Showing posts with label Five simple things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Five simple things. Show all posts

Five Simple Things (August 13)


The smoke this week from the Middle Fork Complex Fire in Oakridge, Oregon, has been causing a bit of a smoke screen here in the parts of the Valley where we are. It started by lightning and the smoke has been heavy at times this week. We do get a bit of breeze to blow it away some, but overall I'm just thinking summers here are now just going to have some wildfire smoke during the season. I just hope no fires get close to us like they did last year. Along with the dry heat here we've been running our water sprinkler nonstop, it seems. Not just this week, but several weeks now. We are seeing less "crunchy" grass in the front of the house, especially. We have also been watering the sunflowers and pumpkin plants during the watering time in the evenings. We only planted sunflowers and pumpkins this year, because last year we last every single plant we had in the garden due to the wildfire smoke and ash. We also lost our crabapple tree in the process, too. So, this year we kept it simple just in case. Our air conditioner has been going nonstop, too, and I hate that we've had to depend on it so much this week. We are thinking of investing in some more eco-friendly air conditioner options for next year and we've been looking at this one, and this one. I like how minimal they look and seem to "blend in" with your d├ęcor and walls. Right now, we have this one. But, it worked overtime this year and having something less awkward, that could do the job for less work, would be great. Here are five things this week.

1. This Lunch.

Being part of the IKEA Family we always get a discount and lunch for our birthday. We needed a few things, so it seemed like a great time to go and enjoy lunch, pick up what we needed, and enjoy the day. We love eating lunch at IKEA and the view is always great!

2. This Appreciation.

I opened up on an Instagram post of Komuso Design and they ended up sharing it openly with their followers. My Shift necklace I received as a Mother's Day gift and I've been using it regularly since that day. I am beyond flattered that my story got shared with their followers and I hope it helps someone else, too. 

3. This Doggie.

Hardy is such a wonderful dog. The older he gets the more he makes us laugh. We moved the duck house this week to another part of the yard and the ducks aren't quite adapted to the change yet, but Hardy helps gather them up and put them in at night. He is getting good at corralling them when we need help. Min Pins are great dogs to teach responsibilities too and they actually thrive better at having tasks. Smart dogs and they know when and where to help when needed.

4. This Wool.

I ordered these wool dryer balls from Exactly Zero. I received a stick of their laundry stick in a past Kiwi Eco Box and loved it. Although we have white dryer balls already, I loved these gray ones. If you haven't tried anything from Exactly Zero, give them a go. The St. Louis, Missouri-based company was started by Michael and Charlotte Fritzius because of a cancer scare with Michael in 2012. Since that time they have been creating products that don't have health consequences after long-term use. Although their wool dryer balls are sold out, they have a lot of great, eco-friendly items that are just as awesome. 

5. This Devil.

Dirt devils here in Oregon are one of my most favorite things to see. I've seen so many of them since moving here. This one was one of the bigger, longer-lasting ones that we've seen in awhile.

 Did you catch the moon near Venus this week (10), or Perseids Meteor Shower (12)?

Positive affirmations this week:

No matter what you do for a living, a hobby, your opinions on topics, how you wear your hair, or live your life, you're going to have people that hate something, or all aspects of that. It can drag you down if you let it. For years I've had these feelings drag me down and destroy the small amounts of confidence that I have. But, the best thing I did for myself was know that, no matter how many people there may be that want to reflect hate onto you for your life, there are so many more that will support and tell you positive things. Focus on these positives over the negatives and hate. These are going to be your most loyal supporters and are the ones you can lean on when things get hard. Most of the time people that show hate towards you, or negatives, are projections of their own insecurities and fear of doing what you're doing. Thinking of these negatives and hate in a way that isn't about you, but about them helps navigate through them. Don't let these people ever take the wind out of your sails and listen to those loyal supporters that just want to see you succeed. 

Have a great weekend and happy Friday the 13th.

Five Simple Things (August 6)


This week was a slow week. We ended up trying a new dog shampoo on Hardy and so far so good. I will link more information about it below as part of the five this week. It's less abrasive and the best part is, Hardy seems to enjoy baths more now and he even jumps into the bathtub on his own when we say, "Come on." With his past trauma, this is a huge step for him, so we praised him a lot. We also took this week to study a lot in science and do a few experiments in the RVRS homeschool classroom. I love science and I try my best to make it fun to learn for Skylar. He enjoyed the experiments we did and even Jeff was impressed with them. You can check them out here on our homeschool classroom blog. 

1. This Company.

While shopping at Whole Foods this week I saw this produce box and couldn't help but love it. It's a mix between the future and the past. Next time you're in Whole Foods look under the produce tables and check out all of the different and cool produce boxes they have on display. There's so many and I am sure one of them will delight you just like this one did for me.

2. This Lunch.

I've literally been eating organic pot stickers and organic Brew Dr. Love kombucha all week for lunch. I love these two things a lot and the Love flavor is the Pride Edition. I got the organic pot stickers in a large bag at Costco and my "soy sauce" is Liquid Aminos. Great lunch options, if you're looking for new lunch ideas.

3. This Meal.

Baked tofu and vegan cheese was a dinner option this week. Breaded and baked tofu is a snap to make and this vegan cheese is amazing! It's from Whole Flower Farms and it's local. 

4. This Bath.

During the summer months Hardy likes to roll and lay in the dirt, so he seems to get more baths during this time than in the autumn or winter season. We've tried a lot of different dog and cat shampoos and we've finally found a favorite. This Pet Magic Shampoo smells great and actually works. It's a natural way of cleaning Hardy's coat that won't make him sick, or be an overwhelming smell that affects our sinuses for days afterwards.

5. These Maps.

Since the first of the year I've been using Lysol Germ-Cast App to track progression of the Coronavirus outbreak and have been using it since the variants have made an appearance. I've also been watching the county where my immediate relatives live, too. It's incredible watching the numbers rise every day. We still wear masks and will continue to wear them. As an introvert and someone with social and generalized anxiety I wouldn't mind wearing a mask for the rest of my life. But, that aside, this app is great at seeing exactly where the rise in numbers are and also with the flu. With the Autumn season coming, it makes it nice to be able to check out if your area is high in number of flu cases. It even lets you check areas where you plan on traveling, and gives tips on how to clean and get rid of germs in your everyday life, too. It's available on Apple and Google Play.

Did you catch the view of Saturn this week (2), or the Perseids Meteor Shower (6)?

Positive affirmations this week: 
Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (July 30)


This week we had to do some extra watering of the plants around our house and extra watering of the grass. The wildfire smoke was quite heavy this week, but not unbearable. I am a bit anxious about the end of August and start of September here because that's about the time the wildfires close to us started. Hopefully, everyone is prepared more than they were last year and can either prevent them, or at least get ahead of them. With having a large wildfire already burning south of us, it does make my anxiety a bit more high. We took a quick trip over the coast to Cape Kiwanda to get away from the heat for awhile and enjoyed the cool ocean water. It was a nice break from being stuck in the Willamette Valley and breathing in the hot, smoky air. We did a quick photoshoot with a product I received as a testing product and I can't wait to share it soon. On out way out of Cape Kiwanda we noticed a hitchhiker with a large backpack with her thumb out. This isn't the first time we've encountered hitchhikers and decided to pick her up. We found out that her name is Olivia and she is hiking the Oregon Coast Trail. She was looking for a ride into Lincoln City to get some supplies before continuing on her hike. We've picked up fisherman in Newport, Pacific Crest Trail Hikers form Czech Republic, and a few others. Hitchhikers around these parts are mostly distance hikers along the many trails and mountains around here. We've met a lot of fantastic people doing this and I hope they don't ever forget us. A few other things we did this week include, making lemon bars, enjoying the first watermelon of the season, and working with insurance adjusters to get our car fixed. Overall it was a pretty good week. Here are five things this week.

1. These Rainbows.

I love seeing random rainbows places. I like to think of the rainbows as signs from Baz, or Meia, so they give me a lot of comfort. Some days when my mental health is not 100% seeing a rainbow gives me a lot of good vibes and helps me. There are times when I've been disassociated from my trauma issues and anxiety and seeing a rainbow has brought me back to the present moment. We should all have something that sparks some joy in us and helps us through hard times. When it's raining here and we look across a field and see a rainbow, somehow it just put joy in our hearts to know that we're going to be okay, and everything we're dealing with will eventually pass. That's what I call, "Life at a Swell's Pace."

2. This Honeybee.

Jeff sent me this honeybee picture from his work parking lot on his break. I always feel bad for insects during the wildfire seasons here. It has to be harder on them than it is on us. He said this honeybee didn't look like it was injured, or struggling, and when he got out of the car to go back into work he said it took flight and went on its way. Sometimes, even bees, need a bit of a break, too.

3. This Sign.

While cleaning out the garage to prepare for our move, we found this sign. It's from many years ago when we started neighborhood watch around our neighborhood. We were part of the Neighborhood Watch group that marched in a parade through town and it was also when Baz was still alive and wore his own saddle bag sign that read, "We're taking our neighborhood back." Heavy narcotics use was bad around our neighborhood when we first moved here, and down our street alone we had several drug-related crimes. I've witnesses a man get stabbed repeatedly in our front yard, watched drug deals happen on our street, and even had a drug addict offer Skylar crystal meth when he was only four years old. We've had things stolen, our house broken into more than once, and drug needles on our property. It was awful, to say the least. The stabbing, I still carry some PTSD from that and will never forget every detail of the incident. The man recovered, and the assailant was charged with attempted murder. The house next-door to the house we currently live in and the duplex across the street from us were drug houses, at one time. There were raids on the houses with city, county, and state police using our yard as a staging ground for their raids. Looking out and seeing law enforcement with long rifles pointed at a house, while they hide behind your vehicle is something I don't ever want to see again. The duplex has since been sold and bought by a developer and it has been cleaned up a lot, but the house next-door to us still has drug activity due to the landlord. A few years ago it caught fire from heroin addicts getting revenge and we were hoping it would burn completely, but the landlord was able to repair it enough to put new tenants in it. We try to keep to ourselves, but we still have had issues with the house. The turnover in tenants is close to 100 now in just the last eight years. We are so happy to finally be getting away from all of it. I'm not sure how much patience we have left in us to continue another year of putting up with so much. We honestly feel very sorry for the next people that will move into this house we are in. They will have such a hard time dealing with it all, like we did. But, I do hope things change for them and aren't as bad as we had it. I wish them the best.

4. These Pelicans.

There's been a lot of pelican activity on the Pacific Ocean the last few times that we've been surfing. We enjoy watching them bob up and down across the waves catching unsuspecting fish. Pelicans always make me think of Jurassic Park when I see them. The last scene of the first movie when they are flying back from the island where a flock of pelicans were flying next to the helicopter. 

5. These Products.

Kiwi Eco Box for June and July 

Mightynest for July. 

Did you catch the moon below Jupiter and Saturn this week (25), or the Aquariids Meteor Shower (30)?

Positive affirmations this week:

Being humble is the best gift you can give yourself in this life. It takes practice, but it's worth it to keep your focus on the right things and your mind more sound. 
Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (July 23)


We are in the middle of the "dog days" of summer here in Oregon. It's hot. We escape to the ocean during days where we are almost too hot for us. I grew up in the south, so heat is not an issue for me, but some days, even though it's hot, I'd rather be splashing in the ocean water instead. Unfortunately, with the heat, we are making national news again with a large wildfire, unfortunately. The smoke hasn't been too bad here, which is weird to say that, because to a lot of people it would be bad. Given that we've seen worse, it's not that bad. Our eyes are burning a bit, but it's tolerable. The largest wildfire burning here is the Bootleg Fire and as of right now it's burned over 400,000 acres. It's a ways away from us, but it doesn't make it any less upsetting. The amount of wildfires that have happened here in the last three years is alarming. Although, we are in the Willamette Valley and are not used to wildfires being so close to us, it's a bit unsettling to wonder what's happening to this beautiful state. Hopefully, fire crews and fighters can get ahead of these this year and the Bootleg Fire will the worst we see of 2021. Fingers crossed. Here are five things this week.

1. This Moment.

Skylar and I spent a few hours in Lincoln City, Oregon, this week picking up beach trash and other items that could end up in the ocean, or cause injuries. We ended up picking up about two pounds of trash with most of it being items that could be recycled. It's amazing to me how caress people are with, not only the earth, but even of other people. Don't be that person, be mindful of everything, including yourself.

2. This Wax.
Being in a cold water area of the world, and the chilly parts of the Pacific Ocean, we have to go with cold water wax for our surfboards. We particularly live the Sticky Bumps brand and this blueberry scent is heavenly. It's almost so delicious smelling you want to lick the bar. Putting it on our boards is a treat, for sure.

3. This Shadow.

The morning sun comes through the windows in such a way that makes me forget sometimes that I live in a city. I love how it hits this wall where our floor clock stands.

4. This Launch.

Just like with the launch of Richard Branson, we watched Jeff Bezos take flight into space this week, too. He took off from the ground with his Blue Origin program and New Shepard rocket and he had a successful flight, as well. It is incredible that they allowed the general public, like us, to view their progress into space travel. I love that we can be part of some great history being made.

5. These Days.

The "dog days" of summer are in connection to the constellations in the sky. On July 20, 2021, the star Sirius, the dog star, lines up with the sun. The days between July 3 to August 11 are considered the "dog days" as the sun and one of the other brightest stars are in the sky at the same location. Romans thought the star next to the sun meant it was going to be hotter temperatures, but it's the Earth's tilt that brings on the hotter days in the Northern Hemisphere during the "dog days." 

Did you catch Antares in the sky this week (19), or the Full Thunder Moon (23)?

Positive affirmations this week: 

You have more control over things you allow to affect you. More control than you might realize. Here is a quick checklist of things you literally can control. Try to pick one and work on it in the coming week. Once you have one down, move to the next one. We are looking for progress here not perfection. Remember that! You can do this!

Have a nice weekend.