I’ve Finally Done It!

I’ve finally put together and opened an Etsy shop. It’s a learning experience, and I’ve already made a few changes in the very few days since I got it online – I’m sure there will be more edits made as time goes on, and there will be more items added periodically.

In the meantime, here are some of the items I’ve offered for sale there:

I’m not much of a sales person, I’ve found, and doing this was a chore that I put off for a long time. We’ll see how it goes. I’m thinking of also setting up a WordPress page as my “sales” website, but am undecided about that.

Oh, it might be a good idea to let you know how to find my Etsy shop, huh? I’ve named it CeeJayelle Creations – my initials, spelled out. The shop can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ceejayellecreations. I’d love to see you all there!

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My Walktober

Fall is here in all its glory, and I am loving every single moment of it – the beginnings of color, the crispness of the air – this is my favorite time of the year (until spring, when I will tell you that is my favorite time of the year). So I took a little walkabout our yard – and I’m hoping that this will qualify for the Walktober challenge put forth by Robin of Breezes at Dawn.

Our Maple tree.

Kat has decorated our front porch to celebrate her favorite holiday – Halloween. I don’t relate to Halloween being anyone’s favorite holiday, but those differences are what makes life interesting, aren’t they?

It’s our first Halloween at this house, so we aren’t sure what to expect. Kat has bought little packages of Oreos for the Trick or Treaters – since Oreos are about the only store-bought cookies I like, there is no danger of them going to waste if we have none of the little costumed folk. The danger is that none will be left by the time Trick or Treating happens. Because, you know, those cravings for sweetness that happen . . .

In our back yard, we have a garden area – in it we have one or two – I can’t tell for sure how many plants are there but it/they have made a very large tomato plant, which has done a very good job of satisfying my love for tomato sandwiches since we’ve been here, and I am grateful to the previous owners who did such a great job of planting.

It’s loaded with green tomatoes now

We’re going to have to pick them soon, I think, because our night time temperatures are getting very close to freezing. It will be time for some fried green tomatoes. Maybe some green tomato salsa – is there such a thing? I’ll have to ask Google about that.

Also in our back yard we have these feathered girls

They are very good about each providing us with a daily egg, which allows Kat to share with her fellow teachers. But you see that white one? Her name is Bridget, but sometimes she’s called Gertrude Meriweather – those times when she has put us at wit’s end because she is a smart girl. Also an adventurer, who likes to adventure into the neighbor’s yard because the bugs are so much better there. To her left is Calliope and behind Calliope is Mae – they are followers. To the far right rear is Artemis, who is always just a penny short. Artemis once got stuck in a corner in their old pen before we moved – it was a case of her needing to turn right to escape, but she apparently could only go left. Artemis is, therefore, not a problem. The others – yeah, Bridget leads them into trouble all the time. We may finally have found the combination that will keep them all in their proper pen, but it has taken all of our ingenuity and many modifications to their pen. We are trying to avoid having to put them in a completely covered enclosure which would drastically reduce their space. When this picture was taken, they were having a good time finding the grubs I had just thrown in to them. Because every member of the family deserves a treat now and then.

My picture verifying that in this life I have enough is this one

The burning bushes that are in the median of the street in front of our house are at their peak color now. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I’m hoping that you have enough in your life too.

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Grapes, Anyone?

In our new backyard, we have this pergola. A pergola covered in grape vines.

These grape vines are very productive.

So on a Sunday afternoon, having spent the day unpacking, unpacking, unpacking – does unpacking ever end? Will these boxes ever stop occupying every spare inch of space in this house? Oh. Sorry. As I was saying, on a Sunday afternoon when the temperatures were near perfect and there was a very gentle breeze blowing into this pergola, Kat and I opted to spend some time picking grapes.

We think maybe we should make some grape jelly. You know, when the unpacking is over and we have time on our hands and the energy to actually do something besides unpack. This could be a very long time from now, because she has this job that requires she report to work every single weekday – so unreasonable. And I am old, so I have this built-in lack of energy excuse when I choose to stop unpacking. Which means those boxes occupying every inch of space in this house could be here for awhile.

But, I digress. We picked the grapes, we stripped the grapes from the stems, and we ended up with

Those bags are now in the freezer, hopefully to become jelly or juice or something worthwhile at some point in the future. Or maybe wine? Maybe we should try making wine. Because wine could be very enjoyable after unpacking still more boxes.

There are many many more clusters of grapes still on the vines. We have a flock of House Sparrows that come every day to dine, choosing to enjoy both the birdseed I put out for them and the grapes. That is happiness for me – watching the birds enjoy the grapes and the seeds. No photos though, because my windows have a sun-blocking film on them distorting the brightness and colors and when the windows are open, there is screening dulling the view. Maybe one day I’ll be sitting in the pergola when the birds come, and maybe then I can take some photos. In the meantime, I enjoy them from a distance, while preserving their privacy.

And, in that other life – the real life, in which the world is larger than the pergola. Kat is an elementary school teacher, and now that classes are back in session, in person, with kids masked (as much as you can keep kids masked), and distanced (as much as you can keep kids distanced), the cases of the Delta variety of Covid are climbing. Earlier this week, out of 300 students in the school, 49 were absent. Granted, not all were suffering from Covid. It appears there is also a flu going around. Isn’t that just hunky-dory? We wonder, though, how long in-person classes will be able to continue.

On a happier note – in that other real life, in which the world is larger than the pergola, I went shopping for groceries the other day. I took great delight in being able to get to the store in less than ten minutes – such a relief after 20 years of having the trip take 30 minutes or more, and then several months of having the trip take an hour. Although I liked the space I had around me in my southern Oregon home, I like the ability to have more of the day left after I’ve gone shopping, rather than having a shopping trip absorb a minimum of four to five hours of my day.

And now, I suppose I should go back to those boxes. Maybe unpack one or two more. And then I will go pick some more ripe tomatoes from the productive tomato plant the previous owner graciously left for us to enjoy.

And gather the eggs the chickens have laid for us. There are four of them in there, although it’s hard to see them with the way the light is hitting. My photo-taking could have been better timed.

Truly, in this life I have enough. I hope you do too.

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Random Thoughts

I have words today – not necessarily coherent, cohesive, or even of much interest, but hey, I have words! That’s something that hasn’t been happening very often with me lately. I’ve been quiet because – well, because I thought maybe I’d been doing too much ranting about too many things, and maybe I was giving off a grumpy old lady vibe. And because I just haven’t felt like sharing the words that come into my brain, which have been few and far between.

Last night my daughter was streaming the weekly meeting of the school board for the district in which she will be teaching this year. During the past two weeks those who came to comment during the part of the meeting that is designated for that were the people that make me angry – anti-maskers, anti-Covid Vaccine people, spouting their misinformation. My grumpy old lady vibes come on in full force when I hear those comments. Last night was a welcome relief because, while the first person was more of the same, those that followed were from the medical profession, trying to explain why taking advantage of our only defenses against Covid was a good idea. It seemed the medical profession had concluded that they have to get out in numbers and try to combat what I am calling the “stupidity factor”.

I agree – I have started my personal little campaign via Facebook against the anti-vaccine people because I feel that need. I know, I know – everyone is sick of people like me pushing their own beliefs, and most people want Facebook to be a happy place – but, people – this world is not a happy place right now, and we need to take responsibility for it being that way and do what we can to try to change it up.

All I can say is I am having a lot of trouble feeling sympathy for those who have refused to take advantage of the available weapons to fight Covid and then find themselves stricken with it. I have little sympathy for people who are taking up valuable hospital beds which leaves people with medical problems they could not prevent unable to get the help they need. I have little sympathy for anyone who endangers those who have underlying conditions or legitimate reasons that prevented them from getting the vaccine.

People need to recognize that yes, they have freedoms, but with freedoms comes responsibilities. You are not the only one in this world, you know.

Done now, at least for this moment, with that topic.

We are preparing to move. I hate moving, and the last two times I’ve moved I’ve sworn that would be the last time. So much for that concept. However, I am really hoping this will truly be the last time. It is a move for the better – a move that will eliminate the need for Kat to spend two hours of every week day driving to and from work. A move that will get us closer to larger stores, making it easier to keep fresh produce in our refrigerator, enabling us to eat healthier meals. A move to a larger house, allowing for some separation of spaces, a wonderful pergola covered in grapevines, a smaller yard that will be more easily maintained.

Does anyone else feel like our country is being governed by the courts rather than our government? I guess some entity has to fill the void when our government can’t give up its partisan battles to actually function as it was intended.

After June and July hitting us with record-breaking heat, August has turned friendlier. We’ve even had some days that had a tinge of the feeling of fall. Unfortunately, this is not true for much of the country, and I wish I could help you all out with that.

I’ve been weaving, but not taking pictures of any of it – my excuse was the heat. Photos taken outside are so much better and give a more accurate representation of colors, but when the temperatures are 90 and above – nope, I’m not going to haul stuff outside to take photos. And now that the temperatures have moderated, we’re packing. Packing. Packing. I’ll share after the move is done and things are unpacked. Because then I’ll have that lovely pergola space for a setting. Until then, I do have one photo of one of the fabrics that was on my loom, and is now packed to be finished later.

I’m doing quite a bit of reading – light stuff, just like my TV streaming. Feel-good movies, HGTV, nothing that raises the stress level. Because – this world, Covid, moving.

Then there’s Afghanistan – apparently we did not learn from Vietnam that there are conflicts we should not enter, cultures we do not understand and therefore cannot change. As if we have the right to try to make other countries over in our image. My opinion, folks. It’s not necessary for you to agree. But then everything I write is my opinion, isn’t it?

And now? On to the pantry to do a little more packing. I think it’s endless. To be followed by the unpacking. Which will seem endless.

One last thought – despite all my complaining, I do recognize that I really do have

Wishing you the same.

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Things That Make Me Smile #1

I feel like I’ve been immersed in negativity lately – I’m blaming it on Covid, people who swallow conspiracy theories whole and refuse to get vaccinated, or still believe Trump won the election, or think that red car that’s been seen in their neighborhood is the government casing the neighborhood so they can come in in armies to force you to be vaccinated and take all your guns while they’re at it – I do not lie, that was really a post on our town’s digital bulletin board this week. This makes me tired. And negative. And frustrated. And wonder where on earth we are headed – can we survive the stupidity that runs rampant?

I must also acknowledge that the people that believe those things I’ve mentioned above and that I think are leaving a lot to be desired in common sense and levels of intelligence probably also think the same about me. Because that’s how it works.

So – I have decided to start posting photos of things that make me smile. When I came up with this idea a few days ago, this was going to be a daily endeavor but then life got in my way – life, and my increasing negativity, which is exactly what I’m trying to combat. I did, however, manage to get a few photos, which I shall now share.

A view from the port on the river in this little town – the lagoon coming in off the river, the railroad tracks and highway, on the other side of which is a lovely little park. I’m blaming the blurriness of this image on the heat – it was 105 degrees when I took this photo – and maybe my very dirty windshield of my car, because I was not wanting to actually get out of my air conditioned car.

This little cat, who can be such a sweetheart, but has been giving us fits lately. Did you know that female cats can regrow ovaries if all of a certain tissue is not removed during the neutering process? And when this happens, they can go into heat and become unbearable little furry beings? The vet prescribed a pheromone collar, which does seem to help. Thankfully.

This bigger cat, who joined me as I was weaving and parked himself in an empty yarn bin – empty because we’re moving, and most of the yarn has been packed.

These little feathered girls, along with their two sisters who opted not to be photographed, who reliably provide us with an egg a day each – giving us four eggs a day. And yes, we do find ourselves searching for recipes that use eggs.

The sunflowers I planted, which provide sunflower seeds, which the Jays have been happily feasting on.

Looking at the photos of our trip to the coast last month, the walk on the beach with my son, the sight of the ocean

The calming influence of the sounds of the waves lapping on the sandy shore

My last share for this post, taken yesterday evening – the northwest is burning, and the smoke from the fires made its way into the Columbia Gorge yesterday, providing not only a reminder of the devastation and hazards the fires cause, but also the beauty of the setting sun in the smoke-heavy skies.

Reminders, these photos, that in my life, I have enough. Sad that sometimes I lose sight of that.

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Face Masks? Vaccine?

In this blog, Margo expresses my views very eloquently and precisely. When will we stop being such a selfish society? Will we ever stop being such a selfish society? It is hard to feel much sympathy for those who get infected by Covid because they didn’t choose to get vaccinated, endangering others for their perception of “freedom”.

that little voice

I’m reluctantly crawling back into my cozy cave of isolation since many fellow earth dwellers are either unwilling or unable to roll up their sleeves and get the Covid vaccine.

I understand why people in parts of the world are not vaccinated: they don’t have access to this life saving drug. But those who can get the tiny prick in their arms and choose not to leave me mystified.

Actually, my emotions run more toward anger than bewilderment. I hear the argument we should be free to make our own decisions about what goes into our bodies. I get that. However, as a friend said recently, freedom doesn’t mean getting everything you want. Freedom comes with obligations, and those obligations are living in a society where there are rules that keep us all safe.

For instance, we are obligated to stop at stop signs and red lights for the good…

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Taking Time to Refresh my Soul

This summer, with Covid restrictions lifted, we got our week on the coast, within hearing of the ocean, smelling, feeling the ocean air, relaxing. Refreshing. At this house, for 6 days, Gep, Kat, and I shook off the Covid malaise.

The decision to make this trip together came rather late in the available choices on VRBO year, which, coupled with budget constraints, did not get us oceanfront, but our windows did provide that sliver of ocean view.

We arrived late afternoon, as permitted by the rules of the house, so the next day after the sun burned the marine layer off, Gep and I walked across the road, down the path that promised to lead to the beach. Uh oh! At the end of the path, a kind of a sea lake. Okay, maybe not a sea lake, maybe a lake formed where the river flowed under the bridge and into the ocean.

There appeared to be a continuation of the path to the right (not shown), but it required clamboring down a steep rocky slope, treading carefully along the edge of the “lake”, then crouch-walking through an area of heavy foliage. Since my clamboring is neither as graceful nor as trustworthy as it was a few years ago, we opted to go back to the house, get in the car, and drive down road to the Cook’s Creek beach.

It was a beach with lots of rocks, affording many tide pools – we were baffled by the fact that most of those little pools showed no life with the exception of this one, where a sea slug waited patiently for the next high tide to wash him back to into the sea.

Gep took pictures, using his phone camera just as I did, because isn’t it so much easier to carry than a big camera? I call it efficiency.

More beach scenes.

Ahhh, this has been grand. My heart is happy. My soul is relaxed. The beach is my happy place, but now it’s time to head back to our temporary home so that we can get ready to head to a town with places to have lunch.

To be continued. . .

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I’m Wilting – and Other Thoughts

It is 10:06 in the morning on this day, and my weather center says it is 94 degrees on the front porch. Oh yay, say I. Yes, I say that, with tongue firmly in cheek. Yesterday it got to 110 degrees on our front porch, and my weather app says today will be 117. I am not liking this summer.

Yesterday we got our first veggies from our gardens.IMG 3329

These may also be the last of our green beans, because those plants are looking very parched, despite our nightly waterings.

My Shasta looks like this, in the air-conditioned house:
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She is only going outside when absolutely necessary, which is exactly what the rest of us are doing.

So what do I do with my days in this heat? Well, I try to warp my loom to do some weaving – with which I have a helper:
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Eventually I was able to complete my warp, and this is what’s happening on my loom now:
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Otherwise, my time is spent reading, napping, lounging. Because it is hot, I am retired, and I can do what I want. Thank you.

This household will be moving this summer. My daughter will be teaching in the town 45 miles away, and that is a longer drive than she wishes to make every day of the week, so they will be selling the house we are in and buying in the town 45 miles away. The quest for a new home is exciting. Frustrating. Interesting. The market is crazy and things move very quickly. They were going to look at some houses today, but the forecast says it’s supposed to get up to 117 degrees, so everything is closing down. There will be no showings of houses and, I suspect, little else going on in the town that is 45 miles away. Inside, in air-conditioning, is the only place to be. I appreciate that our air conditioner was returned to functioning early in June, after a minor, short-lived heat wave, before this monster moved in. Can you tell the weather is taking over my brain?

We are moving closer to our planned vacation by the ocean. I am excited to be able to see the ocean, hear the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, smell the salt in the air, and feel the calming effects of all of those. I missed my ocean reprieve last year because of – well, you know why. How could you not know why?

Our state will be opening up for regular business again July 1, it is said. I suspect this is happening mainly for economic reasons, although the numbers of new Covid cases are dropping daily. I hope it stays that way. I will probably still mask up when I go into crowded shops despite the fact that I am fully vaccinated. For awhile, at least. Until I grow more weary of masking up, and feel more secure.

I find that I’m looking for lighter reading fare these days – books written with humor. My TV viewing has gone the same direction. I’m avoiding drama, darkness, toils and troubles. I think it’s called self-preservation, in this time when the world seems to have gone crazy and is too full of all those things I’m avoiding. Am I alone in wanting to find some beacons of light and hope, that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel? How are you feeling?

Lighter fare also describes the way we’re eating these days. Lighter, cold dishes. Lots of salads. I would like some chocolate chip cookies, but I don’t want to turn on the oven. That’s a psychological thing I think, because truth is the oven doesn’t add a lot of heat to the inside of the house. Maybe I will make some chocolate chip, oatmeal, zucchini cookies with the first of our squash. Although really, a lemon pie sounds so much better. Hmmm. I’ll give it some thought. The thoughts will determine whether I take any action.

Before I leave, I want to share a photo of this mama and her babies, who were our neighbors but have now moved with their human dad to a new home. I want to share because who can not love this?
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And then there’s our little girl from Siam, who curls up with me when I am in my room watching TV, or reading, or sleeping.

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And there you have my heat-soaked thoughts, examples of all the ways I have enough.

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Share Your World – June 22, 2021)

Mid-morning, and my weather center says it’s already 88 degrees outside – for those who love hot, this is probably good news. I am less fond of hot, so it does not excite me. Today I must take my car in for a repair, and while that is being done, my daughter and I will go get a pedicure – we’ll be inside in air conditioning as much as possible for certain. In the meantime, Melanie has offered a chance to share my world again, and I have decided to accept her offer.

What’s one question you wish more people asked you? Hmmm. I don’t know of a question I would like to be asked. We all ask “how are you”, and most of us answer that we are fine. Whether we are really fine or not is open for discussion, but rarely do we give a real answer. Some might suggest “do you need anything?” as a good question to ask – but I suspect my standard answer to that would be “thank you for asking, but I’m fine”. A lot like the “how are you?” answer.

Do you like eggs? What’s your favorite way to have them served? (Optional obviously, I know there are egg dislikers in the crowd).. Sometimes. My current preferred egg dish would be scrambled with additions as desired at the moment of cooking, then rolled in a tortilla to be eaten. My daughter has four laying hens that are very reliable, so we do not have a shortage of eggs, and there are days when eggs for a meal are predicated by the number of eggs waiting to be used. During the school year, she will take eggs to work to be shared. But the school year is now over, and neighbors also have chickens, so we explore recipes that use lots of eggs.

Thoughts on scary movies? (not horror necessarily, but suspense or action/thrillers) Horror movies are a hard no – but movies with some suspense are fine. Suspense as in “who dunnit” suspense I’ll watch. Suspense as in “what’s going to pop out of the least expected spot” will be avoided.

Do you believe in Karma? I absolutely believe in karma. I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it – one of my most used sayings is “what goes around, comes around”. I view karma as one of the best tools around to level things out.

GRATITUDE (as always optional)

At this moment, what you are most grateful for? Life. Air-conditioning (see opening paragraph). That this little girl is hanging in there. Her age is starting to really show though, which worries me.

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Share Your World – 6/14/21

Sharing my World seems like a fun idea this morning – my forever search for ways to avoid doing household chores, you know. I should perhaps warn you all that I’m trying a new blog editor app, because WordPress is continuing to fail to give me the ability to actually type a post when I go to my blog on their website – it’s been that way for awhile now. So here goes, we’ll see how this works!

What did you learn the hard way? It would probably be easier to answer “what didn’t you learn the hard way”. I seem to choose the hard way in everything. Apparently I’m a very slow learner.

Which activities make you lose track of time? Anything I’m really interested in – reading, browsing the internet, weaving, sitting pondering the state of the world – joke, that one. Rarely do I ponder the state of the world these days. It’s just too sad.

Why do we seem to think of others the most after they’re gone? Good question. The answer would probably be the same for why we always portray others as much bigger in life than they were, or much better, or much anything else positive after they’ve gone than we did when they were alive.

Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first? My first thought about this question is a question: What is truth? It seems in this country in this time there are multiple truths, each dependent upon the individual and what he/she chooses to recognize as truth. I think “truth” has become elusive – but I do believe that when we hear or read something purported to be truth we should investigate it, so I guess my answer would be yes, truth should be challenged. Or “facts” should be challenged. The problem with that thought is that it seems one can find verification of almost any “fact/truth” if you look hard enough – which just gets us back to square one – truth is what you decide it is.

GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)

Please feel free to share your gratitude with everyone! We can all use a boost in spirits from time to time! Ahhh, gratitude. I have people I love around me, I have my furry girls around me, I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I have the freedom of choice. I have the freedom of movement. I have an upcoming vacation on the coast with my family – family time and ocean time. Our gardens are growing and developing their offerings.
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I have enough.

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