Monday, July 21, 2014

Remodeler's Log: 07/21/2014

It is day five of the master bathroom/bedroom remodel. Up until today we have been not only civil, but kind, patient and courteous. We have kept our sense of humor and encouraged each other.
Well, hello Monday morning.
Today neither of us would be commended on our civility.
Words are direct, short and clipped.
Most of the sounds are hammering, drilling and sawing.
Rod turned his head when I snapped this picture and it is good that the camera did not catch the look in his eyes. I rushed out before he could stop me.

Yesterday when we went to church I was really looking forward to losing myself in worship with God's family and hearing teaching from the book of Galatians.
On the way home, I confessed to Rod that my thoughts kept drifting off to the estate sale coming up, the upcoming new additions to our family and also which flooring to choose.
He said, "I'm not going to lie. I couldn't stop thinking about the bathroom wall."
Yep, we are that focused.
So sad.
We need to be reminded to be kind, loving and patient with each other.
Especially with all these power tools laying around so conveniently.
Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

One thing leads to another

Rod came out of our bathroom yesterday and began giving me an encouraging pep-talk.
"We need to be patient and not lose our tempers with each-other. We're in this for the long haul. We just need to stay positive and cheerful. And kind."

First off, I have no idea what he is talking about.
Second, why do I get the feeling he is really talking about me, not "us"?

"Um, what is going on?" I asked.

"Well, you know how we have been noticing the shower floor getting saggy?"

Of course I noticed that. I'd been working on ignoring that for almost a year. Making excuses like, maybe I've gained more weight than I'd thought. Maybe I have an inner ear infection and it is making me all wobbly and dizzy.  If all else failed, I just sang "LA LA LA-la la LA LA!" with my fingers both covering my eyes and plugging my ears.

"No. What are you even talking about?"

Then he opened the door to the master bathroom.
Just to clarify, I used to have a shower and a whirlpool bathtub right there.
Look, you can see my peony bush out through that hole in the wall. Why does that look like a cat door? I don't even have a cat.
Apparently we are having an unexpected remodeling project to do this month.

Oh, and Rod informed me that the wall and floor leading into my bedroom have also been destroyed by the Black Death Mold and we will need to replace those as well.

Did you know that my bedroom floor goes ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE ROOM and therefore my ENTIRE ROOM AND BATHROOM NEED TO BE DEMOLISHED AND REDONE?

I'm very sorry to shout, but I am trying to hear through my own "LA LA LA LA la la la la LA LA's."

So, if any of you has any great bathroom or bedroom ideas please send them my way. Because I do not day dream of redecorating. No, this is the stuff my nightmares are made of. This is not my gifting.
I have had to start looking at ideas on Pinterest.
Oh, the horror!
On the bright side, I can demolish.
Look, here is my back deck where all my bathroom stuff now resides until we can load it up and make a happy trip to the dump.
What a welcoming retreat!
 If you notice other things among the bathroom stuff, that is because I needed to clear some stuff out of our spare room so I could make space for all the things I will need to store there while we UNEXPECTEDLY TEAR APART MY BATHROOM AND BEDROOM.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Duck Wars and other weekend happenings

It was close, but there have been no injuries and no bloodshed.
On Saturday I went to the feed store to pick up goat chow, fish chow, dog chow, rabbit chow and I even went to the grocery store (on a Saturday! Do I have a death wish?) and picked up a little bit of people chow.
While at the feed store, I saw the small building labeled "Critter Corner."
What could it hurt? I thought.
So in I went, not emerging until I had two more ducks to add to our three at home.
 But these are brown ducks and will look more natural in our mountain pond setting. This is the very reasonable argument I practiced in my head before Rod saw I bought more ducks.
When I arrived home, I untied the burlap bags and set the new ducks free in their new home.

I had pictured the old ducks welcoming the new ducks with quiet beeps and quackings and gentle flapping of wings.
I did not picture the new ducks catching sight of the older ducks and saying, "Oh, this is YOUR pond? Our deepest apologies. We'll just find a new place. Ta ta and cheerio!" Then the new brown ducks began waddling down the the road, apparently looking for THEIR pond.
So I began to chase them back to OUR pond, which is plenty large enough for five ducks, for goodness sake.
Lucy came down to see what all the fuss was and began to "help" chase them back to the pond.
 Such a big helper.
There was loud honking and quacking as she chased them up the creek, and it got quite a bit louder when she caught one. The slower one.
I'm sure it was just a tiny misunderstanding. Reluctantly, Lucy let go of the poor duck and I returned it to the pond, safe and sound.

Until the older black and white ducks began to peck at it with their duck bills and then attempted to drown it by holding it's head under water.

Not quite the Welcome Wagon I had expected.

And who knew ducks would hate their new duck neighbors and try to drown them?

 Really, ducks? Seriously?

Well, things calmed down for a few minutes and then the first wave of neighboring campers showed up. Our neighbors own a couple hostels in Portland and invite their friends and people staying there to come to the mountain and camp in tents and yurts.
They call it Family Camp.

I call it a time for me to freshen up on my accent skills.

 It  has been happening for a few years and is fun for all of us. We enjoy visiting people from all around the planet and showing them our horses, goats, fish pond, Rod's little barn brewery etc.

 (Do I sometimes feel like we are a really elaborate exhibit at the zoo?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Good thing I like the zoo.)

The only down side of Family Camp is my tendency to pick up whichever accent the person who is talking to me has and begin using it as my own. Like I was born with it.
I know. This makes no sense at all, and  I have tried to stop it, but when I get nervous or stressed out in the slightest I tend to talk even more.
So, I was talking to some nice people from Wales and just relaxing and enjoying listening to them talk about the dogs they'd had over their lifetime.
I almost forgot to be worried. I forgot to be vigilant.
They mentioned that they had had a German Shepherd (they called it an Alstasion.) and I heard my self say, "Oh, so you like the German Shepherd dogs, then?" in a proper English accent.
Why do I do this??
Arrrrggghhh! (Groaned in whichever accent you have.)

The first time I did this accent stealing, (that I noticed) was when I was attending my sister's wedding at a posh (see??) place near San Diego. I was in the receiving line chatting with some of the groom's family who seemed to have a Euro-East Coast-Madonna thing going on with their way of speaking. They were talking about a vacation they had taken yachting around Greece.
 "Have you been?" They politely asked, although "been" was pronounced  "bean."
I have no idea how I replied, except I know it was in their accent.
They all just looked at me strangely, made quietly courteous murmurings (in their funky, citizen of the world accents) and moved away, probably thinking, "Aha! There's the old barmy sister. Every family has one..."
This is obviously something I must work on.
Both the accent-stealing and the barmy part.

In the meantime, everyone is settled in at the farm, peace is reigning and I'm completely knackered.

Close-up, so you can see there are no injuries.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ingrown Eyeballs

Oh, come on.
You know you get them, too. When you become so focused on yourself and your problems that other things, more worthy things retreat, growing dim and quiet.

So, a couple weeks ago I dropped the 6 ton 5th wheel trailer hitch on my foot. After I had x-rays and stitches, the doc told me it wasn't broken.

Except it still hurts to to put a shoe on.
 It hurts to walk.
Last night, it hurt when I was sleeping.
I think I should re-examine that doctor's licensing.
 Did he even pass x-ray class?

On a daily basis, this means that I can't walk the dogs, or run my loop.
This is where I meet with Jesus every morning. If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know this.

As silly as it seems, this has made me feel a little abandoned, as though I need the loop in the forest in order to meet with God every morning.

 Logically I know this is not true. In my heart (which is deceitful above all things...I know, I know) I miss my morning times in the forest spent in prayer and fellowship with Him. Somehow I feel like I can't be as close to God if it is not on the loop.
In the woods.

With the dogs.

 In the morning.

And people call Him controlling.
Boy, it sounds like everything needs to be just right for me to have any meaningful time with the God who created the Heavens and the Earth, amen.

Ingrown eyeballs.

Last Friday, I had to take Lucy,our bullmastiff, into the vet because of a bad infection. They were very concerned and
asked me to leave her there with them. We were all very worried about the possibility of cancer. Certain types of cancer will present themselves this way.
When I came home, Rod was getting ready for a weekend men's retreat with our new church. He was excited to begin building relationships with some of the guys and hear some great bible teaching.

(enter Ingrown Eyeballs. That's Mrs. Ingrown Eyeballs.)

"Please don't go...I bet they're going to tell me we're going to have to put Lucy down and I don't want to be by myself." I may have shed a tear, I don't even remember.

Rod really felt that God wanted him to go on the retreat, promised he would leave the phone on, and come back if I really needed him to.

I was so glad that Rod chose to follow God's leading in his decision. 

I was so excited that Rod was going to enjoy spending time with new guy friends.

I was so mad.

(Full disclosure: I may have mentioned my unhappiness about Rod's decision to a friend. Not a good idea. Ever.)

Rod went on his retreat.

Lucy came back from the vet; her infection being just an infection, at least for now.

(yay Lucy!!)

This morning, Rod was talking to me about the speaker at their retreat. His wife had had cancer years ago and they had beat it. Friday morning,just before the retreat, they received word that the cancer was back and had spread to a few different areas.
They were still in shock.
 They prayed about whether he should still go speak at this men's retreat and his answer from God was a yes.
He needed to be there.
You might think that this man was selfish and should be there for his wife. Or that Rod was selfish and should have stayed home when his whiny wife asked him to.

I say they don't have ingrown eyeballs that are only focused on themselves.

They have eyeballs that are only focused on the object of their faith; Jesus.

I say I want to, need to have their kind of eyeballs, their kind of focus.

 In "The Pursuit of God" by Tozer, I read the following quote this morning ,
" Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our vision, and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be, and it is perilously close to the sin of Lucifer who said "I will set my throne above the throne of God." Faith looks out instead of in and the whole of life falls into place."

So here is my prayer for us and my prayer for myself. (even if I can't pray on the loop with the dogs in the morning...whatever)
Taken from Tozer, again:
"O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may, with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear and be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe.Amen."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day memories

What a great title. I astound myself with my creativity.
I think the highlight of my weekend came when I had to dig the tick from the cozy home it had made on Rod's collar bone.
We had just arrived at Rod's brother's house for a Memorial Day BBQ.'s so important.
Rod: "Would you take a look at this? I think I poked myself on a stick hiking through the woods."
Me: "How long has it been hurting?"
Rod: "Oh, about 3 or 4 days.
Me: "Let me see...."
Then shrieking ensued as we saw tiny legs waving from Rod's tiny little burrowing friend.
I told his Dad to quiet down so we could take another look without the neighbors thinking we were being murdered.
(only kidding. only kidding)
The kind host and hostess brought us tweezers, which was especially generous considering we had brought an extra, uninvited guest to the party.
Don't you just love it when a guest shows up with a tick that needs to be removed?
To keep the party atmosphere up, I should have suggested that we all check each other for fleas, as well.

After much prodding, digging and excavating,I pulled the little critter out. Minus it's head. Oh well.

Arden, Rod's Dad also took a spin with the tweezers, digging expertly into the skin on Rod's shoulder/neck area. As we worked, Rod began calling out for an alcoholic beverage. But his cries became weaker and we ignored him. Or his brother Doug finally brought him a beer. I don't remember.

 Rod's Dad was able to remove most of the tick's head which had seemed like it might have to become a permanent part of Rod anatomy.
Unlike his beard. Which, in an odd but welcome turn of events, was removed by my friend, Jen, this weekend.
Jen looks slightly maniacal here, but Rod's eyes scare me.
During a party. Well, a BBQ- get-together. Camp-out. Sleep-over. Foos ball tournament. Clearly, Jen does her best work in the midst of chaos.
See how they are still pretending to be friends? Sweet.

It was a family and friends filled 4 day break. My sistah from anotha mutha...(oh, scratch that...same mother) came from Northern CA with her daughter to get a breather. I'll have to ask them how that worked for them. If she ever speaks to me again.

Well, I'm sure, if you are still awake, you'll agree that this post was absolutely riveting.
You are welcome.

What? You are disappointed that I didn't throw in a gratuitous picture of the tick?
Well, here you go:
This is not Rod's actual tick. Although his was every bit as nauseating.

 And my injured foot, as a free bonus picture:
I knew I could work this in somehow. I dropped a fifth wheel hitch on it. Yes it hurts. No, it is not broken.And it looks worse now. Please shed a tear for me. It will help.

So, there you have it. Don't say I never did anything for ya.
Have a great day. (while you try to remove these images from your head.Using tweezers.)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Full-on Ugly Cry

If you have not read about the son I gave up for adoption and my daughter's successful search for him, read this post and this post first. Otherwise the current blog post will make no sense.
Which will make it identical to 98% of my previous posts.

So, Sunday(yesterday) we went to meet the parents who raised the son I gave up for adoption.

No biggie.

My resting heart rate has not been below 175  since last Saturday when we all figured out who was who. And that WHO was WHO. Oh, you know what I mean.

More on that another time.

These are the actual thoughts (yes, I do have actual thoughts) that ran through my mind yesterday.

"This is bad. There is no way around it. Their first impression of me is going to be the full on ugly cry."

"Shoot, maybe I shouldn't have worn make-up..."

"Maybe they won't notice..."

"What if they don't like me?"

"What if my nervous jokes aren't funny and I laugh manically anyway?And can't stop? And sound like a wounded hyena? "

"Well, that's attractive."

Sunday is over. Two mighty strange and exciting and wonderful Sundays in a row. Now it is Monday and my resting heart rate is(almost) back where it belongs. There are many new and unfolding adventures in front of my family and theirs (ours?) which we are looking forward to. We'll share more as time goes by, but right now emotions are still high and feelings are tender.

 But we know this, and it has been confirmed every single day:
God is in control.
Romans 8:28  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Thanks for caring for us in these topsy-turvy times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Birthday prayer

(This was originally posted in March 2008. It bears repeating because of all the craziness this week.Diane)

This day comes around once a year.(Like most days, I guess) Usually I remember what the day signifies, say a prayer, and slowly return to my daily routine. This time, though, I went to the files and got out the medical records.

Well, one really grainy copy of my stay at the hospital. It records the time I arrived (5:45 AM), some notes I can't read, the date (3/18/81) and the time of my baby's birth. (6:55 PM)

It doesn't record that I gave him up for adoption that day.
It doesn't tell me what his parent's named him, or where they live.
It doesn't mention if he has any other siblings, or how he is doing now.
It doesn't tell me if he is following Christ .

I can't help but wonder about him today as I look at this paper. At the time, all I wanted to do was get out of that hospital and get on with my own life.What a mistake. I didn't get that that WAS a part of my own life and that someday I would be crying over this single sheet of paper,the only thing I have from that day,and praying for him.

I am so grateful for the life that God has blessed me with, for my family, friends and church. (Josiah just called AGAIN to check in; no son calls their parents that much! It reminded me how really blessed I am)

So, on your birthday, son that I never knew, I pray for your life. I pray that you are healthy and safe, that your family is good to you and that you know our Lord.I pray that the Lord will someday allow you and your brother and sister(Josiah and Amy) to meet. They would like that so much. I almost feel as if I can't ask that for myself, although I dream of it. I ask the Lord to bless you and to help you grow towards Him daily. I'm more sorry than I can say that I didn't appreciate how precious you were , and a gift from God, until years later. I do love you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Are you my brother?"

I knew I wasn't ready to be a mom. I was 19 years old. I honestly don't think I was ever ready. Not really.
I knew I wanted him to have the best chance at a good life that I could give him.
I remember seeing him when he was born and they plopped him on my stomach.
Red and squirmy and heavy.
Shock and awe.

I remember wanting to move on with my life.
But I never forgot him.
Rod, the kids and I used to look for a familiar face in the crowds.
They never forgot him either.
He just had a birthday and we thought of him again.
I have prayed for him in the middle of the night, and I call him "the son I gave up for adoption." Because I never knew his name.
But we have prayed and hoped that he is well, and healthy,and happy and that he knows the God who created him and that someday, he might want to meet us.
 His other family.
Amy, my daughter, is determined  and pregnant. She wants to know her other brother. She wants her brother to know her and her family.
So, this is what she did today.
"Hi friends & family! Please help us on this exciting adventure to find my brother who was given up for adoption on 3/18/81! Share this photo to help us spread awareness and let him know that he has a whole bunch of family who are searching for him and would love nothing more than to finally meet. Thank you for your help, I know we can do this!"
So, now we'll wait and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.
And if you want to, and you haven't already, please share this so we can get the word out. Thank you for your help, everyone.
Important note: this blog is not set up to accept comments. (something went wonky with it) so please use the email addresses in the photo to contact us!) or

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Goat herding

Hello, my name is Diane and I am a goat-herder.
I'll only have the job until Rod fixes the goat fence, but he has work and he somehow injured his neck so it hurts to digs holes and set fence posts. I wouldn't know because my job is to herd the goats and take them on the occasional goatie stroll.
This morning it is "Oregon misting" on me, but Rosie and Willow still wanted to venture out of their dry stall.
I wiped off my lawn chair, set it in the yard and called the goats over to the blackberry bramble covered sand filter on the side of the barn.
How do I call them?
I "maa-maaa-maaaaa-aaaa."
They seem to respond.
I am the goat whisperer. As well as the herder and the stroller.
The sky was misting, the birds were chirping, I had my coffee, my camera, my phone and my office book. (I was goat herding AND I took a job down for next week. I am a multi-tasking goat herder.)
Here was my view.
Yes, the dogs graze right along with the goats. I try not to ask too many questions.
This is Rosie, enjoying her breakfast of blackberry vines.
I'm enjoying my new job.
Have a great day, everyone.
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