Category Archives: Home Updates

Springtime 2021….

Well spring has come! The fruit trees and fruit berries are busily bursting into bloom. The rhododendrons are also beginning to show their beautiful colors.

The bee condos are quite busy. They have woken from dormancy and are beginning to lay next years batch of bees.

Bye-bye greenhouse, hello patio…..

Our next big project was taking down our greenhouse and extending the floor to create a patio.

Our Sun-Glo greenhouse was here when we bought this house. Installed by the previous owners in the mid 80’s, it served them and us well! Sadly….it was finally really tired and structurally too brittle.

A little thank you – baking style

With the new appliances installed and the kitchen freshly updated, it was time to say ‘Thank You’!

My sweetie really likes my homemade granola, granola Cookies, and pretzel rolls. My side-by-side freezer also has more room so I could freeze portions of larger batches.

So while he enjoyed a day in the mountains hiking, I made him some thank you gifts.

Our youngest son loves Molasses cookies. He and his roommates ask for some cookies around Christmas. My old oven’s thermostat was so bad I really couldn’t bake anymore. So they were also the recipients of a fresh batch of cookies!

Time for some home updates!

Well the end of March brought some unexpected home updates! Our dishwasher died. Which ultimately led to replacing all our kitchen appliances. We bought them all about 15 years ago, so it was time!

We decided to go ahead and paint the kitchen, so it would all be fresh. Which then led to, maybe we should also freshen up our main upstairs bathroom.

We both love to cook and prefer to cook on Gas. Our house had a natural gas line already plumbed though the range we had was electric. We replaced the electric with gas, which was very exciting. As all home improvement goes, it is never as simple as one might think! The power for the electric range was 220 and the gas line in the wall was so close to the cabinet it would crimp the gas line. So we needed to a new 110 electrical outlet and some extra parts to route the gas line up so it would not crimp.

Happily…..after one week of intensive daily labor, the kitchen was ready.

Time flies by …..

It appears the last time I blogged it was October 24, 2020! Why I chose Groundhog Day to finally catch-up is unknown…..

It is hard to believe that it is almost, but not quite yet, a full year since school closed ‘temporarily’ out of an abundance of caution due to Covid. Little did we know it would last much longer than the temporary 3 weeks. The 2019-2020 school year ended with us teaching long distance. Anyone that thinks that children can sit for hours on end in front of a computer, have no peer interaction, and many without a dedicated instructional environment, do not understand what happens at school. Learning to ‘swim’ virtually is not the same as learning to ‘swim’.

All summer long it was a continuous to and fro about in school, partially in school, or fully remote learning for 2020-2021. We started off remotely and on top of that, the District also changed all of our instructional technology. This left not only teachers struggling but also students and parents. The parents, worried about the loss of school last spring, really felt the pressure in the fall. With no end in site for school to return to ‘normal’, they are tying to keep jobs, balance child care/safety, and manage keeping their children connected to school. A great many have maxed out their bandwidth making it almost impossible to keep children connected, while they also are attempting to work from home.

This generation of children will feel the impact of their loss for the rest of their lives. What is worse, a large majority of children need and rely heavily on the school system for support. This includes meals, social/emotional, in addition to academics. They will lose the most.

Covid also impacted teachers, like myself, and for some of us distance teaching is also not a viable solution. Most teachers give well beyond 150% of themselves every single day. We connect multiple times daily with every child, ensure instruction is unique for every child, and make personal emotional connections with every child. When a parent is angry, it does become personal. We really do care. It feels like an outsider telling us we don’t understand or care about ‘our’ own child.

When on Campus, leaving at the end of the day, provides a way for us to leave the stress at campus. My home is my safe, sacred, space. Virtual learning and meetings removed the barrier between work and home. Inviting others into my home removed all that kept my worlds separate and balanced. A deeply private person, it invaded the sanctity of my home and personal life. People have a bad habit of forgetting to be humane – in thoughts and words – I am not a callus person and am hurt deeply by others thoughts, words. Nothing is said to me that can just roll-off because I do care. Just because a person might be stressed doesn’t mean it is okay to take it out on me.

This lead me to make a very difficult decision. As a two time cancer survivor, without a spleen, and over 60, I am unable to work on Campus. What I didn’t expect, is that I would be so completely overwhelmed teaching from home. Panic attacks have a way of making us face situations that just are not working. I am on leave and still am very unsure what will happen.

For every door that closes a new one opens…..just not quite sure what is on the other side. In the meantime, I have been busy catching up on my personal life which has been a blessing.

Beautiful day for a little hike…..

Headed out with my sweetie for hike in the North Bend area. We planned to do the Iron Horse Trail: Upper Twin Falls to Mine Creek. Yah right…with only 800 strangers and way too many cars. With my sweetie as the navigator (yes I am driving)….we headed to the Pratt River Trail in the Alpine Wilderness. It was beautiful and just right for someone getting back into hiking. Plenty of parking, very few humans, and beautiful scenery along the way. Saw some older growth trees and a very peaceful waterfall.

Quarantine Insomnia.. maybe this will help

New project, soft fleece, sleep masks.   I have insomnia to begin with and the lighter it is outside, the harder it is to remain asleep.   These will help to keep the light out…a little incense, soft music, and hopefully sleep all night!

Seriously though,,,, these are really fun.  I have avoided embroidering on fleece.  My other machine frustrated me because the thread would simply shred.  This new machine does an outstanding job.  I used a water soluble stabilizer on top to keep the stiches clear.  Without the topping, the stiches are lost in the pile of the fleece.   Below is a video  of my machine embroidering one of my first samples.  This is followed by pictures of the colors and designs I will be using for this batch.  When finished, I will have 30 of these soft little masks.