Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Settling in for a Long Winter's Nap!

You may have heard the Biblical account of Martha and Mary? Martha was the one who was busy making preparations, doing the work. And grumbling. Mary was the one who sat quietly listening and learning from her Lord. This last month I've been a Martha. Pretty much out of necessity this year, with construction slow for my husband. Not that I'm not grateful at all. I bake a lot of bread this time of year to sell to my ever-increasing group of customers. I keep warning my daughters that one day soon they will have the business and I'm going to play! But like I said, it's been very helpful this year. I'm always shocked at how much Finnish cardamom bread people buy. It's amazing really! Well, last night was my last baking endeavor of the year. 72 loaves! Orders came in Kate, I hadn't exactly added everyone up, & sure enough, I was up until 4 am baking 72 loaves of bread, back up at 8 to get started delivering.
I still feel like I'm gonna have a meltdown from fatigue! But I made it! I'm done! And now I just want to be a Mary!
I will have a good time with my family celebrating Christmas, there's no doubt. But more importantly, I'm ready to rest. To contemplate WHY we celebrate Christmas. To be awed again by the ever-loving Father who has had so much mercy and patience and love. For the miracles He's done and is still doing. Yes, now it's time to sit before the warm woodstove and just rest in Him!
I truly hope each of you have a wonderful celebration and enjoy the blessing of God's grace to us all.
Merry Christmas!

PS thought I'd show you how my husband and kids put up the tree lol! He promised a smaller one. Well, maybe it was a LITTLE smaller but not much! He has to wire it from the beams! Crazy guy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's time to part, my precious timecard holder

I have been saving/hoarding this, for something special, except that I have no wall space! I just love this primitive old time card holder. If you are wanting it, it is now in my Etsy shop!

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Folded Book Page Wreath

I've seen a lot of paper projects lately! My friend, Lisa, (Uncovered Ruby) made some awesome wreathes for the last sale we went to in Battleground, the Vintage Gathering. Hers were a lot different and very beautiful, made of sheet music.
I finally got around to making one out of an old history book. It was a lot of fun, but more time consuming than I expected. The best part was that all it cost me was some glue sticks! I hung it on my window for now! The second one isn't very clear, sorry, but it's from the back side of the window hanging from a beam between my living room & dining room.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ahhhh, Christmas time...

What do you think of when you start your Christmas decorating and other preparations? Of course, as a Christian, I think of the wonderful miracle of Christ's birth, and I do try really hard to not let "stuff" compete with why Christmas is important to me.
But I do love the season, the decorating, the memories from past years, too. Only a few gifts actually stand out in my mind, and that was not so much the gift, and the giver, or the silly things that happened centered the gift. Like begging for my Raggedy Anne doll and the hearing the news reporter on television on Christmas Day telling me that Raggedy Anne was the most dangerous toy of the year, because she was flammable. I thought that meant she would blow up in my bed, and oh, the guilt I suffered because I didn't tell my parents what a dangerous toy they had bought me. I just had a deep, great love for Raggedy Anne, I had anticipated getting her, like a mother waiting for her baby, and I could NOT give her up. Maybe that was the beginning of my mothering instinct, who knows.
Christmas decorating reminds me of the sweet figurines my husband has bought me in the past. In fact, each year, it's he who puts them out. He has a collector appreciation for stuff, and he handles his books and things with the care of a collector, so I almost laugh as he puts out my figurines. It's just one of those things I love about him, that is totally unlike me. I don't have to have something sitting on a table in just the right angle. In fact, I like things messed up a little bit, but I let him do it his way, and I'll always remember these things as the years go by and we get old together.
Christmas reminds me of loved ones I know longer get to spend Christmas with. My grandparents are all gone now, but like most people, the wonderful memories, especially of my grandmother, are still so cherished. My father-in-law passed away 3 years ago, and my mother-in-law has been gone about a year and a half. We had some really special times celebrating with them, too. My MIL always spent too much, bought too much, always went overboard, and sometimes on things were a complete waste of money that she had found. Like the little sewing thread boxes with a yard of thread on each spool? Who used those? But she had fun, and it's the memories that are important now.
We have some pretty high beams in our living room, pretty rustic, you know? My husband used to be kind of a Scrooge about all the Christmas celebration, because of the competition it can bring on why we actually celebrate. One year, he started his own tradition. He brought in a huge tree. So big, we had to put it in a 5 gallon bucket with rocks to hold it up, and he had to wire it at the beams, to keep it from falling. The top went over the top of the open beams!! Was I gonna complain, when always before he was so grumpy about it? NO WAY! I just smiled, as each year he would hall in his oversized tree. Well, one year, his parents came over as we were just getting ready to get a tree. We always get them off of our property, so they went out and cut down the tree. They halled in it in, and I couldn't believe it. The trunk, if it would have fit height-wise in the house, wouldn't even fit in the 5 gallon bucket! Now, they were thinking, "We don't want to haul it back OUT of the house!" So, their solution was to go get the chainsaw! No kidding! The actually brought a chain saw, like a couple of teenage boys, and cut the trunk off the tree by many feet! They just about gassed us out from the exhaust, we're lucky we survived. Had to open all the windows, turn the fan on, you get the picture! I could not believe 2 grown men would be so......well, I won't say what I was really thinking lol. I had sawdust chips to clean all over the living room from that mess!
Life get's like that sometimes. Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew in life, in lots of different ways. Sometimes we get served things that are way more than we think we can handle. But we find the strength, we plug away with what we can do, and we learn and grow from it. 8 yrs ago, I had a son who had a terrible drug problem. I didn't even know if he was alive on this particular Christmas, or Thanksgiving. I am very close to this boy, and I thought I would not survive the worry for him. Not because it was Christmas, although it was very hard to have a good time with my other children during all of this pain. I just had a huge battle in my life, believing that God could turn this all out to something good. At that time, I would read the papers, and see all the horrible endings to the kind of life he was living. Not just jail, but death! Or people would tell me he would be brain-dead next time I saw him. It was a battle. I would cry every night, wake up crying, and just start praying all over again. I don't know if you've experienced pain like this. Most of us have had some pretty unbearable pain, but we have found the strength to bear it. Praise God, this year, and all the years since that one 8 1/2 years ago, I have a son who is healthy, whole, of sound-mind and body, who is doing great and has been cleaned of drugs for 7 1/2 years! So, even that Christmas eventually brought something wonderful to me!
This year has been a challenge. My husband builds custom homes. In the economy we're in, not many people are building homes. He usually has people waiting up to 3 years to build them a home! In June, he was just finishing a beautiful home for some people, and he was scheduled to start another in 2 weeks. Well, the lady he was to build for simply got really nervous about building. She is in her 80s, and although she could afford it, she just didn't want to go through the processes of building a home. She called, in tears, to say she had changed her mind. I sucked in the tears and said, "Don't worry at all!" (My husband hadn't expected to need to find work until spring, since he works with only one other builder) We'll be fine! I got off the phone and THEN cried. What will we do? No one usually starts building in the rainy Oregon in the winter! And that's in a good economy! Well, I came to my senses, believed the Word of God that tells us He will always take care of us. And you know what? He has done a wonderful job of giving my husband just enough work to get by. No, we're not living with "extras" so much. But we're paying the bills, we've got everything we really need.
So, this will be a memory-making Christmas, too! We are cutting corners, but having a blast doing it. I'm seeing a LOT more of my husband. He's been needing to not work so hard, and guess what? It happened lol. As soon as a bill comes in, he gets a job and pays the bill! It's been working that way since June, and now, here it is Christmas, and we are celebrating all the goodness we have in our lives. The greatest gift, is the birth of our Savior, in whom we live and breathe and are sustained!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Little Things

I've had in my head for the past month what I want to write in my little blog corner of the world. I'm one who kind of spaces out on things, ok, "reflects" a lot is a better term. I get busy like everyone else. Too busy. Too tired. Too selfish to pay attention to other things around me sometimes because I have a plan for what I want or need to do, and I miss things. But when I find those quiet times, (lots of times in my hot tub outside at night listening to night sounds) or outside (now in the greenhouse because all we're getting here in Oregon is rain), it's in those quiet times that I, like you, "reflect".
We need quiet times. I am a real people person. I love to laugh and goof off with friends. But when I'm around a lot of people I often get this yearning to get off by myself. Mostly because I need to figure out what I think! When we are around people all the time, we can develop their attitudes, their ideas, their habits. We can start to think like them. I've always been pretty careful to try to listen, to store what they say or do away, then when I'm alone, think to myself, "What do I feel about this?" I need to do this so I can remember who I am. I saw a quote just yesterday that said something like, "be yourself, everyone else is taken". I thought it was creative and kinda funny, but really true.
The month of November for me is busy. I teach my kids at home, I have a normal busy laugh, and in this month, I bake a lot of bread that I sell at bazaars, etc. I've done this for 22 years, at least. I've developed a bit of a customer base, and every year it seems to grow. I love going to the sales, visiting with people, seeing some of them only once a year. You can imagine, some of the older ones have even passed away, some that weren't so old then are now. I've built relationships with these people. We even laugh about how important cardamom is! You might know I make Finnish Cardamom Bread. People tell me memories that they have, traditions they've built with my bread during the holidays. I've had people cry and say it reminds them of their grandma. Just like music or other things that trigger a memory, it's funny how this bread has been a bridge to meeting so many nice people.
So, this year, I've been determined to enjoy each and every day of the holiday season. With all the business, sometimes it is just gone before I get a chance to enjoy it. This year, I've told myself to embrace each and every day. That's scary for me in a way, because we don't know what we face tomorrow. And I can tell you, I've hard some pretty hard days and would never ever want to relive some of them, although I know that they have shaped me and challenged me and given me huge faith in what God can do in a life.
With all these thoughts in my head, a friend of mine sent a copy of a letter a man had written to family and friends. His daughter is in Pennsylvania, was in a car accident, and she has been in a coma for I believe 11 days. Just thinking about this makes me have that little pain in my throat that makes it hard to swallow. I can just feel how painful this must be for the family. It almost hurts to read these letters because to me, they are just so beautiful, so honest, so real. In spite of their pain and sorrow and facing the unknown, this family has touched the thing that is really the most important thing in this world. To embrace whatever God has for us and to trust Him. To me, it's a place we will all be in at more than one point in each of our lives, because this life is just so short. But what do we do with our circumstances? Do we get bitter or do we meet the day with strength and faith? Below, is a little taste of one of these letters. I hope you are blessed!

What an INCREDIBLE God we serve!! i somewhat have felt honored that God has chosen this little Yoder family to do MASSIVE things and show His indescribable power. Although the journey has been rough, although she's not fully recovered, although I miss her SO SO much, I've found a peace that truly does pass understanding. I've begun to challenge myself these past few days, to find the LITTLE things to be thankful for. I've realized how much I take for granted..... Things like being able to text/talk to her whenever, give dad a hug at school, eat mom's cooking :), and being able to make future plans. I realized how I woke up every morning expecting those. Now that those aren't here, i found that focusing on the things i DON'T have make my day SO much worse. but NOW....INSTEAD of focusing on that, I've begun to find those little, teeny tiny, every day things that often go unnoticed. For example....How often do I thank God for LIFE?? or for health?? or safety on the roads?? I see all those things through different eyes now. thankful today!!! and ESPECIALLY remember to thank the One who gave it all to you <3 Thank you all for your many MANY prayers!! With a LOT of God and a little of me....I make it through each day <3>
Now, to me, that is what I need to aim for. I'm sure that as you need it, the strength is there, but wow! To me, this is something God has done for ME! I asked Him at the beginning of the month to help me be grateful, to embrace the days, to trust Him in everything, and THEN my friend sends me these letters! I've said before, I'm rich. I am. My husband is currently very slow with work, but we have all we need. No, not in a savings account, but in life. I'm having a blast this month, enjoying each day, so thankful for my family and my friends. I hope you are too!

You might have heard my silly Raggedy Anne story from my childhood. I came across the Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls in the picture and just laughed. The biggest problem these friends have is a lack of clothes, but still, I think they were just adorable. And a very nice Etsy friend I've never met (isn't that what people are?) added them to her blog. I liked her title lol.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's nice to finally have a chance to log in to my blog. Haven't even had much time to catch up on what everyone else is doing, but the weather's going to be changing, and the blogging season will pick up, at least for me.
Like everyone else, summer went way to quickly, but our fall has been gorgeous so far, and we've been having some wonderfully sunny days here in the Pacific Northwest. It's always hard to plan things around the weather, so you have to take what you get. We ( my daughter, Kristin, and I) joined Lisa and Sally's Anniversary celebration at The Uncovered Ruby in September. It had been awhile since we'd seen a lot of those girls, and it was great getting to spend time with them. Also, met some new friends, which is how it is with flea markets, etc. For us, we love getting to visit. And laugh. And laugh.
When we went up to Battleground the night before the sale, to set up, it looked like it may drizzle a bit. It downpoured. Our tent was at the 3 foot high stage, we found that we were missing parts to it, my husband and boys had taken off and left us to go to some Sci-Fi toy store to look at Star Wars stuff, and there we were, alone, stuck in the downpour and couldn't get the tent up.
They showed up pretty soon, Randy got the duct tape out, and they managed to get the tent up. Meanwhile, we're looking at the downpour, and at other people's tents getting hit pretty hard, so Randy and Kristin are running around trying to save everyone else's tents lol. Needless to say, we were drenched, everything we had, we couldn't set out-as in displaying, but had to put everything in the center of the tent, go home for the night, and hope for the best.
We got back bright and early the next morning to actually a pretty nice day! Had to replace some tags, had to hurry and set up our little shop, get all ready for the sale, but finally got everything in a semblance of order, and the fun started. Thanks Sally and Lisa for all the work you do to put on a sale, we had a great time! BTW, if you haven't visited The Uncovered Ruby, in Battleground, WA, you're missing a good thing! Great finds are waiting, with good prices, and friendly faces.
The next weekend, we were back at Battleground, this time for the Vintage Gathering's fall flea. The day turned out gorgeous, in fact, the night before, when we went to set up, was beautiful. After we got all done, and were driving down the street, the sunset was so beautiful.
I know, this is a town setting, the photo isn't great, I was clicking as quick as I could, while laughing from Kristin teasing me that I'd lose my iphone out the window. But you see, the sunsets we get are different. I do have some beautiful sunsets, I live on a hill, facing the coast 36 miles away, down the Columbia, so yes, I can come up with a pretty sunset from my own yard. But I'm a country girl, and not that Battleground is considered "city" to those who live there, but town sunsets are pretty to see, too. Just wish I would have been more set up to take a better photo!
This time, we didn't go home for the night and come back early the next morning. Our sweet friends, Natalie and Lynn, offered their home to us for the night. Oh. My. Beautiful! For everyone who knows Natalie (Sparrow), b/c a LOT of people know and love her, they know what a knack she has for decorating. But, gosh, when you go to someone's house and they are this creative, (I have another friend, Faye, who is like this), you want to say, can we just not talk? Can I just look? No, I wouldn't do that, b/c we just HAVE to talk, and laugh. Natalie had the Barnhouse sale the next day, she was tired from working up there all week, she'd made THEM dinner, and had a yummy dinner waiting for us, and we still stayed up late and visited. Natalie is one of those people you feel like you've known all your life! And her family is great! The kids switched their sleeping arrangements around to accommodate us. I had told Kristin I was planning on sleeping very well, b/c I NEVER sleep the first night somewhere new. Even going camping in our trailer, it takes me 2 or 3 nights to sleep well. Let me tell you, we both slept! Loved those feathers and sheets, Natalie lol!
We could have photographed their house forever, but didn't want to be rude. Next time, we'll be rude! I tried explaining their house to my eldest son, who is more into modern, but does appreciate old things, too, how creative she is. I finally said, "You'd just have to see it, I can't do it justice!"
Getting set up for the Vintage Gathering sale was so easy, this time. The weekend before, Natalie and Lynn took our bigger stuff to their house, then brought it up to the Gathering for us, on their way to Barnhouse. See what I mean? Dear, sweet people!
The Vintage Gathering girls are really a nice group of girls to spend time with, too! The pictures above, will show you some of what was there, but you can't hear the laughter so you'll have to add that to it. I don't know if it's that I'm a stay-at-home Mom, homeschooler, and basically sheltered, but when I get around good friends, life is full of laughter! And it makes some great memories! Do you ever find yourself recalling a situation with a friend, you're lost in thought, with a smile on your face, then realize how funny it must look? I get those situations a LOT!
Well, don't want to bore you, but it's been awhile, so indulge me. 2 weeks later, we invited our church and lots of friends over to our home for our cider-pressing party. We worked all week getting ready for company, trying to be prepared for possible rain, since we having a cider party. We had a tent set up, our gazebo was ready, our wood shed was ready, our porch. All places for people to get in out of the rain. Never happened. It was gorgeous! All my kids showed up, too! Sometimes we do this, and since Kristin and I are basically friends besides mom/daughter, she normally will do this kind of stuff. But my eldest son, it isn't usually his "thing". He, his son, and girlfriend stayed the whole day, he showed her all his old stomping grounds, etc. It was nice having all my kids together with friends.
We hadn't closed the pool up, but haven't had the solar heaters on, since the nights are too cold anyway. So basically, our pool was running, but probably 60 degrees or less. The little kids came and asked if they could swim?? What will you wear, I asked. They brought bathing suits! Well, sure, but it's COLD! Did they care? NO! They swam, then the teens swam. THEN they discovered the hot tub! There were kids and adults everywhere! Riding the horses, playing in the fort, jumping on the trampoline, sitting around the fire. More laughter. So much laughter that I wondered if I had somehow gotten carried away, which I have a tendency to do. But you know, it is times like that, that I could literally cry. I feel so blessed. If you saw my home, you'd see it's nothing special, in terms of fancy. My husband builds NICE homes and we don't have one. But I feel so blessed when people tell us they are comfortable in our home. It's where we live, you know? That night, when everyone left, we talked about what a good time we had. People are still telling us what a fun time they had. I think I'm rich! I live in a humble home, in the country. I have wonderful friends, we have good times like this, yep, I'm rich!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rushing Like the Wind, only slower!

When fall comes, it sometimes feels like your in a race to get things done before the cold, blustery days come. Here in NW Oregon, it's not so much that we get really cold weather, but who wants to rake leaves in the rain? I think of all the seasons, autumn is traditionally the busiest season.
Our family is working on a list of to-do projects to get ready for our usually-annual cider-pressing party. I tell myself I need to have people over more often, we get more done!
Anyway, we've invited our whole church over to make apple cider. It's fun to get together with these friends we most often see from the backs of their heads lol. Seriously, it's not that bad, our church seems to find any excuse to get together! But we like to take the opportunity to have them in our home. So, that's one big thing we're getting ready for.
Kristin (my eldest daughter) and I went last weekend and had a LOT of fun doing the flea market at our friend, Lisa, and Sally's shop, Uncovered Ruby. I don't know why it takes so long to get up there, we've been so blessed by friendship with Lisa, & last weekend we had a chance to get to know Sally a little better, too.
One of the best things about doing these sales-the friends we meet! We have met so many nice ladies at sales!
Well, we're at it once more! Tomorrow morning I'm getting up early to bake Finnish bread, then we're off to Battleground again! This time, we're at The Vintage Gathering, Saturday. We're excited to get together with these talented ladies! If you love vintage, shabby,'ll love this flea!
We go tomorrow to set up, and this time we'll be much less tired, thanks to our friend, Natalie! Her and Lynn have graciously invited us to stay with them instead of driving back and forth! Even more generous, since Natalie's going to be busy working on her space at Barn House' sale! These 2 sales are very near each other, so that makes it all the more fun!
I'll try to post some pics tomorrow of previews if we get there to set up! The weather's supposed to be gorgeous, so that's even better! Last weekend we had some good laughs over dealing with the rain; it seems that when I'm with my daughters there's always something we find to laugh about!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September Sale at Uncovered Ruby's

(Love this old photo! It was from my husband's family photos, and I used it to make my sale tags this year for Uncovered Ruby sale.)
We're getting colder nights here in NW Oregon, which means I MUST face the fact that the lazy summer days are gone, and the mad rush to get all the canning, yardwork, and last minute projects is NOW. I do teach my kids at home, but we won't be starting until next week, which is pretty normal for us, b/c of the hectic schedule.
My garden did not produce enough cucumbers, so yesterday we picked some up. $36. for a box? I'm not sure what I was thinking, but sheesh, THAT made some expensive pickles. I got a box of greenbeans to supplement the ones from my garden while I was at it. Got home, tried a new recipe a friend gave me, you know how that goes sometimes? Pour the boiling brine over the pickles, put on the lids, turn upside down for 15 minutes, and voila, you're supposed to have crispy not-cooked pickles. NOT mine! I was really trying to keep these crunchy. They do have a grape leaf in them, that's supposed to help. But, ok, that didn't seal, I tried steaming them just a bit, to try to get a vacuum on them. NO, not again! OK, so I waterbathed for 5 minutes; keep in mind, I was trying NOT to have to cook them for the 25 minutes for the usual kind. NO! Not again. I was about in tears, b/c it's getting late at this point. I finally got mad, took the jars, and vacuum packed them! Think it will work? I guess I'll find out, and it may cost me more that $36. by the time I learn my lesson! Either that, or try to talk all my family into adopting a few jars in each of their refrigerators for 6 months.
My beans did seal today, so I'm a little redeemed. Now I just need to get all that labeled and put away. Another possible redeeming thing that happened, was the man at the fruit market was talking to me about baking some bread for him. I'm going to be thinking about that. Especially if it's one product, and I'd only want to do it one day a week. Everyone who gets addicted to my Finnish cardamom bread will know that's the day I bring it. Am I talking myself into a job? We'll see. I haven't wanted a real job, but for the most part, I'd still be at home with the kids.
OK, now for something a lot more exciting, but definitely a ton of work getting ready for: Lisa and Sally, at Uncovered Ruby, is having their 3rd Anniversary celebration this Saturday. They're having an outdoor flea, and Kristin and I are going to be joining the fun! I don't know how they do it so often, (the vendors who do a LOT of sales), because it is a ton of work! We're about an hour or so away, and I borrowed my dad's trailer to haul stuff. We're actually a little ahead so far, b/c we got the trailer early, and have been loading it and getting it ready. We'll have it loaded completely tonight (yeah!) and will put it in the storage shed and theoretically, we'll just have to hook up and leave to get set up on Friday afternoon. That's the plan.
I'm bringing my Finnish bread to the sale, so in the midst of all this, I'll also be baking on Friday. If you're anywhere near Battleground, be sure to go, I think Lisa said there are 24 vendors there, AND the store itself is having all kinds of fun stuff, like drawings, sales, etc. Go check out here blog to see the list of all the great vendors she's got lined up.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lost in the...mess

Sheesh, it's been awhile my poor blog! I'm so sorry to not have written! Maybe when the summer winds down (did I just say that? I didn't speak it, I wish it wouldn't happen, but I know it will!), and school will start, and the canning will be done...THEN I shall devote more time to you my poor blog! I've been loving this weather!
What's been happening? Well, this spring, we bought my parent's camper from them. Have taken a total of 3 trips with it, which has been fun. I'm looking forward to forcing my husband to take us when the winter comes, since it's already packed, it has a roof, and heat, and everything we need. Maybe he should become an "avid" hunter, instead of an occasional one, so we can use that as an excuse to go again! Always thinking ahead, to help him think of things he didn't know he wanted to do!
The kids have kept us running with their Vacation Bible School stuff first thing this summer, then the week of camp in July, not to mention all the sleepovers (I swear these kids are as manipulative as I am when it comes to getting to do stuff!), the day trips. The kids at our church even look forward to getting together to WORK! What's up with that? Can't get them that enthused at home!
My garden is growing like the weeds in it! The corn is pretty tall this year, I've managed to grow some huge kind of yellow squash I haven't been able to identify, b/c I through the package away and lost the stick I had put beside it telling me what it was. My cucumbers somehow disappeared, something must have eaten them, except for a couple tiny gherkins, which will take me forever to get pickles from. The green beans are almost ready, so next week I know what I'll be doing. Gardening is such a reminder of the seasons of life! Some things you don't expect, good and bad, pop up like a weed OR a volunteer sunflower plant! You have to do everything in it's time, or you miss out. Just tons of things to contemplate in the garden.
I haven't been able to go to a LOT of sales this summer, but I did manage to get in some really good ones. I've been stockpiling in my messy room, waiting for some boredom days, which never seem to happen. But now I have no choice but to get in gear and get to work on it. My daughter and I are excited to be going to Uncovered Ruby's 3rd Anniversary sale, September 18th; congratulations Lisa and Sally! If you haven't been to their shop in Battleground, you really need to go! I hear they've made changes since we've been there, so we're excited to go. In fact, Kristin and I are going to make a trip up before that, and soon, to visit Lisa, and Natalie (Vintage Sparrow). We've put it off too long, and we've talked about it too long! Soon, very soon! And in the meantime, we're getting busy getting stuff ready to bring up to the sale. I love the sales, the visiting, the meeting people!
I don't like putting a post up without some photos, so I'll ad some pictures of some of the great finds I recently aquired. The table with the blue legs and chairs, is now in my own kitchen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Like everyone else, spring and summer are busy times for me. Actually, starting in February, I got my greenhouse going, my husband got some raised beds finished in my garden, and then we waited out all the rainy weather...clear through May! I've always tried to be content, but the older I get, the more I see why people go to Arizona for the winter! I like things brighter, warmer, more cheerful.
It always amazes me when my garden does grow! I literally live in a rock pit! My dad actually sold rock and built roads with the rocks on our property! When I got home from school most days, my parents would be waiting for us girls in the driveway, and take us to "work". My dad ran the loader, put the rock into a shoot, us girls would make sure it went through the opening at the bottom, my mom ran the conveyor from a little shed my dad kept heated for her with a barrel stove, and while we were at school my dad would haul the rock to recipients of our hard work. Yep, child labor, but I learned to work! So, yes, my garden is amazing every year. We have round rock in the soil, my dad thinks the rocks keep the soil warm?? I don't know, but the garden does grow some things pretty well. We started the raised beds for the sake of carrots, tomatoes, stuff like that.
We've also had one of those gazebos on a deck above our pool, the kind you get at Home Depot? It lasted probably 5 years, but, although I like rustic, the canvas on this thing was getting REALLY bad. So my husband and sons have been busy building a permanant one that will require less upkeep. Last week, I was wishing it was done, with the hot weather. It's nice being able to sit in the shade and watch the kids and grandkids swim. So that was another project.
We bought my parents travel trailer this spring, and have made a couple camping trips this summer. The first one, we went to Sweet Home, way up in the hills, to go gold panning with some good friends. We knew/know nothing about this, but had a wonderful time and found some beautiful land we had never seen before. Can't help it, I love Oregon, with all it's green and trees and water.
Our next trip was up in the mountains above Bend, to East Lake. Talk about beautiful! We went in June, and there was still snow on the ground. We took a friend of my daughter's, the girls and I drove up earlier in the day. They wanted to go to Sisters, I wanted to mosey along. Going up earlier than the boys turned into a bit of a chill for us girls. We got to the turn off from the highway, had 20 miles to go up into the mountains, never had been here before. We're driving up the mountain, and I asked the girls, have you noticed we've seen NO VEHICLES on the road at all? It's getting dark, I'm wondering what I've gotten us into now. We get up there right as dusk was coming, find our site, get out,'s freezing! Like 32 degrees! We drove down to a neighboring campground, found some firewood deserted from the last camper, haul it back to our site, and for the next hour, try to build a fire...with wet wood. The girls got their tent (they thought tenting would be fun) put up, I'm about to freeze, b/c I hadn't even brought a sweater. Good thing we had gas in the car, b/c we kept warming it up so we wouldn't be frozen when the guys got there. We waited, and waited. They finally got there at 11:30 at night! Glad the rest of the trip didn't go that way!
I knew my husband was planning to take the kids to the High Desert Museum, which by the way, they just loved! They also went caving, which is far from anything I would EVER want to do. I'm just way to claustrophobic for caving, just gives me the creeps, and I'm sure I'd faint. My idea of fun while they did that, was to go garage sale-ing in Bend and surrounding areas. One of those surrounding areas, I started wondering where in the heck I was going. With no one knowing where I was, I found myself on a LONG road in the middle of nowhere, but populated with kinds of houses that were a little on the scary side. They had fences with BIG dogs running along them as you drove along the bumpy dirt road, signs on the fences, "Stay back from fence!" "Beware of Dog!" The kind where it was unusual to see a couch laying out in the yard, one house was burned to the ground, well, definitely unwelcoming, druggy type of neighborhood. I got so far down the road, wondering if there really was a sale at the end. After miles of this, finally got to the end, and a guy was selling a couple plants he dug out of the yard, and some old fishing stuff. THEN he told me a shortcut out of the place, which I trusted him for, and yes, made it back to civilization. It was during this offroad experience that I recalled my sister telling me that there were areas of LaPine you need to be cautious of when garage sale-ing.
In Bend, I did find a really neat mirror that I thought I'd probably re-sale, but my husband loved it, so it got adopted. Other than a few little things, I really didn't find much, but had a wonderful time all by myself for hours, driving all over the place. I really don't get much alone time, so I reveled in my day.
I was beginning to give up on garage sales/estate sales, since the whole season so far hadn't yielded a lot of exciting things for me. THEN a couple weeks later, we happened upon an estate sale a couple of young girls were putting on for their grandma. Now THAT was more like it! I love those kinds of sales, where you come across a box of stuff someone else considers "junk" and you consider "treasures!" And for really cheap. This confirmed my faith in estate sales once more. We found some really neat prints, old typewriters, just lots of neat things that I'll be listing in my Etsy shop.
The economic crunch hit us a little last summer, but other than that, so far, my husband's kept busy. He builds custom homes, self-employed. Which means, if you have no work, you have NO MONEY, b/c you don't get unemployment. He used to have people waiting 3 years sometimes for them to get their house built. Since the economy thing, he's had one house trickle in at a time. He is right now finishing a house he's been working on (I'll take pictures later and show you) and then he was SUPPOSED to be starting another house. The plans were at the architect's, the land was lined up to purchase, then all of a sudden, the land owners changed their minds on selling it to the lady he was going to build for, she got a little fearful (she's an elderly lady), and tired of trying to deal with the landowners, and called and said she had changed her mind on building. OK, this is testing time for me. I called my husband and said, "First, I KNOW God is going to take care of us, but....(blubbering by this time....) the house fell through..." It's fine, we'll be fine. I know we will, but sometimes I need to be reminded that it is God who is my provider, and not myself. We do what we can do, and the rest is trust. Right away a couple of remodel jobs came together, and there will be more, unless we get stretched even more, but I need to keep my eyes on Him, and trust that He always has and always will take care of us. So, after my little meltdown, I'm back to knowing it will be fine. It would be a little/lot less stressful if my inlaw's estate would sell, but it's not easy to sell a 785 acres farm out in the middle of nowhere! But, we'll keep plugging away, there are people in a lot worse situations than ours.
The heat we've had recently has been wonderful! My corn is growing higher every day, the kids and grandkids are having a blast playing in the pool, things are getting done around here. My husband was laughing, telling me that someone mentioned to him, that, with the kinds of houses he builds, he must have the best of all of them in his own home. Not quite lol. We actually live very simply. Very modestly. Nothing like the places he builds. But. I love my home. I love my life. We were sitting on the swing under the huge maple in our front yard, enjoying the weather, talking...I told my husband I feel rich. Kind of like the Sonny and Cher song, "yes, it's true, we don't have a pot, at least we're sure of all the things we've got...." We have everything we need, and more. We once went and worked in an orphange in Mexico for a month. For all my humble home, all I could think, as ladies would invite me into their cardboard and blue tarp homes, with the tamales on their camp stoves, their barrel bath tubs at the door, (if they were fortunate to have the bath), was, "I'm so glad they don't see my home!" I was almost embarrassed at how wealthy we are in our country, when four hours from our borders, people were making $5. a day and living in shacks, their children sleeping on dirt floors, waiting in lines for beans from the orphanage. And you know what? I loved their homes! Because THEY were the home, THEY were the family, not the place they lived. I was warned not to drink the water, b/c our systems can't handle the germs, but I could see myself sitting and enjoying friendships with these people. Now THAT'S a trip I've been dying to take again, taking my whole family back down to the orphanage and making a difference in someone's life, and being blessed to meet new friends. It's all about contentment, isn't it?