Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In One Accordance

"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing.  She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself." ~ Maya Angelou
This past week has been nice.  I've managed to get quite a few things accomplished and under control.  I have 3/4's of my bedroom uncluttered, the last hold outs are the bottom of the closet, and the small bookshelf.  After I accomplish these last 2 trouble spots then I can do a final uncluttering purge, then clean, and paint the room.  I'm wanting burgundy colored walls, cream color for the door, window trim and ceiling, wooden floors, and a border between the walls and ceiling that is antique looking, and has dark green, burgundy, cream and yellow in it.  I'll have pale light yellow lace curtains for the window, since I no longer work nights I don't have to keep the light out during the day, and I do LOVE light.  In celebration of all of my hard work I'm gifting myself with some sort of beautiful antique lamp.  As my dogs had an incident a while back resulting in part of the glass globe missing on my current lamp and a new fancy bedding set.  It will be quite lovely when I'm done.
    This past week I have been able to catch up on a lot of paperwork and start delving into my various projects.  For instance, instead of going to a local thrift store for work shirts and some more clothing for my little girl I asked a friend who is a frequent shopper there if she would keep an eye for those items for me and I would reimburse her the cost.  Altogether a smart idea as I'm still learning how to resist temptation, just because a person COULD do something, doesn't mean that they will have the time or energy to do EVERYTHING.  A person has to pick and choose the things to invest their finite amount of time and energy in.
    I also used one of my days off to putter around the house, uncluttering and chipping away at my to do list, and having a Spa day.  My little girl and I painted our nails.  Mine were just my toenails as long painted fingernails in the field I work are impractical and a hazard.  My Moonflowers are also thriving; I think I'm going to have to repot again, very shortly, at their current growth rate.

    I also realized that I should probably give a better description of where I live.  I live in a tiny county in Oregon called Wallowa County.  For people that are unfamiliar with U.S. History, when settlers moved West in the 1800's they crossed on a trail that is known as the Oregon Trail.  The county that I live in is also called "little Switzerland" given our mountains and harsh climate.  In the Summer we have HOT dry heat 80-105 F during the day, 40-70 at night.  In the Winter we have COLD temperatures anywhere from -20 to 50 F.  The weather has quite abrupt mood swings here.  We usually have active snow from late October or November through March.  From September through May or Memorial day there is an active chance of snow.  The blizzard on July 4th back in the 1970's still provokes comments when the topic of weather is brought up.  Every January there is a dog sled race that is a qualifying race for the Iditarod dog sled race up in Alaska.  Due to the differences of elevation in the mountains and the valleys between them there is quite a drastic climate change.  A friend of mine grew up in Imnaha, one of the lowest elevations in the county and her parents were able to grow Avocados at their house, due to no snow, lots of rain, and warm to HOT weather year round.  At some of the highest elevations in the County 4-wheel drive is required, a lot of times with chains or studs, and snowmobiles and skiing are an active part of the community.  Road closures during the Winter are not uncommon.  Below are some beautiful pictures I have taken of the Valley in its' different moods, on my various journeys.
A view from our Cabin at Promise on Memorial Day 2013
      A view of Wallowa Lake on Easter 2013, and please note the Ice still there from where it freezes over completely every Winter.
A beautiful waterfall up in the mountains above the lake.
Have a wonderful week everyone and take care, Yoko.


Thursday, August 22, 2013


"Look to the future, your story is not yet written." ~Unknown Author~
I have made great progress in uncluttering my bedroom this week.  Given the inches and sizes that I have lost over the past 2 years I still somehow had many clothes that fit me when I was heavier, even though I thought I had given them all away.  Into the give away sack they went, clothes that will never fit me given the fact that I am a woman, and not a prepubescent girl.  Clothes that were trendy, many years ago, into the sack they went, followed by clothes that I never should have bought as they were designed for someone with a far different body structure than mine, mine is hour glass curves.  After the basic clothes purge, I followed it with a cathartic book experience, book after book left my book shelves to journey into the giveaway bag destined for homes that will treasure it more than my dusty shelves.  One of the ways that my daughter and I plan to get our book fix cheaply without the clutter is the Public Library.  Free access to an unlimited number of books, with a deadline to read them by a certain date thus minimizing the amount of clutter than can enter my household at one time.  My daughter and I are now official card carrying members of our local Public Library.
    Depending upon my schedule for the week, is how much time I have and which project I am able to work on at the time.  In weeks where my schedule is normal I have been able to chip away at larger tasks such as landscaping, longer weeks mean less writing, more uncluttering, essentially baby steps as I try to balance work, family and my own personal projects. 
    My little girl is getting ready to start school again, it's amazing how the Summer has flown by.  Pretty soon my little girl will be ready to start sports such as T-Ball, and Soccer.  My mother-in-law's dementia has not progressed very much and so we are still able to take care of her.  My husband has been helping his daughter at her Restaurant and has been loving it, and me, well I'm always up to something.  It just depends upon my mood how beneficial it is to other people, lol.  ;) 
    My Moonflowers have managed to pull out of it nicely.  After giving it some thought I replanted the three plants together so that they can use each other to climb upon as they are a vining plant.  They are starting to become a little wild though, I'll have to move them with the rest of my Jungle soon, as my Kitchen Window is for small plants only.
 My niece and her family came up from the City to our neck of the woods and we had a delightful visit.  I was able to show her the new, improved healthy me and she was delighted at the results I have had so far.  I also wrangled an invite to a 15K that her city has annually, and so I have several months to prepare for this undertaking.  I think I am finally able to be up to the Challenge.  The difference between my hike with her last year and this year was amazing!  I was talking with a friend yesterday and remarked that I have lost 35 lbs. since beginning my weight loss journey over the past 2 years.  That my dear friends is the size of a large bag of dog food.  Imagine continuously carrying around that sack of dog food, there's a reason that being far over weight is dangerous to a person's health.  Until next time friends take care, and have a peak at my latest poem, inspired by the change in seasons. ;)

Autumn Fire
She was walking home with her backpack slung over her back, the weight of the books a familiar pressure.  With each step she took she heard a crinkle as leaves were crushed underfoot.  The warmth of the Autumn Sun beat down on her causing a trickle of sweat to slide down her temple.  Within seconds a blast of frigid air hit her forewarning of Winter's approach and just as quickly darting away, causing the leaves around her to dance.  She looked at the darkening hills around her as the Sun began to set, it's rays burning brightly crimson, smelled dry grass, wood chips, and smoke and inhaled deeply.  All around her were the signs of the season; the signs of Autumn and realized that this was what she loved about Autumn, the Autumn Fire.



Monday, August 12, 2013

Bon Voyage

"A traveler am I, and a navigator, and every day I discover a new region within my soul." ~ Khalil Gibran.
 The past few days have been a wonderful relaxation for my overworked body.  I took my girls over to some friends of mine that have several different animals and it was an impromptu mini petting zoo.  What most people don't realize is that animal companionship is not limited to the young; I'm sure my mother-in-law enjoyed it as much as my daughter.  There have been many studies that show the beneficial effect of animals on people, everything from dogs, to horses.  Pet therapy is used in hospitals for everything from cheering people up to lowering blood pressure.  Somehow animals are able to connect in a healing therapeutic way that we as fellow humans cannot.  For more information on pet therapy simply Google the term and there are many studies for you to read. 
    I have been able to sort through several boxes of stuff from storage and get rid of quite a few of them.  Also, the nights here are starting to cool down and I'm able to start opening the blinds in our bedroom to let in the light and warmth again.  I do love letting the light stream through our bedroom window during the day to help light up the hallway, it is after all an old farmhouse, and the lighting is quite limited. 
     I drew up a rough outline of the 3/4 acre of the property that the house sits on and have started my landscaping plans for next year.  As far as animals, my husband has agreed that we can get a Pot Belly Pig, a Miniature Horse for the property, and a few ducks; then we'll be maxed out as far as the limit of animals we can take care of properly.  The following picture is a picture of Thumbelina our first rabbit, and my bratty dogs which are determined to eat her.  Yes, I love my dogs dearly, but they are spoiled brats, and yes it is almost all of my fault, but my mother-in-law does not help the situation.  Meet Buddy on the left and Brandy on the right, brother and sister from the same litter, different fathers.  It's quite amazing what genetics can do isn't it?  
    I started exercising again and it has been very nice and I can feel the difference already.  I have almost completed the outline of the first novel that I plan to write.  On Friday, my next day off, I'll start the actual writing of my novel.  It'll be fantasy based, along the lines of The Chronicles of Narnia meets The Hobbit with a twist.  My health has improved quite a bit so I am able to accomplish more things during the day, even days that I work outside of the home.  I managed to save the Moonflowers that had been neglected, see the pictures below, and they seem to be pulling out of it nicely.  Last, but certainly not least is the rough outline of my goals for the property.  Keep in mind that when I plan things they have to be able to be self-sustaining and low maintenance in order to fit into my schedule.  I have to work to pay for bills for my family and my husband and I are raising my daughter and taking care of my mother-in-law. 
My Moonflowers are rebounding back quickly.  It's astonishing what the right conditions can do.
My initial plans for the property.  Some of them will take a while I think, probably over the next three years is what I'm currently estimating.

   Until next time, take care one and all.  Simply Yoko.  ;)

Friday, August 9, 2013


"One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other." ~ Chinese Proverb
    This past week and a half has been very busy.  I picked up extra hours at work and on my day off I agreed to help my step-daughter with her catering business.  I had never waitressed before so it was a learning experience.  What I took out of it was that I was glad that I was in the career field I was in instead of waitressing.  I'm afraid I talk to much to waitress properly, lol. 
    We acquired another rabbit named Cadbury, she's white with pink eyes and ears.  Her cage when we finish will be similar to Thumbelina's.  A mobile structure that we can move around the yard so that they have access to fresh grass and air, sunshine and can also fertilize the ground in preparation for my landscaping designs on our property.  My girls love our rabbits and have been helping me daily with the rabbits.  My mother-in-law's responsibility is her cat and I help oversee to make sure the appropriate care is given to Bella and my daughter's responsibility is Moby, our Beta fish and I also oversee his care.  My husband's responsibility has been the chickens and we share responsibility for the dogs.  My step-daughter and I also struck an agreement.  My husband is quite the handyman and can fix lots of electrical stuff, and can be an extra hand at the restaurant when needed.  In exchange I will be getting their leftover bits.  Egg shells and coffee grounds for the soon to be gardens, produce for the rabbit and chickens, and leftover bread/grain products for the chickens.  At home it was also a monumental decision that my husband would allow us to recycle and compost many of our waste products. Cans, glass and plastic containers to the recycling center and coffee grounds and egg shells for the gardens, produce to the rabbits and chickens and grains to the chickens.  The newspapers are used to start fires in our wood burning stove during the winter. 
    One of the dangers of being to "busy" even if it's for a good cause is that things can get neglected when pushed to the backburner.  My Moonflowers were divided and sent to their appropriate homes leaving me the care of three of the flowers. Two of the Moonflowers were sent to homes with my coworkers and another one actually to my work.  The other three didn't fare to well neglected due to my over "busy" schedule.  The plants themselves should be able to pull out of it, some of the leaves might be lost however.  Given what my schedule did to my plants I can only imagine what it did to me inside.  I have resumed my walking/running on my treadmill and plan hopefully by next week to take it up a notch. 

    As far as writing I have taken a love of poetry and the following is a poem I wrote almost as a sequel of The Darkest Night.  Hopefully you'll enjoy reading this poem as much I enjoyed writing it.  Until next time, take care one and all.
    The Ascension
    She stood there in the grey eerie predawn light watching the distant horizon, waiting.  Slowly golden tendrils of light swept over the distant mountains creating a magical radiance that flooded the valley.  She stood there listening to the rustling in the underbrush as life stirred, once again active after the last nightfall.  The hot cup of coffee warmed her as she stood there inhaling the heady scent of the mountain flowers once again perfuming the world around her.  As the sunlight began to warm her she heard the jubilant cry of the birds as they sang out in celebration for the glorious ascension of the sun.  As a bee flew past her humming it's way to the next flower she sighed in contentment.  All was right with the world, the Sun had completed it's rebirth today and she was up to see the christening.   A secret smile lit up her face as she realized that she was the only witness to this miraculous phenomena.  Life was good.  :)