. Then by May, the Rec department at Kevin’s work, put out the challenge of “A Mile A Day in May”. So we extended our walking route to a mile, and then a little over a mile. It’s August now and we are walking just over 2 miles nearly everyday. Things we’ve seen on our walks: many yard and building projects (Which have been fun to watch). Also getting to wave and see our neighbors in the morning as they are out in their gardens or walking as well. We’ve talked about eventually doing a 5K, but we need to work up to that.

That’s the latest. I think that my last post was related to our journey with Financial Peace University, and I’ll come back to that pretty soon. But I thought I’d update you all on how we’ve been during this time that we’re all together, all day, every day.

Be Back Soon!


The Latest “Goings On”

I’m a little late, but, Happy Spring!
The sun is out more often, the sounds of lawnmowers are in the air, the birds are visiting more often, and daylight is starting to last longer. Several of us in the neighborhood are planting our gardens. In less than two weeks, Easter will be here and at this house, we’re planning a family dinner.

How is your Spring looking so far?


A New Season, A New Name

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick note to say that I’m still here. It’s been an interesting year.
Just before my last post, we had just moved to a small town. It’s about a 20 minute drive from where we had lived, and this town is a small fraction of the size of the town we used to live in. Just a few things about our town that might be different from our previous town:
1. I think that there are 4 stoplights in this town and one stop sign.
2. Our town does not have any major grocery stores. If I want to make a large grocery run, I need to go to either the town that we just moved from or the town that I grew up in. There is a small market here for last minute purchases if I run out of something for making a meal. So we’re not totally without.
3. There’s a video rental store here. The owner has probably seen every movie in the store and if the only info you have is an actor and what it might be about, he knows exactly what you’re looking for. There is not a Redbox to be found in this town, and if there were, I don’t think that it would survive. You can’t beat good customer service!
4. I think that there are more neighbors with more chickens. Every morning, I can look outside of my kitchen window and see what the chickens behind us are up to. I discovered recently that a neighbor on our street has some chickens who like to leave home and visit other yards.

I do like living in a smaller town. It’s peaceful. We have neighbors who have warmly welcomed us and even drop off eggs from their chickens and produce from their gardens or fruit trees. It’s a friendlier place, at least the neighborhood we’re in is.

So, I thought that perhaps, I should change the name of this blog to reflect our new, calmer surroundings.

Also, we’re in a new season of life. I’m not homeschooling right now. Heather graduated from GED class and is working AND…. planning her wedding! Kylin is going to GED class so now, the only educating I do is when he needs help with his homework. So, other that all of the driving I do to take the kids to school/work, I need to start thinking of new things to fill my “extra” time. It’s an exciting and yet kind of sad time. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I hope to. Many other parents have done this long before I was born.

So, a new adventure begins!


Happy New Year (a little late)

Hello Everyone,

I hope that your holidays  were fun and that you’re enjoying your new year.

Our new year started with the need for a floor replacement in one of our bathrooms.  Usually when we’re ringing in the new year, we’re wondering what the year will bring. I don’t think that water damage and mold in the sub-flooring was what we thought we’d start with.  When all is said and done, I hope to have “before” and “after pictures.   In the meantime, we’re getting ready for a bit of  a remodel.  Something we’ve never experienced before.  We’re also sharing our bathroom with the kids. Extra toothbrushes and shaving supplies and not a lot of counter space.   We’re adjusting.   Learning to adjust is a good thing.

School is back in session for Kylin.  He probably wishes that Christmas vacation lasted longer, but he hasn’t complained. However, there are days when he’ll hide out in his room to play and hopes that I’ll forget about school.

This year is also the “year of firsts”.  That first year of holidays and events after a loved one passes.  We lost two family members in the past two months.  My grandma passed away one week before Thanksgiving.  My sister’s mother passed away on the Monday before Christmas.  So the holidays were a bit mellow, and full of thoughts of our loved ones.

I guess that this is the year of adjustment, and not just adjusting to one less bathroom.  Also adjusting to the new normal, and whatever else may change the plans or hopes we have for this new year.

Here’s to a  new year and opportunities to adjust, or be flexible.






Returning to “Normal”

Happy New Year Everyone!!
It’s that time again. When we put away our Christmas decorations, toss the tree, and put the furniture back where it belongs. It’s time to listen to regular music on the radio and it’s time for Starbucks to put their peppermint mocha supplies in the back room. My daughter would disagree with that last part. She found the peppermint mocha to be “Amazing!”
I am almost finished getting the inside of the house back to normal. I still have our front porch to work on and Kevin still has some lights to put away. I thought I’d post a few pictures from yesterday’s cleaning.

These are just a few of our containers.............

These are just a few of our containers………….

....and I'm supposed to nicely pack all of this away into those containers.

….and I’m supposed to nicely pack all of this away into those containers.

Once we moved the tree and vacuumed the needles (and I realized that Kevin and I both like to vacuum large messes)I brought in Kevin’s papasan chair. For several years, Kevin had this chair in his cubicle at work. He also had a doormat that read “Go Away” at the entrance. The comfy chair and the doormat sent conflicting messages. The lure of the papasan chair always overpowered the message of the doormat and coworkers would come in and visit. So when Kevin had to move to a new cubicle, he brought the chair home and it sat in our garage for a few months. So, for now, we’re trying it out in the livingroom. It’s comfortable, and probably a great place to nap.
Kevin's papasan chair Kevin’s papasan chair

Happy New Year!

Happy November!

I’m about a day late in my greeting but that’s alright. The month is still new.
Did you all remember to “Fall Back” and change your clocks? IMG_6331

It’s always nice to get that extra hour of sleep eh?
We actually had some Trick-or-Treaters this Halloween. For the first two Halloweens that we’ve lived in this house, we’ve had none and were left with a bowl of non-chocolate candy. So this year, Kevin installed a flashing light on the porch so as to be seen from the main road. This is also the first Halloween that we’ve ever had kids in the house dressing up. The little girl who I babysit and her older sister were with us for the day so Heather helped them dress up for gathering candy. The little one wanted to be “Elsa” from “Frozen” and the older one wanted to go as “Amy Pond after seeing The Silence” from “Dr. Who”. They looked pretty cool! I took several pictures of them on our decorated front porch and sent them to their father.
For our porch, I like to decorate for the Fall season in general. We do carve pumpkins, but try to avoid anything scary. So here are some “Before” pics of the porch IMG_6289 IMG_6295 IMG_6319

So I guess it’s time to move onward to planning for Thanksgiving! Hopefully, I’ll be able to post more before then.
Elizabeth 🙂

The End of Summer Vacation

Actually, we really didn’t have a vacation this summer. We stayed home and did our usual daily routine all summer. We didn’t have the funds to go on any vacations or “daycations” so our fun times happened in our own town and the one on the other side of the freeway. For Labor Day, I had hoped to sleep in, however my internal clock wouldn’t let me. Normally, during the week, I wake up at 5:30 AM. This morning, I was able to sleep in one hour past that. After a morning of relaxing and then tidying up, we thought we’d go to Springfield. A mural of “The Simpsons” had recently been painted and the anniversary of the show had been celebrated at the mural last week.

The Simpsons are officially in Springfield, OR now!

The Simpsons are officially in Springfield, OR now!

Just down the street from the mural, is Sweety’s Yogurt Shop which also celebrates Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa & Maggie.
The Simpsons in the yogurt shop look kind of creepy if you aren't prepared to see them staring out of the window.

The Simpsons in the yogurt shop look kind of creepy if you aren’t prepared to see them staring out of the window.

We had hoped to buy some yogurt, however they were closed. A lot of businesses were closed in Springfield. If we had been in our town, yogurt shops would have been open. I’m not complaining though. Kudos to local businesses that let their employees enjoy the holiday. Our outing ended with driving to the top of Kelly Butte, from where you can see all of Springfield.
The view from Kelly Butte

The view from Kelly Butte

. Our outing ended with a stop for a Slurpee because it was so hot, and our car currently has the 2/55 air conditioning (2 open windows/55 mph). Now we’re tucked back into our cooler home, getting ready to eat dinner (and pack the leftovers for Kevin’s lunches), and thinking about the beginning of the new school year.

Elizabeth 🙂

Happy Labor Day!!

Hello September!
The month that marks the end of summer fun and the beginning of school. Thoughts start turning toward holidays and preparing for them. There’s already a nip in the morning air, but it doesn’t stay long enough to start wearing the warmer clothes. That will start in a month or two. I’m looking forward to trying new recipes for soups, stews and excuses to make hot cocoa! Last night, I was so tired when I went to bed, that I was sure that I would sleep in until 8 this morning. Nope. I woke up at 6:30. When my kids were small, I didn’t mind waking up so early on a holiday because I was going to a local thrift store for their “everything is half off” sale and if I wanted a shopping cart, I needed to be in line well before the store opened. Maybe my early rising is because I normally wake up at 5:30 AM, that my internal clock only gives me an extra hour of rest on my day off. So, since I’m awake, I’m enjoying the quiet, with my coffee, and getting some reading and planning done before anyone else wakes up and starts asking me questions. The plan for today is to stay home and tidy up. We may drive around town later on and check out some of the murals. For those of you who are traveling today, stay safe 🙂 For those of you who are staying close to home, like we are, enjoy your day!


I’ve Been “Booted”

IMG_6147 I have a new shoe! It’s the latest in a line of one-sided footwear. I’ve had it for almost 2 weeks. I have what is called Plantar Fasciitis, which means that I have an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. That means that it’s very painful to walk on my heel and under the arch. I’ve been dealing with this for over a year now, since I sprained my ankle. I finally went to a doctor two weeks ago (yeah, I know I should have gone in a lot sooner). So now I have this lovely, open toed boot, keeping my foot and ankle in a 90 degree angle.
This thing has several Velcro straps on it, meaning that it’s noisy when I walk. I can’t sneak up on anyone, and my husband likens my walking sound to that of “RoboCop”!
If you see me out and about, and I’m not wearing it, it’s because I’m probably driving and I’ve been told that I can’t drive with the boot on. If I do, and get into a car accident, then insurance won’t cover it because I should not have been wearing it.
I also have a splint to wear at night. I don’t think that I like it though because more often than not, I’ve woken up in the morning to find it has been removed. This morning, I found it in the trash!
I go back to the doctor in 4 weeks. Hopefully, my foot will be better.
I would like to be able to wear sandals before the nice weather is over!


How Was My Weekend?

The answer to that question is probably a lot like everyone else’s. It was busy.
Even in all of the busyness, I still haven’t had a chance to finish my grocery shopping.
The one piece of excitement over the past 2 days was that I nearly swallowed a fly.
And yes, I know what song comes to mind. Two people have already sung or quoted that song to me. On Saturday morning, I was catching up on my Facebook, and didn’t notice that a fly had landed in my coffee. So, in my ignorance. I took a drink, and immediately felt something weird in my mouth. So I spit it back into my cup. Even then, I still couldn’t tell what it was. So, I poured it through a sieve, and that is when Kevin and I both saw what it was. A poor fly struggling to live. We were both rather grossed out, and Kevin wasted no time in directing me to the Listerine. 🙂

I guess that I’ll either need to put a screen over my coffee cup or just watch my coffee at all times from now on.

Enjoy your week!