I should do a blog post since it's been a while. But I don't know which area of life to write about. I could write a full story on any of these things...
* Living in a huge house that is on the market and the massive stress of prepping it for showings. Experiences with doing light plumbing and electrical work, general finishing and repairs, serious cleaning, and the satisfaction of it looking fabulous!
* Our kind of unconventional roommate arrangement with both of my now adult daughters living at home and going to school and working, plus assorted other people who live here and stay here. And, all the cool things Harley and Charlie are doing now.
* Our two dogs who give us infinite comfort, and the very loyal one we recently lost..
* The remarkable fact that we have an amazing, astonishing, young lady from Gaza who is studying at the U of O, living with us.
* That Ramadan has started and we are learning what it is to fast during the day and go without, and the lessons in that for all faiths.
* Myself becoming a University of Oregon student in order to save money and obtain affordable health care. Being self-employed, we purchase health insurance individually, not through an employer. In Lane County, it costs over $17,000 per year for just me before any benefits kick in(1K per month premiums and 6,500 deductible). I now save hundreds of dollars per month, and get to take classes- I take one per term now- this spring is Food and Culture in Anthropology(online), super cool.
* My dad who is turning 90 this month and all of the facets that are part of his life and his care, still living at the house where I grew up, but with round-the-clock caregivers..
* The marriage that ended, but many entanglements remain, with the houses and what is going to happen with them, financial uncertainty, and emotional impacts yet to be seen in our daughters and me. Regenerating both a body and spirit worn down by years of anger and hatred in the home.
* My opportunity to sing lead and compete in a barbershop quartet.
Two new musical partners who play guitar and sax, and our Trio where I get to live my dream; play the piano and sing the Great American Songbook. Looking for gigs, will play for wine:) Audio link coming soon...
* My new life in partner dancing, first introduced to it by Harley a few years ago, and now expanded where I'm doing everything from bachata and ballroom, to Argentine tango; and my favorite dance partner who often makes me feel like I live in a movie.
* The daily walks with the dogs around the property which sometimes feel like a chore but always without exception bring me closer to God and His awesome beauty. See the 200 + pictures I've posted on our house website. Www.ouroregonriverhome.com
* Charlie's sweet white crested ducks.
The pomeranian Patrick's encounter with beavers: where I went after him into the river pond fully clothed with boots, to grab him because he was intent on catching up to the beavers he had pounced upon. Go Brave Farm Country Mommy.
* The substitute teaching job which I love and I'm perfectly suited for because I get paid to hang out with high school kids, get hugs from 3rd graders, connect with middle schoolers, and see the amazing work that teachers and staff do in our public schools.
And how cool it is to have some of my artwork licensed and get checks a few times a year from Toland Flags, along with the list of how many of which flag they've sold! They'll show up on a google search with my name and Toland Flags.
So I write about gratitude and just say that amid the chores and the uncertainty, I'm ever so grateful for my health, for friends, family, anyone who has ever given me encouragement or compliments. Money is tight, the house is not sold, frustrations run deep. When the house does sell, there will be even more uncertainty. People keep asking what I'm going to do. Well, I guess I'm doing it everyday right now. Cherishing the moments.