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Well, our winter home was NOT on wheels this year. You know how it goes…life happens. We ended up spending the winter (from hell) right here at home in Washington. This winter we broke all kinds of records for amount of snow on ground – sure, since we had to stay home. Go figure.

 We ended up staying here as Terry had some health issues that scared the hell out of us – but I’m happy and grateful to say – ended well. He began with atrial fib, which resulted in several months of blood thinners while they tried to use medicines to regulate his heart rate. When that failed, they hospitalized him to stop his heart – and then they used the paddles to ‘shock’ him back to life and his heart into a normal rhythm. (The doctors all made this sound like an every day occurrence, but believe me, it was a lot more than that to us – (gasp)!)

We came home from the hospital believing the procedure was a success, but we had been through so much stress by this time that we  decided to spend the winter at home to be near T’s own doctors. Turned out to be a good idea as that evening his blood pressure and pulse crashed and he ended up taking a helicopter ride to the emergency where his pulse was in the 20s at the hospital. No easy feat that trip down. The ambulance had to take him 4 – 1/2 miles down our dirt road to a place where the chopper could land. (One small drawback to living on a mountain.)

Terry is fine now – feels strong and well. His heart is strong, his arteries all clear, however he has a small electrical ‘glitch’ and his heart doesn’t fire quite right. There are no restrictions on his activities and the  doctors assure us that  unless THEY are the ones to stop his heart, it isn’t going to stop – although they tell us that ‘down the road’ he will need a pace maker to even things out.

I was pretty sure that they were going to have to replace MY heart before we got through all this. I tend to stress big time – I worry and I have to know EVERYTHING. T’s cardiologist said he’s never had anyone ask so many questions. (I assured him that if his wife ever had a life threatening female problem – he’d have as many questions!) Actually, although I started out not caring too much for him, I changed my opinion. He’s great with us…..spells out everything and treats us with not only great medical care, but respect, which is important at a time like that.

I’m going to tell you first – it was BEAUTIFUL up here this winter. White as far as you could see and one of the most gorgeous winters I’ve ever seen. And having said that, I am going to add that I hope it’s the last one I spend here! I told Terry that he better start shopping for a good cardiologist in Arizona – because next fall – I’m out of here! And he’s with me on this one.

The wet/cold makes me sick every year – bronchitis with fever, cough, etc. for three weeks every winter (might have had something to do with the fact that I was smoking again, but we won’t mention that). And then plowing with the John Deere, much as T loves it, got pretty old. And believe it or not, even on 50 acres, you can run out of places to put snow. And now digging trenches to keep the rivers of water from washing us across the road, is also losing its charm. I’ll leave you with a few glimpses of what it’s been like here on our mountain.
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There’s no doubt it was beautiful.
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And then the snow slides off the steel roof and nearly buries the house!
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If you look closely at this next one, you can see my fingers in the bedroom window!
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And you do remember, don’t you, that I have a pond under here somewhere!?
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Hope the winter has treated you well. I’ve missed blogging and looked in on you every once in a while – but with this off again, on again service we have on the mountain – it takes me a day just to get one post done!

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I say ‘eclectic’!

I’m enjoying being back in the house. After seven months in the motor home – our little home feels palatial to me! And I’m enjoying the treasures we brought back from the desert.

When I called my sister, Caryl, from Arizona, to tell her about my great treasures – she was less than impressed. First off, she doesn’t particularly care for Arizona. And she does not share my love of cacti.

I told her that we bought a fluorescent floor lamp made out of a Saguaro spine, and a coffee table made out of a Saguaro root. I even emailed her pictures so that she could see them. And then I got a phone call:

Caryl:  Do people decorate with these things?

     Me:     Yes, they do.

Caryl: Have you ever seen them in someone’s house?

     Me:    Yes. I saw them in the house where they were selling all their furniture.

Caryl:  So. (lengthy pause) Are you going to redecorate in Southwestern style?

     Me:    No. Eclectic.

Caryl:  Well, I don’t get it. 

Now I’m not really sure that you’d call this ‘eclectic’, (I do),  maybe you’d just call it a ‘hodge podge’ of styles, but we like it. T loves his leather furniture and his big writing cabinet, which belonged to his grandmother.  I love my big old chair and ottoman that I can sleep in. And we both love our saguaro pieces – which remind us of the desert we love! (see the lamp behind my chair?)
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And that is NOT a stump! It is a sagauro root!

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We’re staying home!

We like to take the motor home to state parks in the summer. We try to make reservations for three or four days each month, in parks in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Reservations can be made nine months in advance – and believe me, if you don’t make them nine months in advance – you’ll be lucky to find a spot.

We had reservations for Steam Boat Rock State Park, outside of Grand Coulee, this coming week. We stay there every summer – it is a beautiful park right on Banks Lake.

But after being gone six months this winter, and then living in the motor home for another  month when we came home, while we made major repairs on our house, we decided we just aren’t ready to go anywhere! The thought of getting back in that motor home (and I love it!) is just too much for me right now. Not to mention loading it again, groceries, clothes, etc.  No way. Not ready.

So we are staying home.  And enjoying it.

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I wanna dig in the dirt!

I started these seeds in the house ten days ago, as it’s a little cool for outdoor planting.

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Now they are this size and just looking at them makes me want to go dig in the dirt. But I haven’t got the time – or the weather.

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Since we came home from ‘South for the winter’, to a mess this year, we’ve been pretty busy keeping up and cleaning up here. AND THEN….we decided that since everything was pretty much getting in disorder and desarray anyway, that we’d go ahead and do a couple of other little jobs. For one – we’ve ripped out the upstairs carpet and are redoing the floors!

I like staying busy, I like re-dos. But I really wanna dig in the dirt! And the lawn REALLY needs mowed. It’s raining as I write this, so I can’t feel too badly about not being able to work outside  today. But I need to get out there soon – for my sanity.

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When we returned home from spending the ‘winter down South’, we discovered some mother nature damage, and we’ve had to call in a restoration crew to work in the three rooms in our upstairs. T and I have been working outside since we got home, and getting estimates to have the work done inside.  Now a crew is coming and will be cleaning, sorting, and throwing what isn’t salvagable.

T and I live in the main level of our home, and basically use the three rooms upstairs for storage. Of boxes, bags, books, suitcases, extra quilts, craft materials,  christmas ornaments,  the odd pots and pans, out-of-season clothing, etc. etc. etc. (Truthfully, I don’t even know what all is up there!)

When it was determined we needed to have a crew come in to do this restoration, I was freaking.

 “Oh, no! They’ll paw through all my things and see what I have???”

I’ve pretty much come to grips with the ‘pawing through my things’ part – but wait until they see my clothes! The closet in one of the rooms is full of my clothes, and has several boxes of clothes and shoes in it, and there is a dresser full of my clothes in that room, as well.  In one of the other rooms, T built me an open closet rod, the length of the room. And it is full of clothes. This is in addition to my dresser and closet downstairs!  Now lest you think I’m some clothes horse, I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve told friends, who have commented as they helped me move, that I have more clothes than any one person they’ve ever seen.

“For one thing, you fail to realize the age of some of this clothing (go ahead, take a look at that paisley pair of slacks). And for another, if you must know, these clothes range in size from a 7 to a 14. At any given period of time, I can probably only wear a dozen items!”

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We’re here!

We know we are home when just outside of town on the West side, are beautiful columns of natural basalt, between the lanes of the freeway. A couple years ago, the-powers-that-be got a bee in their bonnets and decided that the columns were dangerous, and would have to be taken out. Crews had even begun doing so – before the citizens starting raising hell. And thank God they did, and were heard. The columns remain. img1738.jpg

img1747.jpgHere’s our first view of our city between the hills. Just to the left in this picture, you can see the snow covered top of the mountain. We live in the foothills of this mountain. Really only 30 minutes from the valley.

Below is our view after we leave the pavement, and just before we get to our house. I missed this.

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Oh, look! The daffodils and hyacinths I planted around my fairy rock before I left, have bloomed in the secret garden! Now I know it’s spring. So glad to be home!

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Nearly home now.

With my growing excitement about hitting the road again, and moving closer and closer to home, was a little sadness – as we left my daughter’s house (Cindra‘s). We arrived in the midst of their moving out of their 4,500 square foot house. Which they had filled!  We knew that the timing wasn’t great for a visit, but I had to see them, and wanted to help Cindra. I spent two days cleaning, while Cindra and Tom packed, loaded, and hauled. I had the easy job. If there is one thing I can do easily and well – it is clean!

We left them doing the finishing day’s work (we thought) on Friday, and we made a day trip to the ocean to visit with my brother and Betsy.  We had a great time, ate seafood on the bayfront, bought fresh shrimp, and then Betsy made us a great shrimp salad dinner.  I lived beside that ocean for 17 years, so always love to go back for a visit.  And I always love to see my brother. I miss him. We are close in heart, not in geography, and we hold hands while we are together, just like little kids. It’s a good feeling.

Cindra and Tom didn’t quite get finished Friday. In fact, they didn’t finish until 9:00 p.m. Saturday! I felt so sorry for them – they’d been going from morning til night for days. I spent most of the day at their new house – visiting with the grandbabies. My Sugarplum and her best bud, left in the late afternoon, and I stayed with Bonnie-Baby and the Tween until the parents returned. I was so happy to have been able to see them all, even for a short visit. I miss them so much. And never have enough time with Cindra.

The next morning – we were on the road again. Stopped in a beautiful RV park on our way North in Washington, where they had this beautiful little what-ever-it-is. Wish I had it for my garden! I’d plant blooming vines to climb up the columns. And definitely put in something to sit on!

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 Miss Kitty still assumes her travel position when the motor home moves, (under the green chair), and with her winter-weight gain, isn’t as lively as she used to be. If she isn’t sunning in the front window, she is sleeping on her cat-nip covered scratching box. She does look just a little rounder, doesn’t she?

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That’s it for now – my next post will be from HOME!! Back to my garden!

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