Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A New Beginning This December

We have moved into our new house! Well, technically we have moved TO our new house.  We are still living in the trailer and will for a couple of weeks yet.  The new house sits on 2.5 acres just outside Jordan, MN on a small hill above an apple orchard.  Our neighbors are mostly farmers, but one bonus is that we are already close friends to two families that live in the neighborhood!
 The house is large...not quite the downsizing we thought we'd be doing at this time in our lives, but will eventually suit us well.  It was a foreclosure and needs a lot of work.  A split-level, there is an entry, kitchen, dining, living, powder room and office all on the main level.  6 steps down is a large family  room, bathroom w/shower, bedroom and laundry.  6 steps up from the entryway are 3 bedrooms and a walk-through full bathroom.  Our plans for next year is to convert two of those rooms into a master suite with it's own bathroom.  So our now 4 bed/3 bath will become 3 bedroom/4 bath.  Crazy for 2 people, I know, but we hope and plan for lots of visitors.  Did I mention it has a swimming pool?  We never thought of ourselves as pool people but with 7 grandchildren I expect we'll put that pool to good use!
 In addition to the attached 2-car garage (with a side roll up door for the riding mower) there is a separate 2-car garage that will someday become my sewing/quilting studio. 

This is the huge shop for Mr. Scottie Dog. This is his favorite part of the house.  He will be able to house all his equipment and tools with room for his bobcat tractor, lifts and trucks.  We will use the space behind this building for our chickens.....we want to raise some layers, some fryers, some ducks, a few turkeys and maybe even a goose or two.  The garden will go between the two garages....already fenced to keep the local deer population out.

 We woke up Sunday to snow!  It only lasted a day as Monday it got up to 40 degrees.  But it's Tuesday now and the highest temps we should have for the rest of the week are 22 or so....lots of flakes flurrying around this morning but no accumulation.  I'm new enough to MN that this CA girl can just stare in wonder at the snow falling for hours.

Tomorrow Mr. Scottie Dog begins his radiation and chemo treatments.  With the Lord we will take each day as it comes.  Lots to do to make this house livable....new floors, new walls, painting, etc.  The kitchen is finally clean enough to use.  New adventure and journey for the Scotts.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Walking Through the Fire OR What We've Been Up to

So much has happened recently I hardly know where to begin.  We sold our house in Eureka, CA the end of May.  We went to Yellowstone with our family in June.  Mr. Scottie Dog has been back and forth from CA to MN three times with one more trip to go....but we've put it on hold until sometime next year. 

We've been looking for a house to live in.  We really haven't asked for much.......well, a little bit of acreage, a house to live in that has enough room for visitors, a place for me to sew and an extra building or two to store all of Mr. Scottie Dog's equipment: a Bobcat tractor, two big trucks, a hydraulic lift, some table saws, etc, etc, etc.  Oh, and it has to be in our price range and less than 15 from Beka and Jason's house in Jordan.

 We looked at several places and found a few we really liked.  One place we knew of wasn't on the market yet.  We knew it was in foreclosure and in the right neighborhood and had the things we wanted.  We had a chance to see it and knew we liked it right away (did I tell you it has a pool?).  It needs a lot of clean-up work and so we made an offer.  The bank didn't like our offer. 

Then Mr. Scottie Dog went to the doctor for a small insignificant thing and our world changed forever.  CANCER.  That's right, the dreaded "C" word no one wants to hear.  We checked the Internet....and my stomach stopped working and tears leaked from my eyes for the next 4 days as poor Bill was scoped, poked, prodded, had cat scans and MRI's, blood tests and more.  Mr. Scottie Dog began to put all his affairs in order.  We put our trust in God.  We told each other how much we loved each other. We've had 44 years together and it didn't seem like enough. The house was put on hold.  We went to a surgeon.  What the surgeon told us was quite encouraging.  Then on to the oncologist and to a oncology radiologist.  Each one told us the same story.  It's going to be a long, hard year. First, 6+ weeks of radiation and chemo 5 days/week.   6-7 weeks later surgery.  Then 4 weeks after that he'll begin 4 months of infusion chemo.  But at the end of that time, Mr. Scottie Dog should recover to be as active as he is now and live to a normal life expectancy. 

We know that we aren't guaranteed a long life.  But we've taken a deep breath, thanked the Lord for His care and grace for the time we have had together and are preparing for this road through the fire.  Oh, and today we bought that house.  The house story is long and full of give and take and negotiations but our awesome realtor, Mike did all the hard work.  Our new house is 7 minutes from Beka's in Jordan.  It's in farm country and we are close friends with two of our neighbors. We'll move there right about the time Mr. Scottie Dog begins his treatments and the house needs MAJOR cleaning but it looks like a lot of friends will be there to help.  As soon as we get the keys I will post some photos.  Who thought we'd live in our travel trailer for 6 months?

God IS Good!  Hug your loved ones today!

PS....no comment on the election.  For those of you who voted as I did.....I love you.  For those of you who didn't.....I love you too.  'Nough said.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Whew! What a Whirl!

Life in the fast lane.....what a whirl!  We hardly made it to Minnesota than I went on an annual 5 day quilting retreat with friends at Lake Palmer.
 It's a beautiful place right on the lake with room for all.
We eat most of our meals in the screen porch.  It's like eating in the trees.
 Can you tell we have fun?
One day we reserve for going to the nearest "city," Park Rapids, MN population 3,903.  There is a nice quilt shop (Monica's) where we leave a lot of our $$$ and next door is a Ben Franklin's that has some good fabric finds too.  We went to the book store, the Amish Furniture Store and a bead store where I bought a couple of strings of turquoise  that I will have Sydney help me make into a necklace and earrings.  Since there is no cell service at the cabin here Kari and I are checking in! 

Just three days later it was time to leave for Yellowstone National Park.
I've been coming to Yellowstone for a loooong time.....here I am with Dad in front of Old Faithful. I'm three years old!

 Another view when I am 8 or 9 years old.  I tried to count the times I've been to this great place.  Somewhere between 12 and 15 times.  It never gets old, it's always wonderful.  The paint pots still enchant me with their bubbling mud, the geysers are so interesting and the wild life still abounds.  We don't see the bears like we used to....in the 50's we still rolled down our windows and fed marshmallos to them and drove to the dump to watch them feed.  So many years of discouraging the feeding of the bears they have moved back into the hills and you don't see many. This trip I did see two black bears, one grizzly by the side of the road eating grubs from a hollow tree, too many bison to count, a fox, bald eagles, ducks, geese and so much more. 
 Mr. Scottie Dog and I got a chance to pose.  Beautiful view.

 Bison losing that winter coat. There were lots of baby bison to see.
We went to Yellowstone this year as a family reunion of sorts...lots of family and friends met us there.  Sydney (on the right) got to see her friend Emma from Eureka.  I had a brother, cousins, nephew, third cousins, spouses, friends...more than 25 of us.  The only problem is not enough time spent with them all!
Here's one of brother Pat and I....wishing our little brother Denny could have made it.

After a week of camping, barbeque, hiking, talking, laughing, sight seeing and more we had to say goodbye.  Maybe in 5 years we'll do it again.

A quick trip back to MN and we've settled into our trailer and the house hunt begins.....The Midwest just feels like home now. 

(PS...thanks to the friends and family I "borrowed" all these pics from....I didn't bring my camera and had to depend on their kindness)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day and other Musings

Today is Mother's Day.  I had expected to be in Minnesota surrounded by my dear hubby of 43+ years, my girls, my son-in-laws and my delightful grand children.  Sigh!  (REALLY BIG SIGH!!!)

But here I sit in this house that is mine on paper deed but not house of my heart.  That title is for the new family coming to live in it.  They are waiting excitedly and expectantly to make their own memories.  This is the house of their future.  The house of my past. Three more days.

Don't get me wrong.  I loved this house, this little house in the redwoods that grew to be a great, big, beautiful house in the redwoods.  Only 2 bedrooms when we came, it was in an up and coming, desirable neighborhood on an huge, extra large lot with redwood trees, ferns and all of the trappings of a forest.  We raised kids and chickens and loved every minute,  We added on, remodeled, painted, removed walls, added bathrooms, tile and more to turn that little fixer-upper into a dream house.  But our dream here is over and we're now dreaming of a farm in Minnesota, surrounded by our family.  We are ready to start a new adventure. To begin the rest of our lives, perhaps the best of our lives.

Back to Mother's Day.  Mr. Scottie Dog thought I should have lobster for Mother's Day dinner.  My favorite food.  No one can grill lobster like Mr. Scottie Dog!  If I couldn't be with my kids that lobster dinner certainly helped make up for it.

 One reason I keep going on about that lobster is we've been busy cleaning out the refrigerator and cupboards.  We will be moving into our trailer for a week and then off to Minnesota.  So we need to eat it up or throw it out.
I found a home for some of our pantry items but who wants three-quarters of a bag of corn meal of questionably age?  A half-eaten jar of orange marmalade?  That semi-used bottle of sesame oil I bought that time I made a Thai dish?  I know, I know  First World Problem.  We have too much stuff, too much food, too much...well not too much love.  This I know!

I've been in limbo for a long time, waiting to get the show on the road, the car in gear, to shove off for Minnesota.  On Friday I realized I have not allowed myself to think of one of the costs of moving after a lifetime in one place.  I made a FaceBook post and someone commented (it was you, Geri, my friend).  Just a little comment.  And as I read it, I burst into not just tears but all-out blubbering, sputtering, deep gut wrenching sobbing.  I am moving away.  I am moving away from the friends from my entire adult life.  I moved here to Humboldt County California as a starry-eyed 20 year-old bride.  850 miles away from my family and childhood friends.  Here I forged the family of my heart, raised my children (and buried two of them).  Here I grew up. I accomplished many things I am proud of. Here I made precious life-long friends. I will deeply miss all of you.....please, please come visit us in Minnesota.

Friday, May 6, 2016

California Livin' is Coming to an End

Selling a house isn't for sissies!  Over the past three days our Escrow Closing date has changed FIVE times.  Prior to that it had been set back one week and was supposed to close today.  The roller coaster ride continues and my stomach has been queasy for days.  I'm sure it will settle down as soon as we hit the road to MN.

 There have been blessings in this Escrow bouncing ball.  Mr. Scottie Dog has been exhausting himself sorting, toting, hauling and packing up the shop, garage and his office.   I think he's lost 15 lbs. he didn't have to lose. When we first got the word that our closing date was moved from today to next Tuesday he promptly took a nap!  Sufficiently restored for the day he took the evening off and played accordion with some friends.  Ahhh.....physical and emotional restoration.  Then the date bounced around back and forth like a ping pong ball and finally settled on NEXT Thursday, May 12. I had to call the telephone and Internet people FOUR times attempting to give them an End of Service date. I had hoped to be hugging the grands by then but am grateful that Mr. Scottie Dog will have a little less stress.  Today I'm packing up the last of the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.  This means boxes with unrelated stuff in them...long lists of contents on the outside. I'm not quite sure I believe I will ever unpack.  Most of our stuff has been packed up for almost 2 years.

Final days, hectic days.....so much to do and so mindless and boring.  I'm so appreciating our last  Spring in the redwoods.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mr. Scottie Dog's Adventure

We are in the home stretch....Just one more week to go.  My part is mostly done; it will take me one morning to pack up the kitchen as we move for a week into our travel trailer.  Mr. Scottie Dog has been very busy.  For the past two days he's had a crew of 4 extra guys helping him clear and sort the garage and shop.  Three huge trailers and trucks have been busy hauling salvage to the salvage yard, recyclables and trash to the dump. I'm not even sure they know how many trips.

 This is of course, after Mr. Scottie Dog spent many days pulling out tools and equipment he will need in Minnesota and taking it to a storage unit until we pack up a trailer bound for  the Midwest. One of they guys helping filled his own truck and trailer several times with construction "left-overs" that he and his dad will be able to put to good use here.

This picture is really for my kids....this is Dad's shop.  Clean shelves, floors and just an empty space!

I've been busy putting all manner of things on a FaceBook classifieds page.  Amazing the number of things we've sold.  Even some things to friends!  Feels good to see them go to familiar homes. 
Bill found three old typewriters in the depths of the garage.  We sold them, but not everyone who bought them actually knows much about typewriters.  One gal asked me where she could get paper!  She was excited to know you could use any paper in it.  Ribbons are easily available at office supply stores.

Good job, Mr. Scottie Dog!  What an adventure.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Farewell Trip to Sequoia Park Zoo

When we were out on Friday, Mr. Scottie Dog and I noticed a banner that announced that Sunday would be a free admission day to Eureka's Sequoia Park Zoo.  When Sydney lived here we had grandparents' memberships and we went quite often. 

I picked Sydney up from school a couple of days a week and we'd often pop into the zoo just to see one or two exhibits and share an order of french fries or an ice cream cone.
 We drive by the zoo nearly every day so it was fun to stop and do a farewell look around. After Church we stopped on the way home. We started with the monkeys and gibbons....lots of tables set up telling about water reclamation, pollution, energy saving plans, activities and fun for kids.  It had rained in the early morning, but the skies had cleared and the place was filling up.  When we got to the bear exhibit we were surprised at how different it looked.  Oh, it was now a habitat for South American wild dogs.  They were kind of cute and very active.

Next stop, past the Fairy House was an entirely new exhibit to us.  The American Bald Eagle now has a friend and lives among the trees!
 On the other side of the exhibit was a Spotted Owl and on the ground beneath porcupines now live.  Very well done exhibits.  The eagles and the owl are rescue birds who could no longer live in the wild so their life at the zoo is the best of both worlds for them.  They live as nearly a normal life as they can and we get to observe them up close.

I had heard much about the zoo's second Otter exhibit and I was quite impressed.  It is large with a natural-looking stream running through it, many trees and boulders to climb on and hide amongst.  Their pool is large and very deep with many things to play with in the water.

 One of the best surprises is a tube you can walk/crawl through their pond and they swim over and under.  They seem to like to look at the people as much as we like to watch them play.
 We wound around in the mighty redwoods and saw the yaks, the caveys and the screamers.  Then onto every one's favorites, the flamingos!  They are so pretty and were all up, active and eating something from the muck of their pond which I noticed a new stream and waterfall supplying moving water.

 We hit the jackpot when we got to the Red Panda area.  All three were up close and active.  Lunch of bamboo was served in the trees and Mama, Papa and baby (now 2 years old) were happily munching away.  We learned that baby is growing up and showing behaviors (anger towards mother among other things) that she needs to establish her own new space.  She will be moved out soon to another zoo and Mama & Papa will soon make room for a new arrival.

 Of course we visited the barnyard, the aviary and more.  Each area with memories.....in the 45 years we've lived here Sequoia Park Zoo has come so far!  The habitats for the animals are now very large and natural.  It is no wonder that this little zoo wins awards.  They have a lot to show the big zoos.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Riding the Roller Coaster

 Selling a house, I have found, is much like riding a roller coaster.  (Side note:  I HATE ROLLER COASTERS!)  As you start out everyone is smiling and thinking to themselves, "This is a piece of Cake."  Then comes the chunk, chunk, chunk of the links engaging as your car is pulled up an incline.  You pause for a moment at the top of the loop and then WHAM, rattle, rattle the air rushes in your face as you plummet downward at the speed of light.  The car shakes violently back and forth as your cheeks are pulled back to your ears and you wonder why in the world do people call this fun!  You are stuck in that car as it goes up again even higher this time, turning as it goes, around and up and down at ever increasing speeds.  You hear screams and realize they are coming from you.  With every swoop you realize this was a BAD IDEA and vow never to get on one again.

We never put our house on multiple listings.  Bill put it on Zillow over a year ago hoping someone would see and he could cut short the remodeling.  A few people called and just as he was finishing up two couples called to see the house.  The second set wanted to buy it. and we began the contract process.  There were some negotiations back and forth between realtors.  Up and down on the roller coaster.  All was finally agreed on.  Smooth sailing, right?  Wrong!

We had agreed on a closing date and the inspections were being made.  Oops! The buyer of their house backed out.  Whosh!  The roller coaster was plummeting to the depths.  Just at the last minute they found a new buyer.  Gliding along......Then Whosh!  They want us to give them money for a new roof.  Down, down in the pit of my stomach.  More negotiations, up and down, back and forth.  Enough is enough.  Take it or leave it...maybe we'd do better to put the house onto multiple listings after all. The roller coaster ride was terrible for me.  It's time to get it done, sell the house, move to MN.

The buyers' realtor said, "OK, I'll let them know what you said and they can counter."  NO COUNTERS.  This is it!  or the deal is off.  Wisely they sent over the papers to sign.  Now officially in Escrow.  Sale is complete on May 6.  I am hoping and praying the roller coaster ride is over.  Did I say I HATE roller coasters.  They make my tummy hurt.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


It appears that our house in the redwoods has sold.  We never got it listed, but a relator asked if he could bring some clients over and they fell in love with our house.  After a bit of negotiations back and forth, they agreed to our price and we all signed the first of lots of paperwork. It's not really sold until the escrow closes, but the family that is purchasing it has seen the reports and still want to move in on April 28.  Not much time to wrap up everything in CA, pack up the last of the household goods and clear out Bill's garage of his tools and things.  It won't take me more than a few hours to box up the house and my clothes, but Mr. Scottie Dog has a lot of stuff.  Tools from his dad and grandpa, left-overs from 45 years of running a construction business, treasures and trash.  I've already sorted through my stuff and the household goods and furniture.  What we are keeping is already in MN waiting for us.

The house looks kind of small compared to the redwood trees!

Mr. Scottie Dog built the rock wall with rocks from special places....coral from Maui, obsidian from Lake County, CA, rocks from Lake Selmac, OR and more. He did a great job on the brick and concrete front courtyard too!

The house was pretty small when we bought it in 1984.  Only two bedrooms and now it has four bedrooms and three bathrooms.  He's a marvel!

It's going to be hard leaving the wonderful shower he built for me, but I know that if need be, he'll build me another one in MN.

So it looks like we are finally wrapping up the Northern CA chapters of our life...a place we started our lives together in 1972, raised our lovely girls and made  so many wonderful friends.  So many warm memories. On to the new adventures in MN with our ever-expanding family.  Grandpa and Meemaw are coming!!!!! (finally!)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Splendid Sampler

 Back in January my good friend Pat Sloan announced she was sponsoring a sew-along with her friend Jane Davidson from Australia.  They had gathered over 80 quilt designers from around the world to provide a total of 100 six inch block patterns to be called The Splendid Sampler.  The first block pattern (two each week) would appear on Valentine's Day.
This sounded like fun so I joined a FaceBook group that now numbers nearly 18,000! I've had so much fun making these blocks.  I am making them in shades of black, gray, cream/whites with a touch of accent color....I call it Baby Poop.....it's a form of mustard.  Here are a few of my blocks. 

I will probably put all of these together with a thin black sashing between the blocks.  I'm really pleased.  As a quilter one of the challenges of this project (and one of the joys!) is that we'll be using lots of different techniques.  Piecing, hand applique, hand embroidery or maybe doing the hand techniques with the sewing machine.  I'm taking one block at a time.  Just like my life.  One day at a time.


Friday, March 11, 2016

And Time Marches On!

Long time, no blog!  I know, I know I've been silent too long.  I've been asked again and again what adventures Mr. Scottie Dog and I are on...and the truth is that we are still in Eureka. Just two more walls to paint and two rooms to carpet and the remodel will be done and the house will go on the market, right?  Well, the answer is maybe.  Maybe it's already sold, maybe not.
To backtrack, we took a lovely trip to Gold Beach, OR for my birthday in January.



Ireland's has many different kinds of accommodations and over the years we have stayed at the RV Park on the beach, a newer lodge room with an Ocean view, a regular motel room and our favorite places to stay is in one of their eight rustic cabins.  These were originally built in the late 30's and are so charming.  We stayed in #5 and our table had a view of the Pacific and their beautiful gardens,  Despite it being the beginning of January we were able to utilize their barbecue and Mr. Scottie Dog cooked up steak and lobster! Each cabin is well-stocked with firewood and of course we enjoyed the fireplace. Oh, joy.  It was a grand time to get away.

I've  been sewing quite a bit since I came back to Eureka.  One project has been a quilt for Anastacia for her 5th birthday in October. Anastacia likes all things orange, owls and the chickens that live at their house.  So this quilt has lots of orange chickens, an orange owl and lots more orange things.
Here is a chicken (obviously NOT orange) sitting on a nest. I know they look like French fries now, but after the quilt is washed they will fray and look more like a cozy straw nest.  If you lift up this chicken's wing, you will find small orange baby chicks. 

More sewing pictures tomorrow.