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“Prayer/Care Cards” August 12, 2017

        A sunset at Seaside !!!

My family had rented a house in Seaside, for a week. So on July 9th, I had decided to head to Seaside, after church, by way of Rockaway beach. My plans were changed when I saw a lot of traffic, in both directions. Any spot that could be parked in, was filled.   I drove through Rockaway figuring on coming back in a day or so. As I was driving, I was making new plans. You see, I was going to take photos of decorations for my “Prayer/Care Cards” and take photos for my “Remembering Shawn” time. 

For many years I have been frustrated that I could not find the right card to send out to various folks going through difficulties. I call these cards my “Prayer/Care Cards”. I want to remind folks that someone cares and is praying for them, as they muddle through a difficult time.  In years past, I  bought many discounted cards, none of which I really liked. I like the personal touch.   I have come up with my own phrases. I hope to make the photos into cards.

Here is an example:  P.S. I have several colors, not just blue !!!

As I continued my drive towards Seaside, my disappointment lightened.   I asked God to help me figure out how I could use all my prayer/care decorations?  I had decided I was going to get up extra early in the mornings, walk to the beach and get photos finished before the sun would cast too many shadows to work around. Then my mind started to wander as I recalled the many sand sayings  I had made for Shawn, since he died. In time I started making sayings for others, who wanted their precious person remembered. I love making sand sayings.  I hope to get to make more sand sayings, for others not just myself. Mind you, it takes quite a bit of time. I hope to  make my new sand sayings  into cards to send out to those facing difficult times. Oh yes,  I had brought Blotto on this beach trip, in hopes of getting more photos of her at various locations, if time allowed.

 Bob came to Seaside, the following Monday afternoon. He knew how bummed I was to not get my various photos taken.             During my kidney episode I was watching a movie. I do not know the title or what it was about. Only one small phrase: “that  appalling desperation of wanting to keep  the dying person with you.”   I think that is why going to Rockaway is still so important. It is my special remembering place for Shawn. A lot of folks go to a cemetery.    Bob gave me the idea of leaving very early Saturday morning and getting to Rockaway before car and people traffic picked up. What a great idea ! I was sure I could pull out some of my prayer/care suches to make more photos.

Just a few samples: 










Here is something neat. I figured out what I can can do to contribute when with others. You see, I love washing dishes and doing laundry.  So, while at Seaside with my family, I suggested they let me be the official dish washer and take care of the towels and wash cloths. I just wanted to find a way to lighten their load. And, guess what ? They let me !!!     For me, it was easy to do those tasks with joy !!!  


I must admit, there are times (many) when it seems God & I are not on the same page.

Friday evening before Bob left, it was noticed that my car had a  flat front tire. Les Schwab was closed. The donut spare was put on. There was such a difference in size that I was not going to attempt driving to Rockaway. I would need to get my tire fixed Saturday morning, changing my plans, again, for a remembering Shawn photo. My brother-in-law said there must be a reason, trust God. As reality set in, the emotion pressures were weakening the doors that do a fair job of restraining my tear flows. Without warning the tears burst out. I was, so, ashamed. I’m sure it is hard for most to understand my need for remembering Shawn.  

***Les Schwab, You Rock !!!***

I am kind-of struggling. I cannot see how God can use my strange life. I do not want folks wondering why Kathy shares everything. I believe I have mentioned before that I am using this platform so my family and friends can have a place to check in to see how I am doing~that way they don’t have to deal with my grief stuff   ??? Also, maybe my sharing will help someone know they are not alone. Maybe (?) all my different ideas or things I learn along the way can be an encouragement to someone ?

The other day, I typed in on YouTube: sermons on moving through grief.   Here is a message I found helpful:  Joel Osteen, :Don’t Waste Your Pain:  It is well worth listening to.

 At 16:59 Joel mentioned “puzzle”, which reminded me of a project I wanted to try. I took a children’s puzzle and painted over it. I chose a scripture that I need reminding of, often, and penned it the best I could.  It did not turn out perfect, in-fact, it looked so much nicer before I cut the pieces apart. BUT, the words are pure comfort !!!  


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Our State Bird !!! February 25, 2017



I love to hear the melodious singing of the Western Meadowlark. This one was from Dub Paetz. I do not know what it is about the Meadowlark’s song that lifts my spirit. In my childhood years in Idaho, I loved it when the snow was gone enough and the Meadowlark returned with it’s glorious melody. Strange thing, I was sure I heard the same wonderful notes, this past Wednesday, while I was loopin’. I had been pretty bummed and those glorious notes warmed my soul. My heart was saddened, later that day with the news that someone in Oregon thinks the state bird needs no longer be the Western Meadowlark. REALLY ??? WHAT IN THE WORLD !!!     OREGON !!! Keep the Western Meadowlark our state bird !!!


Some time ago, I mentioned that we have off white carpet throughout our house. I love carpeted floors. It is important to me that my carpet is clean and looks new. I must admit that it has been difficult to keep the carpet clean with a couple of phases of  Chihuahua puppies.  Also, several years ago, there was an awful clay stain, at the sliding doors, created when the mountain behind our house was made: 20170225_092750.jpg

 At that time, a chipper semi was parked at our back fence. I was the only one that weeded behind the fence~I guess it was a nice park spot.  I now, have several trees back there. The tallest arborvitae, was transplanted by Shawn. The mountain,  in the back, originally was smaller. I remember watching the rigs pile MANY loads of dirt. They rolled, many times across the soil to pack it down. I thought the slant was too much and the rigs would tip over. It took me many years to not worry if the man made mountain would come falling down, because of  the mega rains storms we have here.  Anyways, the dust from the mountain making  project was awful. My Extractioner- carpet cleaning machine, a purchase from the 1980’s was very helpful. Due to over-use, another carpet cleaning machine was purchased. A lot of use from me and I loaned it out a few times. It needed to be replaced.  mightyprox3_1024x1024_3bc4f167-5482-461e-a0fc-26d2b1e2e1bc_large

It was quite a surprise when Bob bought me the Mighty Pro-Blue. I use it a couple times a year. It is very powerful and does a great job helping me clean the carpet.  I am amazed at how well our carpet has held up, after all the cleanings it has been through.  

I have been longing to find a machine that would take care of little problems. An example would be: this past summer, a bucket containing melted coconut oil dribbled  onto the carpet. It left a dribble trail of about 5 feet. The RugDoctor was helpful.  BUT, every few weeks the coconut oil dribble trail reveals itself. I do not want to take out my big machine for small areas. Oh and yes, the Chihuahuas have accidents that need more than just a rag cleaning.

During Christmas break, while watching a recorded movie, for some reason, I did not fast forward through a batch of commercials. There it was an electric gadget being used to clean linoleum. It was then used to clean a carpet stain. Wow I was excited !!! You see my steam mop broke, so I have been back to mopping on my hands and knees. I showed Bob the commercial. Guess what ???       A wonderful surprise came to our door.  A Bissell Crosswave All-in One Multi Surface Cleaner !!!  This machine is perfect for a picky cleaner like myself.  It works great on the linoleum!  It was easy and a blast cleaning our garage floor and the outdoor carpet on the garage floor !  Yes, I mop the garage regularly,   doesn’t everyone ?   The folks who made the Crosswave thought of everything. It is easy to use !!!  Also, all the parts are easy to remove and clean for the next job !!!  AND, they have a tray to station the Crosswave, during stop moments-which when some drippage usually occurs with water gadgets.   I love this gadget even though it is not blue. 


One more find !:

Being a cleaning fanatic, I have tried many products in hopes of finding the one I can use for a variety of situations.  Because of my lung sensitivities, it is important to find products that do not cause breathing issues. I have had NO bad reactions to GOOP ( ! For whatever reason, this past summer, after trying many products, on a stain, I slathered some GOOP, onto the stain.

goop-groupa_pg_111   I cleaned the Goop off, the spot was gone. Bob found a 4 and 1/2 pound size of  the white cream cleaning miracle working GOOP.     I have been experimenting: it has worked well on spots on fabric, stains on the carpet, it is great for cleaning the inside of my bus: the seats, flooring and ceiling. I hope the company doesn’t mind, but this is how I use GOOP. I scoop a bunch of GOOP into a big pouring type container, that has a screw on lid. and then I add  a small amount of H2O.   I shake it up until it looks like milk. I squirt it onto my cleaning rags, and wipe the messes away.  GOOP has been a thrilling find for me !!!     There you have it, some things that have made my life easier.  


See, I am not always, depressing ! Just tryin’ to grow on this grief journey.


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I’m Freezing Hot !!! February 11, 2017

I need to give this a try !!!

I need to give this a try !!!

It doesn’t seem to matter how cold it is outside, I can find myself, sweating. It can be frustrating. I try to wear jackets that I can peel off quickly, before they get sopping wet, during those hot moments.  I do not understand how one’s body can drip sweat and be freezing at the same time. I have come up with a perfect phrase that fits me: I’m freezing hot !!!                                I must admit, I am still trying to figure out all my issues. The 3 seem to intermix: grief, menopause and exhaustion from bad asthma lungs.  Just kind-of frustrated.

One of my torments with being freezing hot reminds me of many times while Shawn was in Harborview. There were times his room was very chilly. There were other times when his room was nice and toasty, so much so that the staff would be sweaty.

Just plain missin’ Shawn !!!


 I heard a lot of talk this past week about all the different things that would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift. Like: a big bear, flowers, sweets, cuddly pj’s.    For me, the most precious thing is that Mom has sent Valentine cards to us kids, always. I wish I had been better about sending out cards to my kids.  Anyways, all the commercials about what to buy, made me think.      Ummm, let’s see, I am trying to set this up to make sense. You see, my husband knows I do not need flowers, to go out for dinner, cards, sweets-which I would gobble too quickly.  I love the unexpected throughout the year. I have found this approach less stressful for him.  

An example would be picking out a card. Bob can spend many moments trying to find the right card with the right words. It is painstaking to watch. He usually gets a white envelop.

~~~ Just a side note~~~

Many years ago I was in a Target store. I had found a card, in short order.  As is usual  for me, my search for the perfect colored envelop is where my time is eaten up. On this particular day, a reset was being done on the card section. A woman asked if I needed help. I told her I was trying to find an envelop that matched the card. Her face twisted in disgust. She told me that that card had a white envelop and that I was not to mix them up. She proceeded to give me a here to what for. I was rather embarrassed as other customers stopped to listen to the goings on.  AND, a couple of years ago, I had gone into a little gift shop, not far from our house. Again, I had found an appropriate card, but I needed the perfect envelop. The store owner asked if she could help me. I told her I was trying to find a better envelop. She told me to take the one that was meant for the card. She informed me that folks like me mess up her inventory.

SO~~~Hallmark or whomever are the card and envelop makers, give me better envelop choices, PLEASE !!! I do not like being scolded for trying to find a better envelop choice.  

Maybe I should take the time to make my own envelops !?!

Maybe I should take the time to make my own envelops !?!


Last weekend I attended a memorial service of a co-worker. The service was simple and sweet. I heard the most beautiful performance of “How Great Thou Art”, that I have ever heard. I left the service thinking about the memories shared. A thought kept popping into my head: how will others remember you ? What will you (me) remember others by ?  I do not like to have my photo taken. Then I remembered all the precious photos of my co-worker. Smiles are much better than a grimace or a turned head. Have I treated others in a loving manner? Have I been willing to make friends or has my grief enveloped me, too much ???



Shawn's favorite saying: love ya to the moon and back...

Shawn’s favorite saying: love ya to the moon and back…