Open Your Heart (and mind)

Of course one person can’t change the world but if everyone does their part we might have a good start!

On this glorious Saturday morning after a trip to Freddy’s, I’m sitting here contemplating the season and all its former appeal. People mulling around in a hazy stupor trying to find the perfect last minute gift for someone they had forgotten about, or probably in most cases, getting started late. Not me. I didn’t shop at all this year, unless you count Amazon Prime shipments I conveniently had shipped to our 10 month old granddaughter and ulu’s for our kids we found on our trip to Alaska earlier this year.

Watching these frazzled people, some looking defeated, if not totally deflated I began to wonder about their stories. Which ones were single parents? Who was unemployed or under employed? Was anyone suffering from seasonal anxiety and depression? Were they going to be OK? Were their children and family going to be OK? I’m always telling myself it’s not any of my business and technically it isn’t but in a way, isn’t it? Are human compassion and kindness not a thing anymore? Are we not allowed to comfort and lift our fellow community members? How and where do you start?

The answer to the above question is, I believe, at home within your own family. If family takes care of their own in the proper manner and with proactive foresight, love, understanding and full support, perhaps the world would be a better place. That’s where our country and society have gone astray in recent decades. Parents are busy working and trying to catch a break when they can, or dead beat slackers possibly addicted to drugs and alcohol. Schools are expected to teach kids morals and values, amongst other skills that are not the responsibility of a teacher. We find ourselves in a sad situation, my friends.

Look around you, within your circle of friends and family. If you see someone struggling don’t be afraid to offer and ear or anything else you’re equipped to offer. You might be the one person that can make a positive difference in the life of a loved one. Of course one person can’t change the world but if everyone does their part we might have a good start!

~ Jane

Merry “Non-Traditional” Christmas

I will send out a “memo” so everyone knows ahead of time, where Christmas is happening, be there or be square!

Merry Christmas everyone! This year is going to be different. Kids in Idaho, kids in Washington, us, in Oregon. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Our usual Christmas is filled with decorations, a beautiful fresh cut tree that we cut ourselves, gifts, good food and the entire family. The thing I will miss most is the entire family being together. I feel blessed to have been able to spend two weeks with our son, his girlfriend and first granddaughter before Christmas. I will cherish that time for sure. We will also have dinner and movie day with our girls so it’s not like we totally gave up Christmas this year. Also, even though we all agreed no gifts, we couldn’t help ourselves and got everyone a little something and of course the granddaughter got spoiled. It’s a parental prerogative, right?

The reason I say it’s not necessarily a bad thing is because it makes a person more appreciative of the time we have spent together and more longing for more times together in the future. In other words, every one misses traditional Christmas! This will give the husband and I our first alone Christmas since before we had babies, so like in 30 years; It’s going to be strange, for sure. At first, I wasn’t on board with basically skipping Christmas but now that I’ve allowed it to sink in and digest some, I’m actually feeling pretty good about it, this one time. We spent less money and I have less stress. But, like I said… this one time.

Next year will be grand! I’m already planning it out. There will be a fresh cut tree from floor to 9 foot ceiling, lights on everything, garland, elaborately set dining table, embroidered stockings (need to order for any new family members). Christmas shower curtains and hand towels, festive bed linens in all guest rooms, Christmas Eve pajamas for everyone, grandpa reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. My famous Christmas sugar cookies, intricately decorated, honey ham with all the fixings, pies and fruit and everything yummy. Those are some things that initially pop into my head, I’m sure I will come up with so much more by next December.

I will send out a “memo” so everyone knows ahead of time, where Christmas is happening, be there or be square!

~ Jane

Tis’ the season…

I thank God for him every day.

…for pondering life.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, as I often do actually. Most commonly, it’s thoughts of my youth and relationships I’ve had and how they formed me into the person I am today. Specifically today and for the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about my relationships and my decision to not have sex in high school.

As a teenager I was a little on the wild side as far as doing crazy stunts and going to parties where there was alcohol and marijuana. There were boys I made out with on occasion but I didn’t have an official boyfriend until I was 18. That was a comfortable relationship but I knew he wanted sex and I wasn’t ready. It’s not that I wasn’t ready as much as that I was responsible. I had a lot of friends during that time frame who were engaging in sexual activity and ending up getting abortions. I knew for a 100% fact that I could never kill and innocent child for any reason and I also knew I wasn’t ready to be a mom yet. Being a mom was my dream for as long as I could remember, but I was not ready at the age of 18.

I liked the guy I was dating and I liked his family, but he wasn’t the right guy at the right time, and we both knew it. Admittedly, I was weakened when we broke up because I knew the biggest reason was because I wasn’t giving him sex. Looking back that was the biggest favor he ever did for me! Since he told my, now husband, he was wasting his time because I wasn’t “putting out”. That was great because then my future husband knew he was getting a woman with morals and values that were in short supply in the 80s.

I dated my husband for over a year and a half before we married, I was 20, which I know is still young, but I was ready, and he was right. Our first beautiful baby arrived 10 months later, followed by 2 more within the next 4 years. We’ve had rough times, and we’ve had wonderful times, but the one thing I know for certain is I don’t know what I would do without him! I thank God for him every day. We’re still married 30 years later and I’m so grateful for my choice to stay a virgin until I was sure I had the right guy. I will admit I was not a virgin when we married, but not a lot of women I know can say they’ve had sex with one man. 

~Jane ❤

THRIVE

Yes, this is plug for Le-Vel. 😉

I’ve been Thriving for 2.5 years now and I have never felt better. We aren’t supposed to make medical claims but I’m telling you, I was on the verge of medication for high cholesterol and hypertension and within 8 months I was in normal ranges. coincidence? Maybe but I highly doubt that.

Fast forward to July 13th (Friday, July 13th) when I had to have major emergency surgery with an expected 4-6 month recovery time. Here we are 2.5 months into it and the doctors are moderately surprised at my progress thus far. Again, Coincidence? Maybe but…

Yesterdays follow-up doctor appointment was a real upper for me not only to find out I’m healing faster than anticipated but because my surgery was finally explained to me in detail with diagrams and models and I feel lucky to be alive!! I knew I could have died, so I already felt lucky to be alive, but actually seeing what went wrong and what they had to do to fix it was both frightening and amazing.

I guess this wasn’t just a plug for Le-Vel it was a plug for doctors who do their jobs with extraordinary skill as well. ❤

Janeway

~Jane

Just Vote

Please people, WAKE UP!!!!

It scares the hell out of me that people don’t have the foresight or even care to watch the news and keep up with current political events. If you’ve been paying real attention to what’s going on you’d be just as terrified as I am about the mid terms, about our country and it’s future.

We are already in a civil war; media, dems and the deep state VS Trump and the republican patriots. I know there are people shaking their heads because they can’t see it. They can’t see it because they don’t want to and it’s sad. More than sad, it is downright frightening.

We need Kavanaugh so we can finally get things cleaned up! If you have watched any of the hearings you know exactly what I mean. Take a look at Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz interviews for starters…

Please people, WAKE UP!!!!

I hope you vote RED but please just vote!!!!

~Jane

 

Lists and stuff…

Oh hey, let’s get back on track here. Where were we? Oh! Lists.

I used to be a crastinator, then I went pro. I didn’t make that up but I love it and it fits!

It’s going into fall, my favorite time of the year. Time to make my lists. I make a list for everything, there’s even a list of lists! A girl has to keep organized, especially when she is a procrastinator. I’m not saying the things on my list don’t get done, they do (mostly) but a lot of times its last-minute. I’ve come to accept the fact that, that is how I roll and I do my best work under pressure and impending deadlines.

I have to admit this summer was a bust for the most part. It started out great then mid July it took a turn. I pretty much dumped my lists in the trash after that. No sense going over them constantly and not being able to make those, oh so satisfying, check marks. It was depressing. Time to start over with the new season! Granted, I will have to make sure I make my lists within reason, particularly the To Do List. Baby steps, is what they say. I say, grandma steps. I feel like that is a bit more sophisticated. Ha!

So, we are going away for the long weekend and I still have a “few” things to get done (remember, I work best under pressure) before we leave early in the morning. The problem I have right now is thinking about my lists and where to start. Logic tells me to start with September’s house projects and updates, move on to October’s decor and Halloween shenanigans, then November… you get where I’m going with it. My heart tells me to start with my Christmas gift list. This will be my granddaughters first Christmas and I don’t want to go overboard but I want it to be special. What needs to happen is for me to start sewing on her quilt. Which is kind of funny since I haven’t finished my own kids’ quilts yet. How much would you like to bet the baby’s gets done first? 😉

Another thing about me and my lists… I like pretty paper. I like pretty office supplies in general but I love paper. I REALLY love the Me and My Big Idea planners. This is my second year of owning one. They are so pretty with their inspirational quotes and you can decorate them with colored pens and stickers. I even bought the instant camera that shoots out pictures that are stickers, they fit perfectly in the boxes provided on each day of the week. Notice that what I said is I own one, I have to admit that after the first few weeks or maybe a couple of months I lose interest in filling it out daily. I don’t know, I can’t really say I lose interest as much as I think I’ll do it later, but don’t. I think we’ve gone over this…

Oh hey, let’s get back on track here. Where were we? Oh! Lists. Yeah, so I don’t think I have any pretty paper suitable for fall/winter list making so a trip to Michaels is probably in my near future. I’m going to have hours of riding in the car time to work on this so I’m going to have to write on boring plain paper and transfer to “final draft” on fancy paper. I guess this is good because my first draft is always a mess and I don’t really like wasting my good stock. Now, let’s talk pens. I have a very large array of pens. Ball point, sharpie, gel… in pretty much any color you might need. I tend to collect pens as much as I do paper (my paper stock is 95% scrapbook paper). However, it is time to go through and check them and throw out the bad ones.

Oh wow, look what time it is!! I HAVE to go finish getting ready for the long weekend! The husband is going to text me on his break and ask me if I’m about done and I’m going to say, “Yes, of course! What do you think I’ve been doing all morning”? The truth is, he knows me and he knows that when he gets home I’m going to ask him to help me with something I should have already had done. Good thing he loves me and thinks I’m cute because damn, I’m not sure I could put up with a person like myself. Ha!

Happy Labor Day weekend!

~Jane

Cookies? Anyone?

My mom said they were good but she’s my  mom and she can’t have sugar, so take it or leave it. 

Because writing in my blog has become my personal journal of sorts and because I can sit in my desk chair now, you will start seeing more of me. Some of you might know me personally since I posted my blog address on Facebook way back when I started it but most likely anyone actually reading this doesn’t. For the people who do know me, consider yourselves special insiders. I keep a lot in because that’s how I’m wired but a lot goes on in my head. A. Lot. I promised you randomness in the beginning, I won’t let you down. Ha!

We’ll take a little turn here and talk about cookies. Yes, cookies. I do a little business on the side baking cookies for a few regular clients and I really enjoy doing it. My signature cookie is a decorated sugar cookie, which is very time-consuming. I can’t share the recipe or my special tips and tricks that make mine stand out, but trust me, they are the best.

Sorry, I got side tracked again. Three ingredient peanut butter cookies… these are nothing special or new or even all that amazing except for that one fact. Three. Ingredients. Which means from start to finish, you have spent about 15 minutes of your time and you have some pretty decent cookies. This cookie recipe I can share with you, as well as an experiment I tried yesterday with not so great results, but hey, I tried.

THREE INGREDIENT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1 cup peanut butter (I use creamy)

1 cup white sugar (some people use brown)

1 egg

Mix peanut butter and sugar until creamy, add egg. Mix until a dough forms. Roll into 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheet flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack (or you might have some crumbling). Cool completely before moving to containers. DONE!

My experiment: I replaced the sugar with Stevia (6 tablespoons of Stevia equals the one cup of sugar). The dough was a little stickier and the cookies no matter how much I adjusted the baking time came out dark and crumbly on the bottom. My mom said they were good but she’s my  mom and she can’t have sugar, so take it or leave it.

Happy baking!

~Jane