Alphabet Soup “B”

This is from another blog that I participate in…You did WHAT? Since this pertains to our downsizing adventure, I thought I’d share it with you too. Be sure to check out too.



My hubby retires this summer. We’ve talked about moving to the beach for years. We’ve decided to just do it. So we’ve been pairing down, getting rid of and preparing to do just that. We plan on keeping very little. A few pieces of furniture, our clothes and some sentimental items.

We live on 7 1/2 acres so we use a tractor to plow our driveway in the winter. After the first snow, our tractor broke down. It’s old and tired but Bob has always been able to fiddle with it and sweet talk it and get it going again. Not this time. The first year in forever that we really needed it. We have a 4 wheeler with a plow on it but this year we got a lot of snow. That poor little 4 wheeler was begging for spring…of course so we’re we.

A few weeks ago…

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I have not left you, I am not dead. I will return to regale you with more stories and woes of downsizing and retiring.

Seriously, things have just been happening, quickly and I haven’t had the time to compose my thoughts, but I will!

Shaken, Not Stirred

It’s been a long cold snowy winter. Feels like we’ve been cooped up for months and months,  and more months. It probably hasn’t been that long but it sure seems like it. So if you are having winter where you’re at and it’s been way too long you’ve probably heard your share of griping about winter, so I’m going to try not to do that. But there are things that go along with the ending of winter. Warmer weather, that’s a good one, we like that. But that means all this snow and ice turns to water, and that means ice dams, flooding and damage.

A couple weeks ago, hubby and I needed to get out of the house. My Mama used to say “get out and blow the stink off”. So we took a drive. Mi Darling (that’s hubby…Bob) has learned over the years to become a great photographering chauffeur, and he takes some pretty awesome photos too. I’ll have to do a post on some of his photos sometime. So we took off on our adventure, heading south towards The Palouse, which is a beautiful farming area, with rolling hills, old farms and lots of history.  This day we were looking for ice dams on the rivers and creeks. Unfortunately we were a couple days late for that, but there are always opportunities for interesting shots. dscn1485

The ice had melted enough that the ice dams were gone, but the ice remained. In some areas it was pushed up on the banks of the rivers, left to melt and fade away until next years freezing temps start the process again. But it was fascinating seeing some of these ice chunks. Some were just that, chunks, but let me tell you, some were as big as  sheds, 12×12 or so, and 18″-30″ thick! And some of these ‘chunks’ were 40 feet from the river bank. Can you imagine the force it took to move that chunk of ice and then leave it there? That brings a whole new meaning to the words “shaken, not stirred” my friend.

There were areas where the water had been over the roads, but we were lucky that on this day it was not. It was right up to the edge in places, trees standing in water up to their bottom limbs. And the next week we heard that this area was definitely flooded. dscn1494

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and in some places there was not much snow left. But as we drove, I looked up this hill (with no snow) and there was a line of trees with a very thick coating of snow or frost. Talk about micro-climates. The photo that I took is a little blurry as it’s a long zoom but it was so strange, snow/no snow that I wanted you to see it anyway. I think probably that the wind blows up the draw right on the edge of this ridge leaving this perfect line of demarcation between the snow/no snow. That’s my (un)professional weatherman opinion.

As we rounded out our 150 mile drive, we were lucky enough to end the day with a few elk grazing in the warm sunshine. At first we thought there were only 3, but as we watched we could see there were as many as 16-20 laying and hanging out in the timber. What a beautiful way to end our Sunday drive.

We always enjoy our Sunday drives, even when they’re taken on Saturday. We get to spend the day together and rarely do we come home without some great photos. It doesn’t have to be life changing or earth shattering, but sometime it might just be…

Cast Iron Memories

As we countdown to retirement and continue downsizing, we have told the kids and grandkids about our plans. Nearly everyone has basically said, they’ve been expecting it. I guess we are not mysterious at all. Of course our house has a definite beachy theme going on and we take our vacations there, so maybe it isn’t so far-fetched that we would one day plan to move there.

Our daughter Michele is the only one who was at all surprised. I actually thought she was mad when we told her and her husband Chad. He wasn’t surprised at all. She asked him how he knew…of course he didn’t know, he just wasn’t surprised. He told her to think about it and after a couple of minutes she calmed down and began to at least listen to our plans.

We told each of the kids they needed to let us know if there was something they wanted from our house. A piece of furniture, picture or something because we were going to be downsizing and selling, donating or otherwise ridding ourselves of our worldly possessions. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but we really are going to get rid of almost everything. Our goal is to leave town with one truckload. The truck size has not been determined yet.

Of course none of the kids wanted to come in like vultures, but we assured them that if we couldn’t give a particular item to them we would let them know. I was surprised by their choices. Michele wanted an antique vanity that I use as a make up table. It surprised me because she’s never really been into antiques and it doesn’t seem her style. But, she used to come into my room in the mornings and sit at my desk (it was a different one than I’m using now) to do her hair and makeup. I think it’s the memories of that, that make her choose the vanity. If not, I’m going with that because it makes me feel happy thinking that’s what it is. Her husband, Chad is all about Bob’s horns and hunting stuff. He’s got a room, man cave if you will that is all about Seahawks and hunting. That was no surprise.

My daughter-in-law said, “I want that whole wall”. Referring to a wall in our kitchen that has old antique and rusty enamel ware. Most of it was found across the road from us at an old homestead up the hill. It has bullet holes and rust, it’s misshapen and I love it. It makes me happy that she wants it for her home. Our son wasn’t surprised by our decision to move, he just doesn’t believe his dad will ever retire, therefore we won’t be moving. So we’ve just suggested to him some things he might want. Dad’s bobcat that he shot years and years ago that’s always hung somewhere in the house. Some of the gifts that he’s made us over the years. “You still have this?” “I can’t believe you kept this!” … Yes my darling, I have kept nearly everything you ever made me.


Joey and the twins, 3 of our grandkids, were here so much when they were young that everything here is a memory to them. This is home to them. Not that they didn’t have a great home, they were just here a lot with us when they were young. Joey is engaged and living with a sweet wonderful girl, Bre and he was so close to my mom before she passed that he will gladly take anything that was hers. So, he gets her dishes that I have…on one condition…they have to use them. They can’t just stick them in a box. I did because i was so afraid of breaking them, and now it’s time to give them away and I really never got to enjoy them. They aren’t china, they’re just dishes. They need to be used.

Aaron has yet to name anything, although i’m sure he’ll think of something. Oh he’s asked for practical things, dish cloths, bathroom rugs, a desk, nothing sentimental yet. Caleb said, “Oh Grama, I know exactly what I want. Remember when we were using the metal detector in the field and we found that part of an old toy? That’s what I want!” I had to think about this for a while, but finally remembered, we found an old cast iron tractor toy. Actually just a part of it and yes, I still have it. Now that’s what I mean, everything is a memory.


I’m so excited about the things they’ve chosen. There will be more as we get closer, dig deeper purge more. But these things are my memories that will keep me close to my kids and grandkids. They are my heart and I think they’ve got good memories to hold on to too. I’m sure they’ll have lots of stories to tell their kids and grandkids someday too, and with any luck, I can tell them a few of my own as we play on the beach together.

I have a vitamin deficiency, I am in need of vitamin sea.

Repost from

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It’s Christmas, NOT Xmas!

Well, Another Christmas come and gone. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, I hope it was everything you wanted it to be. In our family we celebrate Christmas. This year was a little different. Usually we have Christmas Eve at our house with Bob’s family and Christmas Day with my family. The kids are split between the two days because of obligations to their spouses families. It works for us.


When I was a kid, I remember reading the Christmas cards that we got. It was a huge thing then. My Mom had a huge list that she sent cards to, and received cards from. I’ve never been able to keep up with sending cards. I love getting them. I used to be that bad person that sent them to the people I got a card from, after I received theirs. Now I just don’t do it. In my defense, I get busy at work and home and…well I guess I get lazy about it. I didn’t say it was a good defense…

Anyway, I started seeing Merry Xmas on the cards and I asked my Mom what that meant. She explained to me that it was short for Christmas. I was not raised in a real religious home, but I knew the meaning of Christmas and this enraged me. I was pretty young, young enough that I didn’t know how Xmas could be an abbreviation for Christmas, but old enough to be furious about it. I raged about how the least we could do is write the whole word. How can anyone abbreviate the Christ from Christmas. My poor Mom just listened and agreed with me. I bet if she ever wrote Xmas before, she never did it again after that. I still feel this way. Christmas is one word that needs to be complete. I’m a purist in some things.


Well, this Christmas we had 8 of us for dinner on Christmas Day. As everyone started to arrive we had all the greeting and hugging. Our oldest grandson, almost 24 and his twin brothers, nearing 21 were here and I am so thankful to still have them be a part of our festivities. As they walked in the door one of the boys said “Merry Xmas Grama”! I was shocked and kind of frozen in place for a couple seconds. It must have shown on my face because he quickly came over hugged me and said “I mean Merry Christmas Grama”!

I guess I still feel pretty adamant about not abbreviating the reason for the season. It was pretty funny how quickly he changed his tune. Some things just need to stay important.

What are you adamant about keeping pure in your holidays? Did you have a wonderful season?

Frugal Holiday Gift Wrap – Upcycled Cereal Boxes

I saw this post a while back and I thought…I have to tell everyone about this! You know how it goes, you have one or two gifts left, it’s late, late Christmas Eve and all the boxes are either too big or gone. Well, here ya go, and look how elegant they look. You’re welcome.

Also thank you to Mo at Devise.create.concoct for letting me share this with you and if you haven’t already, head on over and check out her wonderful blog.