Five Simple Things (March 27)

 Hello.

I've spent most of the week in pain and sleeping. Not a lot has gone on with us lately. Jeff is still working full time hours, but he is worried that a furlough might happen at his job. He's been there almost 25 years, so he is hoping that his years there will save him from being laid off. He did say that a furlough is coming, but he doesn't know when. So, fingers crossed it's just workplace rumors. I'm not fully coherent on everything that Jeff and Skylar tell me, but I do take the time each day to read some in the books I bought, do a bit of anxiety breathing and calming myself, but mostly I'm just in a great amount of pain. I was put on one pain medication, but my tolerance is so low, that is was making me sick. The throwing up was hurting me so much, that my surgeon switched to a lower dose and a different kind. It's been a lot less dry-heaving and excruciating pain, so at least I can sleep. I also have been wearing the compression socks all day and all night because I just don't want to get up. It's a lot more pain than I expected, but I am strong and I can do this. Jeff has been telling me a lot about stuff going on in the state and around the town here. He said that President Trump signed a Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act today and that the governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, made mask-wearing mandatory in the state, and issues at "stay at home" order (quarantine). Jeff went to 7-11 here to grab a bag of ice, and the lady inside 7-11 told him to get out of their building wearing a mask. Jeff asked her what she was talking about and the lady told him, "No one is allowed inside 7-11 that has a mask on." Jeff told her, "Lady, the whole state is going to be wearing a mask, so you telling me to leave is not only rude, but also dumb." She told him that she didn't care what he thought and told him to either leave, or she would make him leave. Jeff and Skylar wear a mask in public right now, because of two reasons. One, I just had surgery and they don't want to take any risks with bringing anything inside the house, and two, because there's a pandemic and it's better to be safe than sorry. Our cases in the state are going up and the cases here in our county are way above where they should be. The lady at 7-11 is a good example of why our cases have gone up. I hope she changes her attitude soon and does her part, as a 7-11 employee, in keeping everyone, including herself, safe. Here are five things this week...

1. IKEA After Dark 



Before my surgery we went to the IKEA After Dark event in Portland, Oregon, on February 22. It was a promotion with IKEA to have people check out their great selection of beds, bed frames, mattresses, bedding, and other items to help make your bedroom a cozy, relaxing, and inviting place. We had a lot of fun trying out the different stations they had set up for customers and we even left with a new mattress, bedding, bedside shelving, and a few other items. It was a lot of fun and the IKEA staff always makes things enjoyable. #IKEAAfterDark

2. This Shadow.

The view from the room I am recovering in, I can see the lower part of the stairs in our house. Skylar still has a lot of little boy in him and he has a train and small town layout on the landing of our stairs. Sometimes, when I wake up and need a pain medication, or a drink, I can hear him making car, train, and people noises. It brings me a lot of happiness to hear that. Our house is a calm and safe place and those sounds just bring me a great delight overall.

3. The Office.


I've been watching a lot of The Office, as well as other shows and movies, while I'm recovering. One of the episodes of The Office, Jim invites everyone to his apartment for a barbeque and gives them a tour of his place. He finds Pam in his room looking at his random things, and one thing caught my eye. The diagram on his wall. I went scouring the internet trying to find out what it means and the closest I found was a Reddit post. I tend to agree with the commenter that it could mean:
The day / ((sex + water + love + food + alcohol - violence) over your dreams)) + wealth after bills and taxes = life
                                                                                                                                                           
4. This Quote.

I grew up in a house where the word "normal" was used quite often as almost an insult. "Why can't you be more normal." "That's not how normal people act." Or, "You just aren't normal." I've grown to hate the word normal and anytime people use that word towards someone, or something, I always look at them and wonder why kind of childhood they had, too. There is no such thing as "normal." That might come as a shock, but it's true. Your "normal" isn't the way, and someone else's "normal" isn't the way, so therefore, "normal" doesn't exist. The one thing people can do is stop trying to push the view of "normal" on the world. Telling someone they aren't normal is rude, disrespectful, harmful, and a form of abuse. It makes people think that they aren't enough. Growing up hearing that, it caused a lot of harm in how I saw and valued myself. It's taken many years to erase that damage, and I am still working on some of it. So, just don't do it. Embrace change and the differences people bring into the world and stop boxing people into the falsehood of "normal."

5. Exhale.

A little reminder for anyone that needs it.

Positive affirmations this week: "How do you get out of a funk you're in?"
Listening to favorite music, wear a cute outfit to work, or classes, or go for a hike, or walk with a friend. They don't always work immediately, but they do over time.

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (March 20)

 Hello.

Well, it's the day after my surgery and I am kind of not all here, and on pain medication, but here we are. I contemplated whether I should do a Five Simple Things post, but consistency and routine are good for me. I feel okay, overall, but hurting a lot, so I will keep this post short. We drove up to Portland the day before, and the day of my surgery we stayed the night in a hotel, and went back to my surgeon's office the following morning. He wanted to check on things before we drove back home. We live almost an hour and a half from my surgeon's office, so it would have been hard on me to get up and come all the way back just to have him check on stitching and bandages. But, we are home now, I am all set up, and all I want to do is sleep. I will share more information about my surgery, what I had done, and the progress, once I feel more comfortable and open about discussions. For now, I will lay in this bed and take care of myself.

1. These Tricycles.

Getting rid of things is kind of bitter sweet. These tricycles were Skylar's and he loved them. We've tried to sell them on Craigslist a few times, and even had people come out, with their kids, to try them out. We even had an old toy collector ask for them for a lower price than we were selling them, which was $25-pretty reasonable, but we didn't budge on the price and she wasn't happy about it. We feel they are worth the full $25. But, for now, they will remain in our attic and possibly just hang onto them until a time is right to either pass them along, or try to sell them again.

2. These Peanut Butter Balls.

We tried the peanut butter balls, or could be called buckeyes, recipe. It came out well, actually. They are pretty delicious, and you can modify this recipe to suit your needs, really. You can make them into a sort of energy ball, or add oats, flax seeds, or even hemp seeds. We'll be playing around with this recipe more and making these again soon.

3. This Drawing.

I just love history and the area where we live it is full of some great back history. It's a shame that the area doesn't embrace its past as much as it should. This area was once a really popular logging area and contained a lot of mills and millwright shops. This pictures is one of those places around the early 1900s. The warehouse in the picture doesn't exist anymore, but there have been donations and other volunteers working towards creating a museum to showcase some of these places from the past. We are looking forward to seeing it all come together in the coming years. 

4. This Word Play.

With having a lot of time on my hands before my surgery, I started playing Word with Friends. I had just enough letters to play Pig Sooie, but of course, it's not a valid word, but still would have gained me quite a lot of points. ☻

5. Photography.

Before I went up to Portland to check in for my surgery, I went around the county snapping some random pictures. I enjoy a lot of the farming and open landscape here and every season it just seems to take on a whole new view of the land. I wanted to have a lot of pictures to sort through during my recovery and this barn is one of those pictures. I think it turned out wonderfully and once we move (that is still on the works), I may frame a few of them, just to have as hanging art and a few memories of the area.

Positive affirmations this week: "What’s your favorite thing about yourself?"
The fact that I feel sorry for people that are self-sabotaging to themselves. Gossip, jealousy, and overall dissatisfaction, is self-destructive and I feel terrible that these people can't see above their own pride. I like the fact that I have empathy for them and wish they could see above their own ego. If you are one of these people reading this, step back and better your thoughts and actions towards others. Your best asset is your thoughts. Make them the best thoughts you can. I wish you the best.

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (March 13)

 Hello.

Happy Friday the 13th. I am less than five days away from my surgery and I am feeling the anxiety, let me tell you. As far as right now, nothing has been canceled or postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but I am a bit concerned about that. Within our state, we have had more and more cases daily, and our governor here shut down all public and private in-person schools. The ski resorts across the state are all closing down, as well, to prevent the spread. Our county of Linn is still the highest in the state for cases. The Veteran's home here has the most reported cases, this far, and hopefully they can keep it contained for now. Five days from now, I will be put under and kind of get a sort of "escape" from all of this going on. Hopefully, it doesn't get any worse.

1. This Lava Rock.

I still find this fascinating that the State of Oregon uses lava rock from past volcano activity to apply to the roads in the winter. People that have lived around this their entire life, really take this small thing for granted. It's incredible to me, really and I will always find a "hidden" gem of Oregon.

2. This Field.


Construction crews broke ground on the field behind our house this past week. This field has always been a buffer between us and the train tracks, and prying eyes, but we are kind of bitter sweet about the construction. They are building duplexes and we just hope that it brings less foot traffic through the field and prevent people from jumping our fence. We also hope that the two-story duplexes will buffer the train whistle, too. 

3. This Burger.

We went to eat at the Newport Café in Newport, Oregon, this week. Skylar decided to take on the biggest hamburger they have on their menu. He ate about half and said he couldn't finish it. He did say it was very messy and hard to keep together, but he had lunch for a couple of days.

4. This Nest.

We weren't sure if this was an osprey nest, or an eagle nest. It was pretty large, so we are leaning more towards it being an eagle nest. Either way, it was one of the cooler nests we've seen here, so far.

5. These Showerheads. 

We've been looking at replacing a lot of things in the bathroom of this house. We've been looking into starting with smaller things, sink, shower head and attachment, etc. We are liking the look of the shower options at IKEA, but can't make our minds up. More on this later.

Positive affirmations this week: "What are your core strengths?"
Empathy for others even when they don't have empathy in return. Also, keeping cool under pressure. Definitely a positive to bring to the workforce in the future.

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (March 6)

 Hello.

Less than two weeks away until my surgery day. Getting a bit more anxious as we get closer, but I think I'm ready. I think... We have pretty much gotten everything "we think" we will need. I also have a subscription to a seasonal box and everything that came in it a few days ago is perfect for my upcoming recovery from my surgery. A spring water face mist, a detangler spray for your hair, lip balm, skin lotion that's unscented, and even a travel bag. It was as if it was made for me, this season. But, that aside I would like to get one more thing before March 19. A small cooler to go beside the bed, for cold water and other drinks, as well as my medication and other items that need to stay cool. I haven't quite figured out exactly what I'm looking for, yet, but hopefully soon. Also, the talks of the Coronavirus pandemic are getting a bit more intense. Oregon has a lot more cases now and I am extremely worried it's going to hold me back from my surgery date. My surgeon's office keeps checking in on me to make sure I am staying healthy and prepared. I was sent the paperwork to finish filling out and in the coming week I have to get a mammogram. I've never had a mammogram, so I have a bit of anxiety about that, too, but I am ready and I keep telling myself, it's okay, it's okay, just keep focusing on the positives, so that's what I am "trying" to do. But, here are five things that distracted me from the anxiety and were a positive this past week.

1. This Hummingbird.

Spring is coming with the appearance of hummingbirds. Sometimes they show up and then we get snow, but overall I love seeing them and hearing them this time of year. This one was sitting in one of the Hawthorne trees in front of our house and he was singing away.


2. This Meal.

With preparing for everything lately, we just haven't felt like cooking, or had then energy, at the end of the day. We haven't been out to eat here locally in awhile, so we decided to give Shari's Restaurant here in town a go. With not eating outside the house a lot, our taste in food has changed a bit and the food was quite salty to us, but the positive is, we didn't have to cook it.

3. This Quadratic Formula.

Skylar loves math and I will be honest, some of his math problems really throw me for a loop. This is one of those times. He definitely didn't get his math knowledge from me. I'm more of a history and science person over math. I don't hate math, but I sure as heck don't love it. Skylar loves it and his favorite things is hexaflexagons.

4. This Cake.

I decided to take my mind off everything and bake a cake for us. Baking and cooking are not my strong suit, but I do try. This cake was actually pretty good and it was eaten on all week. The products I used for this were  and the Miss Jones chocolate cake mix, Miss Jones cream cheese frosting, and India Tree Sprinkles on top. We have completely changed our at-home eating to organic, or nongmo. It's helped keep us healthy and overall help keep our weight in check. Organic foods are pricier than conventional, but the one things we like is the fact that you are fuller eating organic and feel less bloated, or irritable. We started changing things slowly a few years ago and slowly started purchasing more and more items that are organic as we ran out. We don't regret it, at all. 

5. Another Rainbow.

We love and we miss you, buddy.

Positive affirmation this week: "What value do you bring to the world?"
The value we see ourselves bringing to the world varies, but for me, my kindness, empathy (for sure), understanding, and patience. I also bring a lot of knowledge that I've passed onto my child, so he can also bring that into the world as he gets older. And, just a side note here, how other people see you doesn't matter. It's all how you see yourself, so love yourself no matter what. 

Have a nice weekend.

Up and Over the Cascades

We took a quick trip up the Cascades to see how much of the snow had melted. It was a nice little drive to get out of the Valley for awhile. We were thinking the snow might be too bad on the roads, but it was actually a lot clearer than we expected.