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Five Simple Things (May 29)


Wow, what a week! From the Coronavirus pandemic (over 100,000 deaths in the United States alone), and  a new strain of the virus. But, a few counties are able to move into Phase 2 of reopening, and now with the death of George Floyd, there's a lot of negative going on. I just don't even know where all of the negativity in the world if coming from. People are so self-absorbed and blind by other people's suffering. It's almost like people go day-to-day with blinders on and can't even see what's in front of them. Jeff said that he was at the store getting supplies and a woman he said, was literally screaming at the store manager and two officers about how they were forcing her to wear a face mask for a made up virus to control her. There's a lot to unpack with that one statement, but the main one, she's clearly not okay in her mental state. Two, stores are private property. If they required you to wear a clown costume while shopping, you damn sure better wear a clown costume. I don't think people realize that no one is forcing anyone to shop at that location and you have to abide by their rules. Same as with your house. If you wanted everyone that came to your house to remove their shoes, that is your choice to make in your own home, even if you RENT. As with the George Floyd murder, the protests here have really picked up. I agree that something needs to change. Police need to be retrained in some areas, sure, but holding your knee onto a man's upper back and neck area for over nine minutes while he is saying he can't breathe, is wrong on so many levels. I do believe that policeman (former policeman) is going to face some serious charges. I watched the video, it's heartbreaking. It's not only heartbreaking, it's disgusting. I feel bad for the bystanders having to stand there and not be able to do anything. I hope they are doing okay, too. I guess we'll see YET AGAIN, how this black man's murder plays out. It's so disheartening to know that people, put in a position to serve and protect us, take our lives and our existence so lightly. Black, Hispanic, Native, Asian, and even white... I've had my own experiences with the city police here about three summers ago. A K9 officer and another officer belittled, and bullied me over trying to get help for a neighbor's dog that had been given a large dose of pain medication (by accident). As a K9 officer for the city, this policeman proceeded to tell me, "cops don't care about animals." What a dumbass thing to say as a K9 officer. I stood in the lobby of the police department and had to listen him tell me I was a poor citizen for trying to save this poor animal and that I should be arrested. I just couldn't believe it. Only thing these two policeman did was make a law abiding citizen hate city police and not trust them ever again. I will never give my time, energy, or even respect to the city police here because of that one incident. And, that's all thanks to that one policeman and his need to feel in power by his badge. I really do hope karma gets him, but I hope it's not in a way similar to George Floyd, but with this shitty attitude, I wouldn't be surprised. Here are five things this week to help pull back some of the positives.

1. These Flowers.

They were a nice surprise from Skylar and Jeff and they really brightened up my room. It was nice this week to wake up to them sitting on my nightstand. Along with the sunshine, it makes things a bit more positive while I recover. 

2. These Yard Daises. 

It's always nice to see these yard daises. White Daises are one of my favorite flowers and while getting outside and walking around a bit this week, it was nice to see them under my feet. Summer time is definitely on its way. 

3. This Sweet Kitty.

Eleven has been following me around when I go outside to walk around, or when I get up from the bed to use the bathroom, or bathe. She's been such a sweet, protective kitty. I just love her.

4. These Tulips.

Last fall we planted tulip bulbs around the trees in front of our house and this year they bloomed. I love how all the colors are a different shade of reds or pinks. We also have daffodils planted along side the tulips and I can't wait until they have all bloomed and take over the base of the Hawthorne trees. Skylar and I started this year collecting a few blooms from the season and using the flower press to preserve them. Looking forward to having a large collection of different blooms and plants from each season.

5.  This Bag.

Grover Collaborative has some great items. I am loving these 100% recycled trash bag. We don't have a monthly subscription to them, but we do purchase from them from time to time when we run out of eco-friendly items we use on a regular basis. You can use them too by clicking here, especially during the pandemic, they have come in handy.

Positive affirmations this week: "What’s your stress level like lately?"
It's pretty leveled out this week, but when the pain from my surgery is intense I seem to be more edgy. I've noticed when I'm talked down to, or feel that people's responses to certain things aren't right, it seems to bring up stressors in me. I think a lot of that has to do with my past and how terrible I was talked to at times. But, I find ways now, as an adult, to help offset that as much as I can. Some days are more intense than others, but I try my best to pull myself out of it. 

Have a nice weekend.

Walk along South Santiam River

Skylar and I decided to take a bit of a hike into the back areas of the city and through the woods to the South Santiam River. There's a park at the end of the walk and eventually the city has plans to pave a walking path, as part of the Build Lebanon Trails project, but for not it's either bark mulch, or gravel. It was a nice day and we walked slower than normal, because I'm not very fast right now, and once we reached the river, we weren't disappointed in the view.


Five Simple Things (May 22)


Hope you are well. We've had quite a time here lately with things. I had my three month checkup last week and since then I've had a lot of random pain. Starting to feel myself again and slowly coming off pain medication. I was on pain medication throughout the day, then went to having it just at night to sleep, and now I'm able to sit up without excruciating pain, and not needing as much pain medication. I am happy about that, because it's made me a little sick after eating. I finished my antibiotic and my other medications I was on, so that's a plus, too. I'm not on a multivitamin with extra iron. I've been getting up more and moving around and actually sitting on a stole in the bathtub and bathing the lower parts of my body and slowly washing the upper parts. Jeff and Skylar actually helped me wash my hair this week, too, so that felt great. I'm slowly getting back to normal and it feels wonderful. Oh, another thing, I was able to sit up long enough to be able to wash my bedding, too. Things are looking up, as far as this house goes, but with the rest of the state, and world, it looks very sad. As of right now, there's been over 95,000 deaths in the state of Oregon. That is just incredible to me. Of course, people die every day, but that amount of people in that short of time is sad. Slowly counties are able to enter a Phase 1 and reopen things slowly. Hopefully, people will still abide by the mask mandate and keep distance. Jeff and Skylar are still being cautious with coming and going from our own house. I am still very vulnerable and they are doing a great job at keeping me safe. Here are five things from this week.

1. This Basin.

Being able to sit on a small stool in the bathtub and wash as best I can, it still doesn't happen every day, or even every other day. This week was the first time I was able to do that, so Jeff found this wash basin for me to be able to wash myself a bit better without leaving the bed. Metal wash basins are hard to find, especially ones in good condition. It's nice to be able to wash my face every day before going to bed, and even waking up for the day. 

2. This Sunshine.

Still enjoying seeing the sun peek through the window of my room every morning. It's just nice to be able to see outside, too. Skylar opened the curtains and cracked the window a few times this week, and it was nice. Helped with my mood immensely. If you've ever spent weeks at a time recovering from surgery, or an injury, not being able to move much, you know how important positive things are. They really do help with the healing process.

3. This Regrowing Process.

This regrow option for your kitchen scraps is a wonderful idea for teaching where food comes from, as well as actually being able to use the food once it has grown again and again. Carrots, onions, lettuce, beets, garlic, onions, and even celery can be regrown from the scraps of the previously used vegetable tops, or bottoms. This tray idea is a wonderful way to help that process, too, or you can just add a few of them to a glass and refresh the water when needed. Be sure to plant some of your regrows in dirt to be able to take advantage of them all year long. Some of these are cold weather tolerant: Carrots, lettuce, beets, etc. (Source)

4. Enneagram Personality.

Well, that seems about right. I don't normally take personality quizzes, but this one was quite interesting. Seems to have a few good points with it, but overall, individuality, creativity, and independent is definitely a hit. A few points are a miss, but overall, I will agree with these results. For the curious, you can take the quiz here for yourself. 

5. Skylar's Blog.

Skylar is looking to get more into his blog, but he isn't sure what exactly he wants to do yet. Hopefully, he comes up with a good plan and layout, so we can work on it together. He may just do a Friday post each week, or every other week. You can check out his blog here and keep up with what he plans to do with it soon.

Positive affirmations this week: "If you’re feeling down, how do you cheer yourself up?"
I'll be honest, I feel down quite often, especially since addressing my past physical and mental child abuse issues in the last few years. Sleep is the best thing that's helped me and talking with people that love and support me. Building up my self confidence, and feeling like my life is okay and not a failure. Therapy has helped because they've given me different way to help silence the abusive comments made to me throughout my childhood. Reversing the tape that plays the negative comments has helped, too. Instead of, "you're a failure, you were never wanted, or you were a mistake" I change it to, "I am as successful as I can be right now, I am very much wanted, and I am not a mistake. The good I've done in my life has helped a lot of people and will change the world." Mental, emotional, and physical abuse is never okay, no matter what your abuser(s) tell you. These affirmations aren't just for me, they are for you, the reader, too. If they help you, that is amazing and makes me feel so great at sharing my struggles. You aren't alone. Get help. Reach out. You are important and deserve a happy and good life.

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (May 15)


Hope you are staying safe, wearing masks, social distancing, and respecting others around you. Whether you feel, believe, or even want to wear a face mask, you should. There's been protests here for the lockdown and the face mask requirements. I just find all of that ridiculous. The protestors are literally protesting protection. Makes zero sense, but everyone has their opinion, even me with this post. But, the numbers just keep going up and a lot of them are able to recover. I am glad to see a lot of them are recovering to almost 100%. I just hope there aren't any long-term affects of this years from now with the people that have gotten the virus. Another reason I am glad that I am recovering from my surgery during this time. I am considered a person of vulnerable health, so I do not want to take any chances. Jeff has been adamant about coming in the side gate, through the garage, and leaving his things in the garage. Showering, and handwashing has been a huge plus, too. If Skylar goes with Jeff to the store, or to get supplies, they shower immediately upon returning, and everything is left in the garage for at least 24 hours and then sanitized before being brought inside. My room is another very sanitary area, so I am not worried about germs coming inside. I hope over time everything gets better for everyone. If you're someone that has been affected, physically, medically, or even mentally, during this time, I am sending as many positive vibes as I can. You can do this! Stay strong. Here are five things from this week.

1. This Sunshine.

Morning sunshine through the windows helps with my mental health during this time. I want to get up, but the pain is rough some days. I am glad to be able to sit up and eat on certain days. This week was hard on me and the pain I feel in my chest bothers me a lot. Again, I will speak more on this and do an entire post on what kind of surgery I had, and the extent of what was done. It's something I should have done in my 20s, but was too scared. I am not sure how I feel right now about it; whether, I am glad I had it done, or not. Hopefully, that mindset will change as I heal up more and can do more with my body. But, back to the sunshine, this week it came through the curtains and passed through the school bell we have in the front yard. The silhouette on the curtain made me smile. 

2. This Labyrinth.

I've been drawing up plans for a Labyrinth of our own, either here were we currently live, or on the land we are looking at buying. I would love to have something like this at both locations, but we are limited on space here. I want to design one that's at least a five mile walk around, but being here, I may be able to make it at least a mile and a half. I love some of the great layouts that you can find online. Here are a few of my favorites.
(Source)                                              (Source)

3. This Recipe.

A lot of quarantine cooking has been happening with many people, and we are no different. We followed a recipe online and made these roasted red potatoes and onions with rosemary, similar to the Olive Garden's version. They were delicious and soft enough for me to eat, too. This will definitely be a recipe I will post on the blog later. In the meantime, you can find a similar one here.

4. This Road Sign.

During my last checkup for my surgery, this road sign across I5 was present. And, of course, it was raining. This sign was the first time I actually got to see anything related to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was quite strange to me. It was nice to see that the Oregon Department of Transportation and Governor Brown were putting forth some efforts to make people aware of the seriousness of the virus. Hopefully, people took it seriously enough that were traveling through the state.

5. This Meal.
I've been able to eat a bit more solid foods the last few days and this meal was amazing. Jeff brought it to me on Mother's Day this week (May 10) and even though I didn't eat all of it, it was still nice to be able to have something more than just mashed potatoes and other soft foods. I eat all of my meals in the bed right now, but this nice setup made me feel special. 

Positive affirmations this week: "What adventure would completely excite you right now?"
Purchasing a Sprinter Van and traveling across the United States and take pictures of all the sights that bring me joy. Although, this plan is not completely out of reach, it is something I would love to be doing right now. Here's to future planning!

Have a nice weekend.

Golf Game

When the golf courses were opened back up, we took the opportunity to take advantage and work on our long and short games. I was only an observer, of course, but I still had fun hanging out with Skylar and Jeff.

My bumblebee putter Skylar and Jeff got me. Although I couldn't use it then, I do love it and I think it will be a lot of fun to use when I can play golf again.

Road Trip to Chemult, Oregon, Amtrak station

Yesterday we decided to get out of the house again, but this time we drove to Chemult, Oregon, and check out their Amtrak station that's literally in the middle of nowhere. It's somewhere that Skylar found online and with everything going on, we figured it would be a lowkey road trip just to explore. And, we were right, there was no one around and it was almost eerie. 

Raising Snails


Our snails got a new habitat this week and they are loving it do far. As we were preparing the dirt to add to the new habitat we found hundreds of babies in the soil. We ended up putting them in the front flowerbed away from the ducks, and we wished them well. 

There's a great unit study at Woodlark about snails. We have enjoyed keeping ours and following the progress of Woodlark's snails, too. There's a lot of great things that snails and slugs can go and a lot of them meet their end here in the Willamette Valley because they are seen as a nuisance. They may eat vegetable leaves and some fruits, but overall, they are just trying to survive.