Five Simple Things (August 28)

 Hello.

Happy birthday to me this week, today actually. It's an unusual birthday, but an unusual year to go along with that. We have some serious wildfires here right now. As I stated last week, it's bad. Not just bad, but scary to the point I'm not sleeping, bad. The fires are burning so intense and so fast that wildland officials and those on the ground can't seem to get ahead of them yet. The sky here has taken on an eerie orange glow and Skylar and I have been running the water sprinkler nonstop around the yard, just in case. Ash has been falling on our car and in our pool. The Neals Hill Fire that was the start of the wildfire season was contained this week, so there's at least one down. These firefighters and wildland firefighters have been working so hard on these this year. It's just a bizarre year and everything is so dry here. Of course, there's so much misinformation going around right now and living in the middle of all of this, all of it is disgusting. People piling more stress on top of an already stressful situation is ridiculous. I will never understand why people want to create more problems instead of solutions. I tell Skylar all of the time, create solutions, not more problems, and every problem DOES have a solution. I am currently collecting all of our pictures and videos throughout these few weeks and will post a blog post soon of the wildfire season here and how bad it's gotten. For now, here are five things this week.


I have to add a few extra pictures in here for my birthday. I turned 43 this year and baked a cake for myself. Also, Twitter is always so prompt and efficient with their on-screen birthday balloons, so I must give them credit for that. As well as, Ikea. This is the first year I've been part of the Ikea family, so getting a birthday postcard was a nice surprise. The cake had white icing on it and candles by my favorite candle makers, Big Dipper Wax Works. I didn't get a finished pictures because we cut into it before I remembered. It was a good day! -on with the post...

1. This Gift.

After being at Selmet for over 20 years now Jeff got a nice 20 year gift from the company; this watch and a nice bonus. Although, Selmet is owned by a new company now, they still honored the tradition. And, Jeff was one of the last to receive this traditional piece. Makes employees feel like more than just a number at a company. We have to thank Selmet for so much. They've literally made Jeff feel like someone important and throughout the years Jeff has gained so much knowledge in the aerospace field.

2. This Tent.

Before the skies go too smoky and range this week Skylar and I set up the tent and camped out a few nights in a row. It was a nice way to "kind of " end the summer before all of the smoke and orange skies took over.

3. This Sky.

The smoky and orange to the ski started happening this week. It's tolerable still and this isn't the first time we've had smoky skies. A few years ago when California had bad fires we got a lot of their smoke up north, but this year we have our own fires, so it's a bit heavier than what I've seen in the past.

4. This Sky.

Before the smoke came in completely, we did enjoy some clear, blue skies. I just hope this smoke clears out soon. It is hard to breathe at times.

5. This Sign.


We've been gathering and selling our duck eggs lately. We didn't realize how many they would be laying and we started getting way more than we needed. Some of their eggs have a pretty greenish/blue tint to them and they are so pretty I hate to see them go sometimes.

This week on August 25 I received these flowers from my family in Arkansas. They were unexpected because the lady from the flower shop delivered them herself. It was very sweet of them to send them to me. I think they look great as the centerpiece to the table right now and from my room, I can see them, too.

Positive affirmations this week: "What are some things you have quit doing this year?"
Well, one thing I stopped doing was always trying to be perfect. Perfection is not achievable and anyone that tells you otherwise is living in a dream world. But, some things I stopped doing this year are:
1. Trying to please everyone. (Just impossible. I used to be a people pleaser and look for validation from others. What a waste of time)
2. Being fearful of change. (I'm not so much afraid of change as I am afraid of failure and that is still something I am working on)
3. Overthinking and living in the past. (This has more to do with drama, than trauma. Trauma coping from experiences from the past are always going to follow me, but thinking about what someone said to you a month ago, or even more, and still being upset over it, let it go. I feel sorry for people that have to tear others down to feel better. What a sad life)
4. Being afraid to be different. (Originality is amazing. Embrace it. Who cares what other people think)
5. Thinking there's no purpose to you. (There is. Everyone is here for a reason whether someone else tells you otherwise, or not)
6. Sacrificing your happiness for someone else. (It's not worth it. Never is. Never will be. Some people are takers. They take, take, take, until you're broken and lost. Don't sacrifice for someone if you aren't happy)
7. Thinking you aren't good enough. (Everyone is good enough. Period. What they chose to do with that is up to them)
8. Spending money you don't have. (Spend smart. And, don't spend on people to impress them. Spend it on yourself over those people. I've wasted so much money thinking I could get validation from people through gifts. Sad, really. But, I grew and learned and now focusing more on my own home than my relationships with others that don't make an effort anyway)
9. Giving up selfcare. (Selfcare is just as important as healthcare. You have to have time for yourself, and take care of yourself. Mentally and physically. Always put you first)
10. Getting upset over how someone else sees you. (To put it bluntly, fuck that. People are always going to find a way to create a negative with you. Ignore it. Only thing you can do to make that cycle end is to not do that to other people. No matter who it is)

Have a nice weekend.

Long Beach Road Trip (Newport to Astoria)

We took a road trip to Astoria and along the way we stopped at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary and drove over the Astoria-Megler Bridge, as well as spent some time in Long Beach, Washington. It was a good day.



It's pretty windy on the jetty in Newport, Oregon.

Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, Oregon.

Long Beach, Washington.

 






Astoria-Megler Bridge during the day and at night. The bridge spans across the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon, connecting from Astoria to Megler, Washington. It is 1,232 feet in length.

Five Simple Things (August 21)

Hello.

This week has been a doozy of a week. We have had horrible winds and lightning storms and along with that an outbreak of a lot of random fires. Eight, including the one last week, to be exact. There's the Frog Fire, Green Ridge Fire, Indian Creek Fire, P-515 Fire, Lionshead Fire, Beachie Creek Fire, White River Fire, and the Laurel Fire. The two I am most concerned about are the Lionshead and Beachie Creek fires. They are closer to us than the others and causing a lot of issues lately for wildland firefighters. I hope they are able to get them contained before too long. Most of these fires were started by lightning or downed powerlines. The storms we've had here lately are not normal. First, it was the thunderstorm that hit and a lot of lightning bursts hit dry grass and sparked fires, then the winds we had a few days in a row pushed the fires even more. Fire officials say they have never seen a wildfire move as fast as some of these have, and that's alarming to me. The sky here is smoky, and I will post a blog post soon of more photos of the week and throughout the wildfire season here. This is the worst I've ever seen it. It's scary. That aside, still seeing the numbers with the pandemic are heartbreaking. This year has been intense. Here are five things this week.

1. This Kitty.

Eleven has had some issues breathing this week and we all have had quite a difficult time keeping the air quality inside the house cleaner than the outside air. But, she's always had issues breathing, so this week has really been rough on her. Hardy seems to be handling it a bit better than Eleven, but we are keeping an eye on both of them. We keep fans going and the air conditioner off, for the most part, but it's still smoky inside, especially during the day. Hopefully, it gets better before it gets worse.

2. This Laptop.

We've been busy going through things for the past two weeks and getting rid of nonessentials. I told Jeff the other day that this couldn't have come at a better time because now I know what we have and if we have to leave the area because of the fire, I will know exactly what to grab. My school laptop is definitely one of those items to grab. I have thought about writing up an emergency fire evacuation post on my blog about what to do, what to grab, and what to leave behind in the case of wildfire evacuations, but I think that will be something that comes much later. My anxiety is a wreck right now, but authorities assure us that we will get the notification to leave way before the fire gets to us. One of those fires is burning about 30 minutes from us, so I hope they are right.

3. These Miles.

I was able to do the same trek this week and ended up meeting up with Jeff on his way home, each time. It wasn't quite a mile, but it was enough. The air quality right now makes it so hard to breathe. It would be nice to get some heavy rainfall to not only help the fires, but also help take some of this smoke out of the air.

4. This Street.

This street sign always makes me laugh. It's in Multnomah, Oregon, and the next street is Craven Street. They just make me chuckle every time I see them.

5. This Selfcare.

A hot bath is my normal go-to when my anxiety is at a level that I can't seem to control. It's always been my "comfort," so to speak. But, Sundays are my selfcare days. I normally treat Sundays as my "spa days" and take care of my skin, my face, and my stress levels from the week before. We also have a large meal at the table and all of us talk about our past week, the week coming, what we can change, and how we can make the coming week better and more simplified. It's helped a great deal with being able to tackle the coming week without any regrets, or feeling overwhelmed. I will definitely be adding this hot bath combo to my selfcare Sundays.

Positive affirmations this week: "If you could tell someone reading your blog five things what would they be?"
1. Stay hydrated.
2. Don't be a racist.
3. Wash your hands.
4. Wear a mask.
5. Love yourself.

Have a nice weekend.

Our Garden this Year

We planted everything in our garden this year by seed and we only use all USDA organic seeds. Most, if not all of our seeds come from our local food co-op and give back to the community through shopping local. It's the first time that we've planted every plant by seed and we are so thrilled to see how many came up and are doing well. It's nice to see bees and other pollinators enjoying the flowers and blooms, too. Hopefully, we get a good harvest this year. I can't wait for the yellow squash to get ripe because nothing says summer to me like steamed yellow squash with butter, salt, and pepper. I can't cook well, but I can steam a lot of vegetables from the garden.

Zucchini and yellow squash.

Zinnias and pumpkins.

An onion bloom and sunflowers.

Cucumbers and carrots.

Snap peas and strawberries.

Blueberries and raspberries. 

Wildflowers and pollinator mix.