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Butterfly- A colorful insect that flies from flower to flower pollinating and bring joy to the onlooker.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

These are a few of my favorite things

Books and Cats
In this unsettling time of our World's history my comfort is found in focusing on my favorite things. As Julia Andrews sang  in "The Sound of Music" I sang to my students one day this week. It was a reminder to myself as I recounted every word and dazzled them with a floor show in my Reading Group classroom. 

My favorite author and blogger is Lisa-Jo Baker. I have shared her since I was on the launch team of her book: Surprised by Motherhood. Her weekly podcast is Out of the Ordinary She and Christy start their podcast by listing some of their favorite things. I love that they share the ordinary things in our lives that really are extraordinary. 

They mentioned these books by Louise Penny and now I am hooked. Molly and I will be enjoying this three book set of the 1st books in the murder mystery series about Inspector Gamache. With a cat on my lap and a book in my hand I am ready to leave my chair and travel to another place and another time.

Beer and Pizza
I am a connoisseur of gluten free pizzas in my area. the Shasta Pizza Co in Redding is my current favorite. They are located on the corner of Hartnell and Victor, so I can call at 12:45 and pick it up after I get off work at 1pm. The single pizza can be four meals for me. Guinness being my beer of choice this week.
Fall Décor
After working at Pier One Imports for a few years it is no surprise that I have something for every season. No surprise that I have A LOT of somethings for every season. Fall pillows are out, hand blown glass pumpkins and this lovely on the hearth. It is dried flowers and was about $30. I got it when we had marked them down to $10🎃 With fall comes all the fun foods: Carmel Apples, Popcorn Balls, Apple Crisp and Peppermint Mocha.

These three are sandwiched in the middle, because they are in the middle of my joy. We also got the announcement that they have a little cousin arriving in March, I can't wait to hold my baby boy's ~baby boy.
Acrylic nails from the shop

My attempt to cover

Keratin treatment

Never Forgotten
I like pretty nails. During Shelter in Place my nails were so healthy and I enjoyed taking care of them. Of course going back to work at Pier One was not good for the nails and I wanted pretty nails for my niece's wedding. I bit the bullet and got acrylics which were more expensive than before Covid and the fill was even worse. I have Psoriatic Arthritis and getting a manicure is painful. Removing the acrylic nails in the shop is out of the question. I know my own pain tolerance and can stop and rest. I received the Keratin gloves as a gift and it was very therapeutic after removing the nails. Now I am back to my old worn down nails and enjoying my Color Street nail strips.

I hope you are enjoying some of your favorite things. Please share your favorite things in the comments.


Saturday, October 3, 2020

My favorite Color is October


A year ago I made a major life change and posted How my soul praises the Lord

I can not imagine what the past year would have been like if I had not chosen to follow my heart into the Anglican Church. The following month my step mother passed away. She had been ill for many years and my father had become very frail from nursing her. My sisters live out of state and I felt the need to check on my dad daily through the next 10 months. 

On Father's day weekend he had a fall and a subsequent brain surgery three weeks later from head injuries. We were not able to go to the hospital with him and it was very hard for a few days. He had a miraculous recover from blood clots on his brain. Life is too short to wait for much at 87 years old. September 19th he married the lovely Rita.

It has been so wonderful to see them enjoying  each other's company. 

This week he took her up to meet his big brother and family in Oregon.

I took Molly to the mountains to stay with Mary and have been watching their fur baby, Duke.

Pier One Imports closed its doors for good on September 23rd. All Pier 1 stores are gone forever. My side job is gone and school has begun to settle into a routine. Monday to Friday I work from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school with children present, on campus. 

I don't want to call it a new normal, but we are dealing with the daily changes...daily.
I needed a new side hustle, if only for my own amusement. I love to have pretty nails and earrings. But with having to wear a mask or shield at school the earrings have had to be occasional. My ears get sore from the mask, so I go from shield to mask all day.
I had gotten acrylic nails for my niece's wedding in August and got a fill three weeks later. The cost of a fill had gone up to $30 and I always give a tip. I was flabbergasted. Color Street sets are only $11 or $13 a set and that can be two manicures. A friend was having a party on Facebook two weeks ago, so I ordered some. Then I saw what the start up fee was to be a "stylist" and signed up. I will be having my first party online this week.

I'm using the Color Street strips to cover the acrylics while they grow out. This is how great they still look after a week. Next weekend I can file down more of the acrylic bump and apply a new set of strips.
Duke is smelling fresh after a bath today

Last weekend I got to take my Grandson to the zoo with his sweet Mama. He was fascinated by a skunk 
This weekend was just for resting and recharging for the next week. We have only had two weeks of in person classes with students. I got to start my ESL (English as a second language) group and Monday I will start my 1st and 2nd grade reading groups. In order to socially distance students we have three recesses sessions and three different lunch periods for grades 1st to 5th. Last week a kindergarten aid was out and we had to fill in for her as well. The Zogg fire was very close to us in Redding and the air quality on Wednesday and Thursday was so bad students could not play outside. That still meant that I was racing all over campus to give teachers breaks and get students in and out of the cafe.
Thankfully the wind died down and the firefighters have been able to begin containment of the fire in our foothills to the west. My son is one of those firefighters. I was glad to see that he and his lady got a day off to go fishing as he works 16 days straight.
October usually means rains, cooler temperatures and the end of the fire season. Our area has been hit hard with the fire in recent years. I pray that the next couple of months of 2020 will be kinder to us.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Hummingbird Zin


After nearly 5 months home with Molly I returned to my elementary campus on August 10th. We had two days of training and the teachers began meeting their students in what was called a "Soft Opening". In the past two weeks each child has come into meet their teacher and get supplies for Distant Learning. After helping the teachers prepare supplies my team was assigned to our 5 teachers in grades 1st to 5th. Beginning this week each of us will be conducting a small group for reading in each grade, each day, four days a week.
  I've done this face to face for the past five and a half years, but conduction reading groups online is a new experience. This last spring my university classroom was in this format. Only once was I the presenter. Now I have a mini classroom with a white board of my own. I have created the lessons for the first few weeks and just wait and see what it will look like in realtime.

To unwind Molly and I watch hummingbirds.
Sometimes I just watch Molly, watching for hummingbirds.
There is a bright orange glow outside from all the fires in California. Molly and the Hummingbirds don't seems to care. My son is out there fighting the fires. Breathe...watch Molly watch the hummingbird.
Last weekend these three grand-kiddos got together for a birthday party. I bought them a Pier 1 Imports shopping cart to use outside in the garden. After I left someone decided it should be a go-cart. All three littles piled in and got pushed around the house by adult men. They wont be that little again. What a great memory.
Judah loved getting to see his girl cousins and they were wild about him.
The Birthday girl was great at sharing her day with her little cousin and he was a great sport with all the girly stuff going on around him.
I've never met a better 4 year old hostess. She meet every guest with a lei and patiently allowed her best-friend to share opening gifts. My daughter had made cake and had a lunch for everyone. So many small children and hardly a tear. I couldn't stay long as I was headed for a weekend of wedding in Grass Valley, but my youngest granddaughter having my people watching temperament sat on my lap for a good long "People watching" session.

After a busy weekend of birthday parties, rehearsal dinner, bride's breakfast, wedding and lots of driving, I returned to my world of masks and online students. I didn't eat out at all on my journey, so I did my part to support the economy at home with take out this week. A dinner can be three lunches, so that is not too bad on the checking account. 
All our restaurants are closed for indoor dinning. Many people are dealing with the smokey air and sitting outside with misters and fans as it is also over 100 degrees with poor air quality. This week my middle daughter had air quality in the Danger Zone. I'm sure the air quality where my son is working is very Dangerous.
 Meanwhile, we wear these masks as mandated by the State of California. Our children stay home for Covid-19 not the smoke. Two years ago they stayed home because of the smoke for a couple of days. There was panic from poor air quality and how to deal with the smoke, indoor recesses and trauma of lost homes in the Redding and Paradise area. 
Our community is still building after the devastation. My friends who have retired and wanted to move out of the area have often sold their house as soon as they go on the market. I have had a lot of friends sell and move to greener pastures. 
I wont be moving anytime soon. My landlady just had a brand new self-cleaning oven and hood installed in my apartment. I celebrated my fifth anniversary here in the Nest. This week Molly and I also celebrated her 5 month "Got You Day" anniversary. 

Breathe in, breathe out...

It's gonna be okay.

God has my back. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hello Lamppost what'ca knowing...

Last year in July I was living pretty carefree in my friend's house while she was in France. Then at the end of 2019 I posted my New Year's look.
Simpson College profile pix
 I feel like I have lived years since that day in late December as I prepared to return to full time university studies and my school job in January as well a part-time at Pier One Imports.

I thought I took life seriously and after changing back to my maiden name and getting a passport I had hope to travel this summer out of the USA for the first time in my life. I did not have a clue that I would be spending more time than ever in my apartment and adopting a cat!

Last August 2nd, on my 60th birthday a group of girlfriends and I had a great evening at Kelly's Pub celebrating me. The live band had an attracted elbow to elbow crowd and I made new friends that night. Old friends popped in and out through the night and a great time was had by all.
Billy and The Jets at Kelly's Pub
Kelly's Pub along with the rest of California is closed to inside dinning and drinking. The band is playing at the Food Trucks on September 10th, but they have not gotten to play at the Mosquito Serenade that we usually have in the park. Music has been one of the things I have missed the most from the Shelter in Place and State closures. 

My 2018 birthday wish was to have my passport and name change by August 2019. ✔
My 2019 birthday wish was to use the passport and name change.....no check mark.
I have a cat sleeping in my Pier One Imports basket on top of my Pier One Imports throw collection.
I also have a Purr-Pillow that sits on my lap...
We watch the hummingbirds together
She has a piece of fur that fell off something at work. It is her little mouse and we play fetch with it for hours....then she honors me by sitting on my lap for a spell.
Today was the first time I had gone to Orchard Nutrition in 6 months

August 2020

This meme sizes up how I feel about August 2020. July was a month that wasn't there. I went through the motions, but my grandbabies in central California were sick most of the month with an awful tummy bug. It was terrible for the Mama and Daddy that had sick babies and the littles didn't call Grammie a lot, cuz they just weren't feeling good. 
Our little guy on the coast learned to walk and is clapping his hands. He did have a video visit with his Great-Grandpa and that was pretty fun.
My Dad had surgery for blood clots on his brain and miraculously has no side effects from a scary time. He is home and doing very well in his recovery, but staples and holes drilled in your head will take a toll on anyone. 
We resume our school schedule on August 10th. I have been working at Pier 1 all summer trying to figure out how to wear a mask and/or shield.
This seems to be the hybrid for the 20-21 school year. At least it is what I will start with in August.
I'm looking tired and getting a hair cut, just seems pointless. It is hot and putting my hair up seems to be the best option. Our apartment pool is open for Therapy Swimming and at least 5 days a week I have been enjoying a morning swim. 

Molly and I would appreciate prayer as we head into August. My educator friends would appreciate prayers too. My retail friends need pray and my Fire Fighter son and his colleagues need pray. Two years ago we entered the school year wearing masks to protect us from smoke.
We made it Through the Smoke and Fire of 2018
Snowmegedon 2019
We will shine in 2020-21 School Year and tell the tale.
There may not be live music in the bars or parks, but there is always live music in my head.
This morning I woke up with this song stuck in my head. Feeling Groovy 

....I come to watch your flowers growing...Feeling Groovy. 🌻🦋

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

How Should We Then Live?

How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought ...
The statement that is the title of this book has been going through my mind a lot in the past four or five months. Four months ago we closed schools. School, Pier 1, Church and every little thing that would be considered "my normal" was gone. In Francis A. Schaeffer's book on page 252 Mr. Schaeffer concludes his discussion in western philosophy of "immediate peace and affluence." He wrote this book in the 1970's and many churches offered viewing of the video series. My own understand of this series was the need to adjust our world view.
  How better to adjust your world view than have a World Wide Shelter in Place order. I spent the first two months watching Rick Steves' Europe travel series on YouTube. The following months I have been following up on all those European countries that rely on American Tourism for their economy. These countries are hurting financially, but their air is fresh and locals are getting to see the sites in uncrowded conditions.
  Universally, our globe is having the least pollution of decades. Family values have been regained. Parents had to stay home with their children and eat around the table. I have heard of so many families that adjusted priorities and the children are thriving. We can focus on media controversies or the good things that are coming out of this summer.
  When we come out on the other side of Covid-19/summer 2020 I hope personal peace and affluence are not my personal goals. My peace needs to come from serving my LORD and loving my neighbor as myself.


This past Sunday I was blessed to have our Bishop come through Redding and lay hands on me in The Order of Confirmation. If I had been raised in the Anglican tradition this would have happened during my high school years. Fittingly, I feel like I have revisited my late teen years. This season has allowed me the time to reflect on Deena of the 1970's and what my goals and aspirations were before being married and having children. My faith journey has been solid all these years with many people who have showed God's love to my family. I currently am thankful for my Anglican Church and the wonderful people that celebrate and serve our Savior with me at Saint Luke's.
  Since returning to my university studies in January I have been able to study: World History, Art History, Church History and exam my own history.  Confirmation was a public step to let the folks at Saint Luke's know that I am serious about serving with them. May the gifts given to all believers through the Holy Spirit dwelling in me: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Courage, Discernment, Piety and the Fear of GOD. The closing hymn was Onward Christian Soldiers.

So How Will I Live?

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(II Timothy 2:7 KJV) 
There is so much fear in our world right now. This season of Novel Corona Virus is something that most people have no realm of experience to draw on to help cope. On CBS Sunday Morning program there was an interview of Melissa Gilbert who stared as Laura in "Little House on the Praise." History does tell us that schools have been closed before to stop spread of diseases. People have worn face coverings before to stop spreading diseases. There has been economic decline when the world seemed to stand still during plaques, wars and natural catastrophe.
  I will not live in fear as my hope is in the name of my LORD, Jesus. My earthly life may be in danger, but my eternal life is secure under the blood of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead in the Day of the LORD.  My niece asked me if I had a saint that I claim. I would choose Saint Therese of the Flowers. She wrote, "What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love." I am here today possibly from the prayers of a woman who pinned a metal of St Therese on the pillow of a little boy and the prayers said over that fella in the late 1930's. (A story for another day.)
  For today, I choose to show love and grace in all situations. Until my perfection I will continue to ask for forgiveness and walk in my faith with hope.
2 Timothy 1:7 God Did Not Give Us a Spirit of Fear - Free Bible ...


Monday, July 6, 2020

July 2020

Five Year Recap

If you have ever read my blog, you know I am a creature of reflection. 
When someone asks me where I see myself in 5 years... Buddy, I'm ...
However, setting a Five Year Goal in 2015 was not part of my life system and now I am really thankful that I didn't take the time.

In 2015 my July blog post was being written in a Starbucks in Redding. My life as it was would be changing radically as my 28 year marriage was ending and my son and I would be moving to Redding in August. As always, self-care was the theme. Ian was in EMT classes and I was driving him the 25 miles from Cottonwood to Redding for class while I worked the summer for the YMCA camps. 
In 2016 I was working 40 hour weeks for YMCA camps. Abbie was having my first Grandchild in August and my skin was tired of sun. I sewed and crafted all my free hours. I had worked so hard the past year to live in a nice apartment. I was tired and lonely.

In 2017 we lost Taylor. They say that the loss of a child is the worst experience a mother can have... I don't dispute that, but watching my son loose the love of his life in a medical procedure that was going to save her life...well that was the hardest experience I have every had to endure. My mother died 30 years before Taylor and I did not feel as helpless as I did on July 4th 2017. 

In 2018 I embraced my artwork.  An eclectic collection of the journey I had been on for the past 59 years. I was no long with YMCA and had been enjoying a year at Pier 1 Imports for my second job. 
My heart was releasing pain, heart ache, joy and hopefulness in all kinds of art. Even at Pier One I got to express my talents.
Last July I had just finished my last book review. In the past decade I have reviewed a dozen  newly released books for authors in the women's self discovery genre. The Middle Matters by Lisa-Jo Baker was the last book I reviewed. At the beginning of June I had gone to San Francisco for one of my niece's wedding. Then at the end of June Abbie and I had gone to the coast with her girls for Johanna's baby shower. I was in the middle of changing my name back to my maiden name and getting all the Real ID so that I could travel this year. I even got my passport. Pier 1 was still my main summer job and I looked forward to the school year at my new site which I had transferred to in March.

Enter 2020

We just did not see it coming. Six month into 2020 and I still can't believe how my world is different than past years. For most of my life I worked full time and until my sister, Elaine, took me on a vacation a few years ago up the Oregon Coast I had never gone on a vacation. Last year I vacationed vicariously through my friends. They traveled the world and I house sat for them. Then I got my passport and considered using it this fall.

Enter COVID-19 Quarantine. Nearly three months of this year I spent in my apartment with my cat. 
Molly inspection her grass

My daily view in The Nest

Once Pier 1 was able to open in early June, we had a "Going Out of Business" sign on the front of the store. My second job has become, my summer job. In about three months we will close the doors for good.

Still an Optimist

Dawning my Face Shield

Social Distancing
I did sneak over to the coast to see my Grand-baby boy last weekend.
His bid says: Of Course I'm Cute! Haven't you seen my Mommy?

Grammie loves this Gig
And down in the Valley:
Ellie talking to Molly on Facebook Chat

4th of July Photo shoot

I'm so glad I snagged this off the clearance rack from Pier 1 last year
My landlady of 2015 was correct. I do have a great view of the fireworks from my balcony. Redding closed off the Civic Center where normally thousands of people would celebrate the 4th of July before settling in to watch the Fireworks. In 2015 Ian and I went down to watch. In 2016 we watched them off my balcony together. 2017, he was with friends who helped him through the worst day of his life. 2018 we had no fireworks until October,because Redding was on fire. 2019 I walked over to Hilltop Drive to watch with the crowd that had parked along the road. This year I just stayed in The Nest. After working at Pier One I rested my feet until dark. We are thankful that Redding still chose to have Fireworks this year. 
In these uncertain times, I have a lot to be grateful for: my health, my home, Molly, my family, financial stability, a great church family and my school that plans to reopen in August. I wont be using my passport to travel, but my oldest sister and I will be having a mini vacation when her youngest gets married in August. I also get to see all the grand-babies that weekend for a joint birthday party.
Three months of Staycation/Shelter in Place helped me accept my own skin. Molly and I have a routine. My main goal is to be the healthiest and most balanced as an adult to help my colleagues and students in August. We aren't out of the woods...but God is on the throne of Heaven and HE cares for me.
Inspiration Water Bottle, Who thought this up?

My best Fireworks shots