Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Have I Been Up To?


I’ve been absent for a while, thanks for sticking with me.  My mother passed away and my house fell apart.  I’ve found that when something big happens, like my leaking roof and five rooms with water damage, God is using it to keep me busy and keep me out of trouble.

It is unfortunate that God has to use such measures. However, He know my heart.  I would most likely try to rescues the situation, if I had the energy and time I would hop on my high horse and try to save the day.

The roof has been re-engineered and has been completed.  The rain has stopped and dry days are forecasted.  I’ve pulled out the wet cabinets, sheetrock and insulation.  There is not much left to rip out, just one little block I can’t pry out without causing more damage.

I’m not Rosie the Riveter.  I have to study and learn what the code is, which tools to use and how to use them.  Generally, it’s a very slow process.  They money tree has not produced the greenbacks for the repairs and the insurance company is not paying for all the damages or the upgrades.  I’m cutting costs where I can.

New studs have been installed and mold has been treated and cleaned.  (I’ve been living in a trailer in my driveway.)  I have painted everything that is nailed down with Red Guard, a paintable vapor barrier normally used near water service.  Expert advice says that it will help keep water from coming through any small cracks in the stucco.  I even installed an extra layer of water barrier in the sink area.

I still have other rooms to work on, but the kitchen/den area is ready for the electrician, cabinet installer and plumber.  I hadn’t planned on a kitchen remodel, but who puts 1977 cabinets back in?  The silver lining to this costly project is free.  I discovered a beautiful  load-bearing beam behind layers of sheetrock.  It matches the smaller one on the other side of the room.  The smaller beam took me five months to remove all the paint and plaster.  It took me about an hour to pull down the sheetrock from the newly discovered beam.  I can’t wait to sand it down and apply a light finish.





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Taking Care – Goals

The nasty head cold is circulating at work.  It has hit just about everyone, including me.  I don’t get the flu, but this hit me hard.  I beefed up on vitamins and hand washing, it still got me.  The nurse was afraid it could go into pneumonia and I have been on bed rest for the last two weeks.  BORING!!!

I did follow the doctor’s orders and made myself rest and take care.  I focused on my nutrition and being still.  I spent some time going over my goals for 2017.  I am a list maker and I need to look back to celebrate accomplishments in order to move forward in a positive space.   It has been hard to rest the last few days.  I’m finally released to return to the land of the living.

Goals for 2017 (subject to change)
Celebrate 2016 accomplishments
Finish attic bedroom
Move pantry move to new location
Build balcony (includes concrete work)
Kitchen remodel
Finish medical needs
Continue to lose weight and build strength
Remove carpet and lay hardwood floor in my office
Improve home security
Take a vacation
Save $$$
Stay out of debt
Resume Saturday patio brunches during the bloom
Finish at least one of two novels in progress
Let go of the novel that isn’t up to par and focus on the good
Grow critique group
Teach needle skills
Get notary license
Be more sustainable
Be humble and kind

I don’t know that I can do everything on my list of goals, but I’m sure going to give it a try!  Nothing is every gained by failing to take the first step.

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Better Man “The Gates of Your Dreams”

Head on over to The Better Man Project, this motivation blog on personal risk is worth the read!

The Gates of Your Dreams & The Dues You Must Pay

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I Can Sleep When I’m Retired?

Most of the insulation is done for the attic space that will be closed in as a bonus room.  The wiring is complete and I only need to build the wall out that the door will be installed on.  I drove my trusty truck and picked up 10 sheets of drywall.  Now, how do I get those 10 sheets up the garage stairs into the attic?

Daughter is on a weight restriction, no go.
Son-in-law is working late, too late.
Foster son is working overtime, too tired.
Neighbors are out-of-town, no go.
Friends are older than me, nope.

Pastor Andy’s sermon from Sunday reminded us that we can create our own loneliness and isolation.  When we are hurt or even grieving, we withdraw and then wonder why we are lonely.  He challenged us to reach out instead of withdrawing, to ask for help when we really need it.  O.K. so is this a test to see if I was listening?  We have a neighborhood watch app for my street that includes four or five neighboring streets.  I posted a note that I needed help unloading 10 sheets of drywall.  A kind husband/wife team in their 70’s were the ones that showed up to help.  The wife and I switched off carrying one end and the husband carried the low-end.  I was very grateful for their help and sent them home with jam, honey and a dozen eggs from the girls.  They were so helpful and would not accept money, true neighbors!

I checked the punch list.  I’ve been telling people I was down to 30 something.  I’m happy to say that I am down to 28, Whoot!  Down from the original 100 and no under 30!  Tonight I will be cutting drywall to fit into the small spaces.  Tomorrow night my son-in-law will be over with his might and height to help with the ceiling drywall.

Sigh!  I will be happy when all the construction projects are finished.



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Spring – Are You There?

I’ve always believed in goals but now that I am a fine and fancy widow, goals have become a critical part of my mental and emotional health.  I no longer am delighted with the love and approval reflected in my beloved’s eyes so I need to measure my own success.  This was a skill that I did not develop until I was 40.  I was not raised to believe in myself and my own success.  I was raised to always put myself last and to endure whatever was thrown at me, including fists.  Having someone believe in you can change your entire outlook on life.  I know it did for me.

I’m suffering from the early stages of spring fever.  My project list is down from 100 to 36 and I am itching to finish something.  The project list doesn’t include the new planter boxes I want or any gardening tasks! I don’t have the baseboard molding 100% done, I need a threshold and door sweep weather stripping installed and there is a 2′ x 3′ section of flooring still left to complete.  The problem is I need the big saw to complete these tasks.  It’s put up for the winter.  During the summer when the rains have passed, I leave the saw out under the awning and put it away for family get togethers.  I was going to drag it out for a few hours on Saturday but there was a light drizzle during the daylight that turned in to a rain at night.

We need the rain desperately!  One of the main NorCal water reservoirs is the Folsom Lake.  The marina has floating boat slip/docks.  They have been laying on dirt for over a year now.  We are far from being out of the water crisis but, I was so happy to see the live camera shot of floating docks!  Folsom Lake Marina Live Cam  Boats are permitted for launch starting this Saturday. Please pray for more snow in the Sierras.

FL Marina on dirt FL Marina Cam 2-5-16

Folsom Lake at capacity would mean plenty of water for the American River and all the towns between Sacramento to San Francisco.  It would mean no restricted watering.  One of the projects on the “list” is to change 1,800 sq. ft. of grass service into stamped concrete.  I removed another 400 sq. ft. from the front yard but never finished the project.  That will require some dirt excavation, a tree removal (it’s touching the roof), a walkway removal and another concrete pour.  Oh, and I’m not supposed to lift over 40 lbs. while doing it!

But the “list” is not getting any shorter, I need to accomplish something!  Arrrrgh!  My doctor said I was supposed to be kind and gentle with myself and stop beating myself up so much, to take it easy.  Raised in a performance for love environment, this is extremely hard for me even today.

I could work overtime tomorrow but I don’t think that is going to happen.  Too much goes to taxes and then there is the “list”.  The sun is supposed to shine from 6 a.m. to noon and then cloudy for the rest of the day.  President’s weekend is booked solid for the SAN FRANCISCO WRITER’S CONFERENCE (woot!) so I won’t be working on my projects then.  What’s that old saying, make hay while the sun shines or, in my case, finish something!  I can at least say my writing goals are fairly up to date.  I’ve started a local writing critique group and surrounded myself with author support. How are you sticking to your goals?

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Filed under Garden, Grief, Inspiration, Projects, SFWC, Uncategorized, Urban Farming


 I’ve been meditating on the word hope lately.  There are so many people struggling with life out there finances, jobs, relationships, emotions and just fear in general.  So much fear… I have always had a deep and abiding faith Christ, even as a child.  I know that this faith is a gift from God now that I have lived life a bit and can see my sunset, hopefully from a distance.  I desperately miss my beloved but I have hope that I will see him again.  Some days the pain of separation is so great I truly do feel like I’m in the middle of a soul shattering earthquake.  More days than not my emotions are better and I can feel the hope.  I’ve had to wear big girl pants most days now and can’t afford to allow myself the luxury of too many pity parties or a slide into depression. 

My truck had a dead battery and I need to transport a new swarm capture.  (Moving bees in the passenger compartment is not recommended!)  The timing was not good; it never is, especially when dealing with wild animals and insects.  The pressure of a daily schedule, of the need to pick up my new capture, the help that wasn’t helpful and enough clutter from a busy life and schedule almost did me in.  I sent the “help” away and still wearing my big girl pants got the truck started, late, but start it did.

Today is a new day, I drove the truck, have nothing scheduled tonight and will pick up the bees after work!  I woke up this morning with a scripture reference running through my head.  I do not have tons of scripture memorized, I don’t beat people up with a Bible or any religious book so I was surprised that Galatians 3:9 would not go away.  I was clueless what it was so, I looked it up.  “So then those who are of faith are blessed.”

Hope, could that be the shield against today’s anxieties and depressions.  Faith, trusting that God is still in control as America (and myself) are not.  I am truly a blessed woman, counting my blessings and looking at the full glass (it is never really half full) overflowing, pressed down for full measure.  It’s spring and the promise of forgiveness and renewal can be seen everywhere.  Now that I have been relocated to an inside office and lost my big picture window to the world, I go outside every day, close my eyes and lift my face to the sun.  My doctor said it was good for me!  It is!  Be kind and gentle to yourself my blogging friends, you are the best friend you will ever have.  Where is your hope?  I challenge you to do some senseless kind thing for yourself and for one other person each day.  No matter how small or how great, to quote Nike, just do it.

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