Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Surround Yourself with Things You Love


   Since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of having a Pegge Hopper painting or print.  Pegge Hopper was my favorite artist who painted gorgeous Polynesian women.  I grew up seeing her original paintings at the resort my father managed.  She and my father became friends as he commissioned more paintings for the resort.  When my father retired, she painted an original painting for him.  What an amazing gift!  It now hangs proudly in my baby brother's house since both he and his wife were born and raised in Hawaii.

   So, for years I have been on the hunt for a print or original painting of Pegge Hopper's to have for my very own.  Imagine my sheer delight when I spotted this beauty tucked in way up high hiding behind a bunch of junk at a thrift store.  I had some taller men get it down for me and we tried to make out the signature since it was faded.  I was sure it was a Pegge Hopper so I bought it, brought it home, researched it and found out I had scored me a Pegge Hopper!  My childhood dreams had come true!  

   Now I know that not everyone would be as thrilled as I am given that it is a bit sun faded, but for me it transports me back in time to my childhood.  The resort, where I first saw Pegge Hopper's work and later where I saw similar paintings (like the one above) she did later in my teens, was my second home.  It was not your typical high rise run of the mill place...oh no.  It was modeled after the different styles of traditional Polynesian houses from all over the pacific.  There were individual thatched hales (bungalows) scattered among tropical gardens, some with sea views and others with garden or pond views.  There were hammocks on the beach or under big trees to take naps on or just lay there and look up at the sky and daydream.  There were the petroglyph fields to explore (I even discovered some new one that had not been found yet by the resort staff and my father was thrilled).  In the early days there were wild goats and donkeys to catch and relocate to safer places.  Long walks along the beach discovering shells or just looking out across the ocean and listening the the waves lap up onto the shoreline were a perfect escape from some of the chaos that was going on in my childhood.  I learned to sail the Sunfish sailboats, snorkel, play with the manta rays at night that would come in to feed and made lots of friends over the years.  Some of those friends became part of our "family" and would later come to Jeff and my wedding and then spend time with Jeff, our kids and I, along with my parents up in Montana.  

   For me, the signed print above is more than just a piece of art.  It is a link to my childhood and the people and places I loved.  Some of those people have passed on and the resort, as I knew it, was destroyed by the big tsunami that hit both Japan and Hawaii.  The resort is finally being rebuilt, but the original buildings had to be torn down to begin with.  There are now new buildings in a different and more "uniform" style.  Although they are beautifully done, it is not the same place that I grew up at running freely as a child along the paths and creating of the best memories of my life.  Some of the paintings that I looked at in my childhood that led me to my love of Pegge's artwork did survive and were put in storage.  They will grace the new buildings in some way, I am sure.  They were an integral part of the history and beauty of the resort and I know the former guests that are waiting to go back have made it clear they want to see them again.  Luckily the new owners of the resort were former guests there also, so they know how important these paintings are.

   The print above now hangs in our guest bedroom, where I usually sleep since Jeff flips and flops a lot at night and which leaves me exhausted since he wakes me up each time he does it.  I can see it each morning as soon as I open my eyes to greet the new day and it just makes me feel calm inside.  Calmness is something that in the past did not come easily to me in the mornings.  Now it does because I see something of beauty that transports me back in time to a place I loved first thing in the morning.  I think we all need some things in our lives that remind us of happier and calmer times, especially now with the way things are going in the world.  I see the print above as a gift from God that came right when I needed it most. So my message to anyone reading this is to surround yourself with things that you love and have meaning to you.  It will make for a happier you!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 8/19/22

   Since I have been "absent" for awhile, this post will be about some of the frugal doings over the past few weeks that I did not share.  I hope no one minds. 😉 

~Jeff defrosted our big upright freezer and we went through it.  I found so many things in there that got shoved to the back.  I pulled out rhubarb (I got none fresh out of my garden this year so to find a huge stash from last year was a blessing), pulled BBQed chicken, homemade mac and cheese, homemade applesauce, some TV dinners and a few other items to use for meals this week.

~The past few weeks I have been trying my best to make our food stretch.  I've made homemade chicken noodle soup after we ate off a rotisserie chicken for a few meals, smoke sausage jambalaya with leftover smoked sausages from a previous meal, cheeseburger casserole, and a few other yummy dishes.

~I finally had enough summer squash at one time to make my favorite squash casserole.

~The potatoes we grew were dug up and cured.  We had some for a meal and still have more for future meals.  They were small but so good!

~The Walla Walla Sweet onions were all harvested and are now curing on the back porch.  They are so good!

~Several gallons of raspberries have been harvested and frozen along with many that we eaten fresh and shared with others.

~My blueberries have been doing better this year than any previous year.

~I'm seed saving kale and pea seeds.

~Our tomato plants have been keeping us in tomatoes!

~I've hung out the laundry to dry on the line a lot.

~Jeff brought home a heavy-duty garden cart that was missing the hardware...they were going to throw it out at work and gave it to him instead.  He knew I had always wanted one.  He was able to build it using almost all with hardware he had on hand.  I am so tickled to finally have one to haul garden waste and produce around the garden.  I think it is going to be great for hauling wood pellets for our pellet stove too.

~Shannon ( hanai sister) went to the Oregon coast and brough me back some fresh saltwater taffy as a gift.  It is so yummy!

~Jeff and I have been watching movies here at home and making popcorn to have with it.  

~We "shook the pig"!  We have a huge piggy bank that is the size of a medium sized dog that sits in our living room.  We routinely put spare change in Preston and calling it feeding the pig.  Our grandson Steven loves to do this with Jeff's spare change that he leaves ut for him to find when he comes here.  Well we had over $50 in change so we rolled it all up in coin wrappers and took it into the bank and traded it for much lighter to carry paper bills.😉 We at first were going to use it to go to the movies, but decided to continue to pick up things that we needed for our home and to further stock our pantry.  I found boneless, skinless chicken breasts marked down and got the family packs for under $5 each.  I divided up each pack and froze 9 of the breasts individually and used one that evening as part of our meal.  It has been a long time since I have been able to find a good deal on chicken and would have bought more packages, but there was a limit of 2 per person.

~We went to some yard sales and I found brand new with tags outfits for our granddaughter Peyton.  Yes, I realize she has not even been born yet, but Grammie has got her "shop on" when it comes to finally getting a granddaughter.  LOL!

~I also bought clothes for Steven at Walmart and Bradley and Isaiah each picked something out at Ross (on sale of course) for themselves.  They are at that age now where they have very specific tastes in clothing.

~We are continuing to listen to what the grandboys want and have already bought some of those items for them for Christmas.  We shop way ahead of time when we can find a great deal on something.

~Steven came this week to stay with me for two days.  He helped me with some projects around the house and we spent lots of time playing and just enjoying each others company.  He was thrilled when I gave him a large gallon sized Ziplock bag of brand new pencils with cool designs to use for school.  He is starting Kindergarten at the end of this month!  

~I made some chocolate pudding since we are having another heat wave and I wanted something cool for dessert.  Jeff was really happy about that.

~The flea beetles are attacking my garden and seem to prefer the kale.  I am hoping they will just get their fill of the kale and leave the rest alone.  Flea beetles only attack our gardens when we are in a drought situation so I knew that they would show up at some point.  This has put the kibosh on planting any more leafy Fall crops until the flea beetles have left.

~I trimmed my bangs.

      This Summer has just flown by and it has been a doozy.  From Jeff's mom dying (and all the family drama that brought with it), certain crop failures in the garden, battling pests, enjoying time with my Steven 2 days a week (exhausting but absolutely wonderful), huge mix ups with transferring my prescriptions to a Walmart in another town (3 months of trying to get everything straightened out), the heat outside taking me down multiple times, etc.. I'm sad my time with having Steven here weekly is coming to a close and that I did not see my oldest two grandsons, Bradley and Isaiah, nearly enough.  I had planned on having a backyard campout with the grandkids, but trying to figure out everyone's busy schedule has made that impossible.  Hopefully I can still make it happen in the early Fall...that will be fun!  Be blessed!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A HUGE Thank You!


   I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who commented, prayed for and/or held our family in your thoughts after the recent passing of Jeff's mother.  I know it has taken me awhile to get back on here, but I was and still am totally "beat up" emotionally by the whole mess.  When I have to deal with complicated relationships and emotions, it takes me awhile to work through them.

   Last night Jeff and I were talking and I shared with him that although he was able to process things faster than I was because he could see the truth of it all (yes, that man is super smart and can separate his emotions from a situation to see the big picture), it took me a lot longer to reach that point.  It was only when we were talking that I finally realized that my deep empathy for others when they were hurting, no matter how much they had hurt those I love and myself, can be a huge curse at times.  I told Jeff that there is something deep within me that feels like I have to try everything I can to "fix it" and bring people back together again.  Jeff interrupted me and said "you did".  That stopped me dead in my tracks because it made me realize that although I tried everything, the other parties continued their bad and hurtful behavior.  There was and is nothing I can do to "fix it" and to continue to try and to do so is just insanity on my part.

   Without going into all the sordid details of this whole mess and the battle taking place between "the others", of which we want no part, suffice it to say that all of this has triggered a rather bad "fibro flare" along with some of my PTSD symptoms.  My pain levels have shot up (fibro), my emotions have been all over the place, there are times that I have no energy and am depressed, sad, angry and strangely relieved.  I have withdrawn from all but family and a few close friends who are going through a lot themselves and need support, and am avoiding other people for the most part because I need to heal too.  My energy needs to go into those I love and the running of my home.

   I realize that it may take awhile to fully heal and that it is possible that I may never get to that point.  I think there may always be an element of hurt and betrayal from all the years of pure hell that "the others" put us through.  I also know that I need to "shut the door" on that chapter of our lives and move on.  Easier said than done, but I am trying.

   Again, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your outpouring of love, support, prayers and good thoughts.  I am praying for your situations too and I am so sorry for all that some of you have gone through.   ((((((HUGS)))))


Monday, August 1, 2022

Death in the Family

     My MIL passed away a little over the week ago and we found out by "accident".  For those of you who have read my blog for a long time, you know that our relationship with her, Jeff's siblings and his father had been strained for years and then it became nonexistent. 

   Despite all of this, it still hurts to learn of her death.  There are so many mixed emotions.  The game playing still has continued by certain parties and Jeff and I want no part of it.  My heart breaks for my husband, sons, and nieces, as well as for my FIL.  I feel bad that Jeff's siblings have lost their mother, and my heart goes out them, but based on their past behavior, Jeff wants nothing to do with them at this time.  I will support my husband in however he chooses to deal with this, and I will do the same for my sons.

   I'm trying to deal with my own emotions too.  They are all over the place including anger, hurt, feeling of past betrayal, pain and sorrow.  I was deeply hurt by her and it is something that sent me into a huge spiral of depression, and I hit the lowest point I ever have in my life emotionally.  Luckily my husband and my doctors were very supportive and got me the help that I needed through medication and counseling.  I am so thankful to them all.

   Anyway, that is why I have been absent.  thank you all for understanding.