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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Restoration of the Years the Locust have Devoured

It has been almost 3 years since my son and I moved to our Nest. 758 square feet on the second floor, with private access and a car port to protect my Le Saber from the heat and cold. For over a decade I had lived without an oven or stove and no central a/c or heat. I raised my children with only a washer and dried the diapers in the furnace closet until it conked-out about the time I stopped needing diapers.

We had a wood stove the last years, but the only escape from the heat (110 degrees for weeks in summer) was a wet rag, a book and a fan. I did not realized until last week that my metabolism had adapted, by slowing to what I now call the "Book Zone". 

Now at the Nest I have: a dishwasher, washer and dryer, a/c and central heating, as much hot water as I need and the peace in my heart that I am home. I have chosen to save expenses by not having WiFi and TV, so I still read a lot, listen to music and do all of  my textile arts.


The past couple of days I was off work and I read a Debbie Macomber book titled: Last One Home. This is a book that spoke to be about my Locust Years and the constant question that was given to me, 'Why didn't you leave?" A woman in abuse can not leave until she has done everything in her power to fix the situation. I tried twice when my children were ages 1-1/2 to 6 and then again when they were teenagers. It was not just about my leaving, it was about them leaving as well. We did have  extreme poverty and the metal/emotional abuse effecting each of us  in varying degrees, but I wasn't a quitter, so I just made the best life I could for my children.

I had to understand what was happening to me. Outsiders thought they could see what I needed to do, but I could not make it work. I will say, "When it was God's timing it happened." I want to thank  One Safe Place for giving me the knowledge of my rights as a human to live without constant verbal and emotional abuse.

Three years ago when the end came, I felt almost like the Children of Israel leaving Egypt. I had seen the plaques attack my spouse as he was cursed by his own actions. I Timothy 5:8 was spoken to me, sent in emails and notes from family and friends, but that was not my place to judge, that was for GOD alone. I am no man's judge.

I left the house of destruction with a safe vehicle to drive, a 14 foot square moving van full of furniture  and house wares (my children's inheritance) and having two jobs that would support me. Ian was just 20 and would be attending community college with his own expenses paid through Federal Financial Aide. I recently told someone that my mother use to say,"Someone should get use of Financial Aide considering all the years your father contributed through his taxes."Granddad, Thank you for putting my four children through college and university."

Through the Locust Years I supported my family with elder care and janitorial jobs as well as our summer vacations, which were my house-sitting jobs most summers. I home-schooled them through our local public schools and High School with a charter school and duel enrollment at the community college.

 In 2008 when the stock market took a hard hit my clients began giving up hope in their "nest eggs". Families of elderly clients had to make some tough calls and all of my clients either died or went to an assisted living within two years. 2009 I applied for college financial aide and joined the children taking classes with Graduation in 2012 with my oldest daughter, Mary.

It has been eight years since Deena's Overall Cleaning and Yard closed the books. My clients were all in their 90's and I felt so privileged to be with them, listening to stories and tales of a time long forgotten. Each one of these precious saints gave me much more than I gave to them.

New Beginnings

This past six months changing my second job to Pier 1 has given me freedom to create. I have begun house-sitting again this summer and look forward to three weeks to save on my a/c bill and enjoy their animals. We have a no animal policy at my apartments, so my cats had to stay in Cottonwood.

The most awesome thing that has happened to me this summer was a visit with an elderly couple next to the house I was watching. This couple had been a part of my mother's crowd 40 years ago and remembered her fondly. I lost her 32 years ago in an accident and always enjoy listening to people remember her love and laughter. Two days ago I was approached by this couple's family asking if I wouldn't mind visiting them again on a regular basis, as the folks had enjoyed my visit. What a privilege to yet again have my ministry restored from the Locust Years.

There is only one week left for me to prepare for school from this end before I will be gone from the nest for 3 weeks house-setting. My summer goals of Spa Deena have continued and I am thankful that GOD gave me a summer without catastrophe so concentrate on: Just Me. 

My goals for this week are:
* cleaning the apartment 
* preparing my clothes for the first week of school
* prepare my school apron and supplies 
* make doll clothes and a dress for Emelia's 2nd birthday
* clean out my refrigerator

I am blessed to be allowed a new hope and a future.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Reflections from Spa Deena ~ Summer 2018

Healing a Broken Heart

My art the past few years has been a sign of the journey. 
Just Breathe

This piece was  made 2 1/2 years ago when meeting with the "I am well" ladies. We talked about creating balance in our life. At that point of brokenness I just needed to breathe. It seems very insightful that I wrote on this board, When I stop fearing failure, I become an artist.  Fear of failure has been a big deal to overcome. This group of ladies encouraged me to put myself out there, taking baby steps I did slowly come out of my cocoon.

The Colors of Rain

The Colors of Rain was another multimedia project. My world view had dulled and there was lack of luster and interest as well as the effort it took to do anything to make a change. Sounds like a definition of depression. I have PTSD and the effort to get out of bed was mostly to escape the place the nightmares lived. A year ago I went to a Christian counselor and began unwrapping the layers of depression and oppression that were keeping  me afraid. I knew the colors were there, but I felt none of it stuck to me.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

The Light at the end of the Tunnel was a finger painting. It was meant to be abstract and messy. I felt my life was messy, but I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel of my tree lines avenue. The wind is at my back pushing through the storm. 
 It took until this past fall when I left my second job with kids and began working at Pier 1 to see what (or who) was the storm. That was the scariest things I have done since moving to Redding in August 2015. Letting go of the control of my finances and allowing God to show me what way this tree line path would lead.

Advice from a Sunflower

Advice from a Sunflower was an example of what I was going to be doing in the future. I had learned to do a lot of different lettering formats in High School Art (1970 something). These skills had not been used a lot and it seemed that everyone uses a computer for this type of artwork. Recently, I have met people who do personalized invitations and wall art with hand drawn lettering. A few months ago I learned that at my store we make a chalk board sign regularly by hand. I have volunteered to make the sign since then.

Pier 101

This week my sign was near and dear to my heart. Making a small space have a big statement is my "spec-ee-ality". The Nest is just 748 square feet. A perfect size for me, but when I start a project it is time to roll up the yoga mate or eat in my chair while I create. 

Today I decided to change a pair of  short/shorts into cool 1970's short. I wanted to be able to show the girls at school in the "Booty Shorts" that there are options. I am hoping to encourage them to use their creativity, and maybe I'll even get a sewing club started or something...

1975 Kenmore going strong

4 inch post - it, "Just No!"

That should pass the dress code police

My project this week is to make Baby Doll Clothes for Em, but first I had to fix my shorts. We have a 4 inch or Post-it Note rule with shorts at my school. Unfortunately, most stores sell these cuffed up shorts that have the fabric, but are not hemmed which is also part of the dress code. The post-it does show that the inseam is 4 inches, but that is not the way these short usually fit.  By adding my 1970's trim and lowing the leg to the full length of the cloth, it is more like a 6 inch inseam. Very comfortable for my short legs.

I'm excited to see what will happen in my future. I have put the past behind this week. My journal is full of the insights God gave while turning over every care to HIM. ~Breathe~ 

Now...I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

~ Breathe~ 


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Spa Deena week 4

Summer Break Spa Deena

Hitting the Road with Emelia Bedelia 

This week Spa Deena took a road trip to Sacramento County. My granddaughter and her parents live in the East side of the Sacramento County Valley. I was blessed with a new friend who was able to drive down on Tuesday morning and come back to Redding on Friday evening.
Little Lady Liberty
Beginning my first day we went to swim lesson with Emelia's cousins, the Smiths, and then it was: Target, Trader Joe's,  Costco, Chick-fil-A, or Micheal's and Pier 1. Every day we went to a different place or two before nap time. After dinner Em and I got to play in the pool at their apartment.

Swim Lessons
Friday we had no swim lessons, so we went to the Sacramento Zoo. It was too hot for most of the tired, hot animals. Em  still loved see the "animals" and got to come home with a new Lion. She talks or sings all day long.
Stuffed Lion Mini Cuddlekin by Wild Republic
 For a "not yet" 2 year old she is amazing and that is not just...because I am her Gammie. She has a box of electronic letters that tell her what the sound and letter name is and she has it almost all memorized. She says, "What says?" all day long. We had so much fun.
setting on an Orangutan
I love that she has no fear. Her mama sat her on a wooden Orangutan and she just sat there.

Amazing Giraffes
The giraffe were very tame and wanted to eat right out of our hands. We decided that next time we will go back to the zoo on a cooler day. Maybe February. Today when she got up from her nap  and I wasn't there she wanted, "Ammie".  That just makes a Grammie's heart swell when your grand-baby misses you the next day.
Here Mama and Daddy are the best parents and I was really proud to get to see them all interact. 

Back Home to House-sit

I felt like I had jet-lag this morning when I woke up in Redding. I got back to my apartment and made the turnaround in 15 minutes to be at my weekend destination. 
A wonderful place for coffee and oatmeal

Fresh Peaches from my Dad's tree

Fresh Sunflowers

My house mate for the weekend
This is a little preview of the house-sitting gig I get to have for the last of July and first of August. My June adventures are over.  Our weather has gotten hot; I pray we wont have bad fires with the dry hot north winds.

 I am looking forward to the weather toward the middle of this next week.
Week 4 goal is just to keep it cool. From week 2 I am trying to keep up with 96 ozs of water and laughing more (week 3). I was able to get a lot of laughing with my daughter and granddaughter. One of the best laughs was when my daughter handed Em my water bottle to bring to me. Em had the lid balanced on her head all the way across the living room. Toddler posture is amazing.

Happy July ~ Keep Cool.

Image may contain: outdoor

Monday, June 25, 2018

Spa Week 3, "Taking my show on the Road"

Memory Garden for my Mama and Taylor
The 3rd week of June has been a hard one since my Mother passed away in 1986. This is my memory rocks and flowers to honor my Mom and Taylor. We lost Taylor last year on July 4th.
Flowers for Debbie
To keep the love alive before I leave on my trip... I gave my flowers to ,Debbie, my landlady for her office. She will get to enjoy them while I am loving on Emelia and Abbie.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting
Em just letting everyone know that she will be a big sister

Meanwhile at the nest this week

No toe nail polish for the summer
I am so happy to see my naked toenails without any breaks, bruises or missing nails. It is an occupational hazard of living and working with children to have them step on your feet and drop things on your feet. After fixing my own ingrown toe this spring, it was such a pleasure to take off my polish this week, for the month of July and see almost perfect nails. I rubbed in a layer of coconut oil after a session with the "Foot file".

Redding Rock
Painting Rocks is an international "SMILE" project. Here in Redding we have a Facebook Page with  over 21K  members. I found this 💮Groovy Rock🎕 near Pier1 in the Parking lot. I posted the picture and told the painter I was keeping this one. "It is so me!"

I road my bike three times this week

40#s/No Speed/Hang Ten Cruiser 
I love feeling the wind as I cruise down Hilltop Drive. It is a thrill to glide under the I-5 and HWY 44  underpasses. Then I have to pump a bit to get up to the trail that goes along the river to the Sundial Bridge. I've been thankful to catch the bridge each morning before the washing machine goes by. (The bridge is glass and everyday a person drive a scrubber with a squeegee blade along the bridge.)
Once I get across the bridge it is a short ride before I get off to walk up the hill. It takes me only 15 minutes to walk up the hill, but it is a tough hike to push my big bike up the incline of 250 ft elevation  in less than a half mile.

I found an app called Map My Ride GPS Cycling for my phone that tracks my Route, Distance, Duration, Calories, Speed and gives me a map, graph, picture option and time and temp.

4.5 mile route

I like to see my MPH and Elevation

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor and nature
Even a picture of me.
Tomorrow I hit the road for my mini vacation to visit my Granddaughter and Daughter #2. I completed goal for week two and drank 96 oz. of water every day or more.

    My goal for Week 3 is to laugh.
🤣 Belly Laugh
😂 Laugh from the inside out
😵 Laugh until I am dizzy


Monday, June 18, 2018

Deena's Summer Spa Week Two, 2018


I traded the Pink our for this lovely Blue

Kitty Wind-Chime had to come in as a heavy wind knock him
off the Nest Roof and his legs fell off.
(Inside Kitty now)

Summer Time is a great time to switch out the pink roses for
Big yellow Sunflowers
With so little space inside The Nest I needed to put the Pink Bird House that has graced the South/West corner of my living room outside, so kitty can be a house cat.

Metal Wind Chimes have survived many winds

Picture of the Week

It looks like I am inside the fence, which I guess
I am.
My biggest challenge in Spa Deena this week is to drink 96 oz. of water every day. I had read this was a great way to hydrate and just to take on one "spa" challenge a week. 
Last week it was simply, "breathe while I eat" and that I am eating sitting down. During the school year I don't get to eat sitting at lunch time and I sit in my Papasan to eat sometimes when I am really tired. I am trying to eat most meals at the table. 
Pier1.com  Stock Photo of Papasan
I read an article last night, that I could totally relate to; after deciding to take the challenge for week two of: drinking "96 oz" of water every day. This New York City, young adult, working girl had a realistic approach to the goal. She wasn't stopping coffee, alcohol or even soda. She was just adding the water to her other fluid intake. Working in the school system where you have to train your bladder to only empty every four hours...this may become a challenge for  the school year. However, I am going to give it a try this summer break.

I am blessed that at Pier 1 if you have to go, you just ask someone to cover you and you get to go...unfortunately, that is not a luxury of public school employees. The sweet gal that wrote the article said that NY had great water. Redding isn't exactly in that category, but I was spoiled by well water most of my life. I have filled all my glass drinking bottles (1 liter Kirkland Tequila is one of the best, don't judge me!) with tap water and let these set over night to get rid of the chlorine smell. I'm also adding a packet of electrolyte replacer to one of the bottles.

Great Winter mixer
Electrolyte Mix Supplement Powder, 72 Trace Minerals, Potassium, Sodium, Electrolyte Replacement Sports Drink | Raspberry 30 Packets | Dr. Price's Vitamins, No Sugar, Keto, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free
With Stevia, nice taste

There you have it, The News from THE NEST. My first two weeks of summer without tiny humans in my life. My creative energies are working in a different avenue this summer.
I got the pleasure of making our last two chalkboard signs for the entry of Pier1.

The first one was for an event that we had on Friday and Saturday, last weekend. The second one is our "Let Savings Ring" June 22 to July 4th. It is so fun to do these signs. This next week I hope have more creative adventures.
I found a rock outside Pier 1 today as I was dropping off a friend for work. The rock painting and hiding has become an international way to say, "Smile."

Feeling Groovy

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer Reading List

It all started a few weeks ago while playing Bold Moves on my phone at the Doctor's office.
I completed the puzzle and this was the quote. "You can't argue with Passion."
I fell down the google rabbit hole looking up Tim Burton and the "Passion" behind his quote.

My next step was Amazon.com and ordering the book: "The 8 Traits Successful People have in common".

#1 Passion...Find what you love and do it with all your heart.💗

I also have been working on: "Dodging Energy Vampires"

I subscribe to Dr. Christiane's  email newsletters. She has been a great source of information through my midlife years and this book is a must read for all ages. I am an EMPATH was a capital "E". This is a great soak and read for the summer

These two books should give me plenty of food for thought during my school break.

My other book on the table is my Bible. This summer I am joining Good Morning Girls

I had my own journal for the project started, so that will be my keeper. My goal for the summer is to achieve more balance before the school year begins. I'm riding my bike or taking walks on my two or three days off a week. This week it is Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday I gave myself grace and had coffee with a friend and took a nap in the afternoon.

Tomorrow I get to meet a corporate visitor for the first time at my retail job. This has been an adventure to return to my roots of retail. In 1974-77 I took retail courses at High School which included design and a lot of art classes for lettering and painting. In the spring of 1977 I competed in layout and advertising in San Diego. Today I made a hand written chalk sign for our entry to advertise a sneak preview for Reward Members. It seems so crazy that skills learned over 40 years ago are being used today in our computer age.
Another feather in my cap was being recognized as the Reward Superstar for the first quarter. That means I signed up the most people. (This is my part-time job.) ☺️

I don't have TV or WiFi at home, so, I read a lot of fun books too. 
Recently I read a A cat of one's own : an Alice Nestleton mystery As well as about a dozen others by Lydia Adamson.
A cat of one's own : an Alice Nestleton mystery

Currently I am reading Kate Jabobs Friday Night Knit Club  collection.
The Friday night knitting club

Knit two

Knit the season

I like reading winter books in summer, it keeps me cool. It only hit 98 degrees today.
99 degrees tomorrow and 101 next Tuesday
I love my little nest. Upstairs and away from the street. My property manager, Debbie is amazing. Her husband and maintenance guy is great and comes right over and fixing whatever goes wrong. Having a washer and dryer in my apartment is a safe and time saving addition. Yesterday I showed the "Pink Elephant" phase, I have been on since Christmas. Friday I will be spending part of my day off changing to the blue backdrop and changing all the pink roses on the mantel with sunflowers. 
I only have four weeks home before I will be house setting the last week of July and the first week of August. I am excited to see what the Lord will do with me in the coming two months of school summer-break.

My closing thought was something that a customer brought to my attention today. We are like Artichokes. We may have pokies on the outside, but after we steam with God, our hearts are tender.

Butterfly on EmojiOne  ~ Namaste ~