Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful Tuesday

Wow I can't believe it is the 30th of November.  I have been thinking of things I am thankful for today and have come up with a list...

...thankful for my best friend Dee.  Today is her birthday ~ Happy Birthday Dee!  One thing I love about Dee is that we can share with each other what is going on in our life and the other responds from the heart.  A lot of time I pass things onto Dee because I know she will be honest with me ~ like telling her we have applied for a job in Texas for next year.  Yep, Texas.  A long way from Blaine and Lewiston and the grands but the promise of a full time job for a year for the both of sounds pretty appealing.  I loved Dee's response

"Um, EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!?!    First the dog leaves me a "present" on the carpet for my birthday, now I might  lose you for a whole year?????   Sigh.....I hate it when they grow up and move away.......

You know I'm kidding.... sort of.....

What you do know is that I will pray that God makes clear what He wants you to do. If this is what He wants, how can I argue with that? Because what He wants is going to be what is best.   I'm going to have to google Hondo, TX and see just where it is and how long of a drive it is. LOL!


...thankful for Ron and his patience with me.  We slept in late today (9:45 a.m.) and just had a hard time getting moving.  We had 20 trees waiting to be drilled, stood and untied.  And it was raining outside = cold!  But we went out and got started.  About an hour into those trees we got another delivery of 48 trees.  About another hour later Roy showed up with 3 tree stands and 3 wreaths for us to try to sell.  Along with the three wreaths he had three red bows for the wreaths.  We put one on and hung the others without the bow.  I like it without the bow ~ what do you think looks better?

Wreath with red bow and pine cones.

Wreath with just pine cones.

As we were working my hands got very cold.  My gloves were soaked and if I wore the heavier ones I could not tag the trees.  So Ron sent me to the Dollar Store and I bought 4 more pairs of gloves for $3.31.  I now have burgundy, purple, pink, black and white gloves.  I wore three of the four pairs today.  Thanks Ron for listening to my whining.  Sorry for being such a wimp today.

Burgundy gloves & heavier gloves - both dripping wet all make for cold fingers.

Pink, purple, white and black gloves.  Wore all three pairs but the white ones - going to save them for good wear.

About 3:00 I was freezing so Ron told me to go into the motor home and take a hot shower.  He didn't have to tell me to do that twice.  As I was getting dressed he came in and made me some hot chocolate!  I am so glad he loves me so much!  

...thankful for hot water and a warm motor home thanks to electricity and propane. 

...thankful we have this job.  We sold 3 more trees today.  We have 105 trees on the lot.  Keep hearing that we will get busy this weekend.  Sure hope so!  Here are pictures of the lot with all our trees.

Look how big some of these trunks are.  It took both of us to carry them to the drill and then to the grids to stand them up.  Ron kept saying "these are heavy.  sure hope we don't get any more of these big ones."

The truck getting ready to make another delivery. 

The lot with 105 trees on it. 

A close up standing right in the middle of the trees.  I had to yell at Ron to find out where he was as I could not see him.  It's like walking through the forest without all the mud!
Well that has been our day today.  This morning before we got out of bed I asked Ron what he was planning for my birthday (tomorrow) and he said to sell Christmas trees.  I gave him some suggestions ~ I will let you know what he comes up with.

Got a call from my friend Lynda, she is going to come down and see us on Thursday!  On one hand I hope we are not busy so we can talk but on the other hand if we are busy that means we are making some money.

Take care in all you do.  Be safe if you are traveling but most of all have fun in all you do. 

Monday Musings

Today I am thankful for a loving and caring hubby.

We did not set our alarms for this morning because we don't have to open the lot till 10:00 a.m.  I slept till about 8:30 a.m. and Ron got up close to 10 a.m.  I was glad he got lots of rest.  He usually lets me sleep in so I was glad to let him have his morning.

We set up the 10 trees we got delivered late yesterday afternoon.  We sold three trees today ~ that makes 12!  We had a pretty quiet day today.  Like I said we sold three trees today and had a couple of lookie lous.  Had a surprise visit from our friend Jim Rutherford.  He drives bus here in Snohomish County so stopped by for a little visit.  He brought us a gift card and some bus schedules so we don't have to drive our car every where we go.  Since we don't have to open the lot during the week till 10:00 a.m.  I think we are going to go for a couple of bus rides and see what's around us.  Since arriving last Tuesday we have not driven any where and only walked to Safeway and the Dollar Store a few times.

That's what leads me to why I am thankful for my hubby.  We don't have much to drink here in the motor home as we finished off the Propel and the soda pop I bought while we were in the condo in Birch Bay.  The only thing in the fridge to drink was mocha's (don't want those at night ~ as I would be up all night) and some Mike's and milk.  Didn't really want an alcoholic beverage and the milk is for breakfast. And I hate water except the flavored kind.  I mentioned something about walking over to Safeway and Ron got up and said he would go.  He came back with two six packs of diet coke ~ thank you for loving (spoiling) me Ron!

He is so good at doing little things for me.  Earlier this afternoon I didn't feel too well, just exhausted so he encouraged me to take a nap.  I slept for almost two hours.  Must have needed it.


Ron does lots of other things for me ~ I am so thankful that the Lord brought us together over 34 years ago.  


I have been asked by a couple of people how we get paid.  We are paid a commission on the trees we sell.  It is a percentage of the net price of the trees.  Also covered is our electricity and sewer dumping charges (when the guy comes to clean the port-a-potty) they also dump our tanks.  The one thing we have not figured out yet is how we are going to get water.  When we left Blaine last Tuesday Ron filled our holding tank.  Not sure how long we can go before we run out of water.  I was worried about it the first few days but Ron keeps reassuring me that he will get us water when we need it.  See one more thing I can be thankful for ~ Ron knows what to say to me so I don't worry about the little things.

Others have asked what are our plans for when we are done selling Christmas trees.  We will be going to Lewiston for a couple of weeks.  We want to see Brandon coaching his basketball team, Max playing basketball and get in some more hugs from Christopher.  Then we are back to Blaine on the 9th of January as Ron has jury duty for two weeks.  While Ron is doing his civic duty I hope to get lots of play time with Opal.  After that we are not sure.  It will all depend on what doors open for employment.


Prayer request ~ as you know we are putting our applications out there for work for next Spring/Summer.  We have had a couple of campgrounds reply to our emails/resumes.  We would appreciate your continued prayers for the doors to open wide wherever we are supposed to work next year.

That's all for now.  We got another delivery of trees late today.  Found out the guys delivering the trees are the cousins of Ron's cousins that live in Longview.   Definitely a small world.


Take care and God Bless. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seven Sunday Smiles

Seven Sunday Smiles ~ that is how many times I have smiled and wished someone Merry Christmas today as they left the Christmas tree lot with their new trees.

Thank you for praying for us and our defeated feelings of yesterday.  Today we smiling and so enjoying the day.  We woke to 20 more trees already delivered to our lot.  I think they got here about midnight last night.  I heard a large truck, got up and looked outside and thought I saw one.  Sure enough the truck had been here.  We got 20 trees priced at $21 to $29.  It took us all of one hour to get them tagged, drilled and put out on the grids.  It was all of 9:15 a.m.  We had a rush about 12:30 ~ had three customers in about seven minutes and then quiet again for awhile.  We are so thankful for seven buying customers today.

This evening we got another delivery of 10 more Fraser Firs, 6' to 7' tall.  As it was already dark outside we just stacked them up in front of the motor home and will tag, drill and stand them up in the morning.  Have to have something to look forward to.

Had a good talk with Fran (our collector) this evening when she came.  She said the Mountlake Terrace lot gal was super excited that she sold three trees today.  Guess we are not the only ones who are encouraged by a slow day.  Fran said some days will be so busy we won't remember to eat ~ I laughed, don't think Ron and I will have a problem with that.  

In between our sales today we watched a couple of Christmas movies and of course, some football.

As this Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close we have been reflecting on God's many blessings this year.  When things looked bleak, He made the sun to shine through words of encouragement, notes in the mail, a bag of food, a meal shared with others, offers of work or a hug from a friend.  We hope as this Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close for you that you can see how God has blessed you this year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

First Saturday at the Tree Lot

Today I am thankful for a very loving and supportive husband who knows how to keep his wife's anxiety down.  And no, I didn't need any medication for the anxiety.

Ron let me sleep in this morning.  On Saturday and Sunday we are to open the lot at 8:00 a.m.  The alarm went off at 7:00 a.m.  Ron got up, covered me back up and started his day by making coffee and doing it quietly.  I woke up at 8:30 feeling better than I did last night when I went to bed ~ remember yesterday's post.

We had a few more looky-lou's today.  Sold one more tree to a sweet little couple with an eleven month old little boy.  The little guy just smiled and smiled.  For a fleeting second I thought about asking them if I could take their picture but then I got involved in collecting their money I forgot to ask.  I did take a picture of the little family with their camera.  Next time I will try to remember.

I promised yesterday to show more pictures.  Here they are.  Hope you like them.

The truck delivering our first load of trees.

Jesse & Ron in front of our first load of trees ~ all 22 of them!

Another view of our trees and the truck leaving to make another delivery.

Alice hugging her first tree ~ actually trying to see if she can carry the darn thing.

Yep ~ she can!

Ron getting ready to drill a hole in the end of the tree.  First time sellers get a drilling machine.  It works pretty slick.  Ron puts the tree on the stand, tightens the truck and pulls the lever and the drill does the work.

The first tree on the grid.  We have 32 grids, can have 128 trees ready for viewing on our lot.

Here are the first 28 trees.  See the grids on the front left...we move them there as they were at the back of the lot.  Ron locked the grids and the drilling machine together so they can't walk away.

A view of the lot with the extra lights we added.  If you look closely you can see the two light strings.  The top one is white lights with regular light bulbs.  The bottom string is like welcoming lights...much prettier in the dark.

Prettier in the dark ~ don't you agree.
Ron and I did spend some extra time in prayer today.  Turning the lot and all our trees over to Him.  We believe He led us to this job and He knows what we need financially to keep us going this month and next.  After praying we both seemed to be in better spirits.  We had fun selling our one tree to the little family this evening.  We wished them a Merry Christmas and to have fun decorating their tree.  Encouraging them to put lots of lights on it for their little one to enjoy.

Thank you too, for your prayers for us as we walk through this adventure of selling Christmas trees.  We know if we do it with a heart of love and faith that the Lord will bless us.  We just have to continue to trust Him.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Frustrations but Still Thankful

Feeling somewhat frustrated today but still able to be thankful too!

The Christmas trees arrived this morning about 9:45.  22 Noble Firs.  We measured them and tagged them and then leaned them against the fence.  Frustration #1 - no drill to drill the holes in the trunk to stand them on the grid.  About 12:30 Fran (the money collector) showed up to see how things were going.  We told her about no drill, no key to unlock the grids (what the trees stand up on).  She made a couple of phone calls.  Said someone would be out to cut the lock off the grids and get us a drill.  About 2:00 Roy and Shawn showed up (in two different trucks).  Roy cut off the lock and kept asking didn't we have a key ~ we told him on Wednesday, also told Chuck on Wednesday that the key we had been given didn't work.  Shawn unloaded a drilling machine.  Gave Ron a quick lesson and then both left.  Took us about 2 hours to drill the holes, stand up the trees, cut the twine and arrange the trees.


We then put up Christmas lights across the entrance and down one side of the lot.  Trying to get people to notice us.  Frustration #2 ~ feeling like we have had no training and have been thrown to the wolves (though there aren't any around).  It is lonely here ~ guess I am so used to being with the carnival crowd and then being busy while we were home in Blaine makes this a little lonely.  Questions abound ~ are there really people out there that will pay $60 + dollars for a Christmas tree?  Looking over the price list we thought we would have a variety of priced trees, some as low as $9 - wonder where those trees are?


But I am encouraged ~ a friend posted a prayer on Facebook that specifically asked the Lord to send us 22 buyers for these trees.  I know the Lord will provide and that He knows what we need to do to be successful selling these Christmas trees.


Was also encouraged getting phone calls and honks as Jim drove by in the bus he drives.  It is comforting to know that someone knows where we are ~ we are not out in lala land.


And we had one customer come and buy a tree!  Thank you Lord for sending that customer to our little tree lot.  Only 21 more to go!


And I am encouraged by the confidence of my husband.  I have been worried about how we are going to get water to fill the tank when it gets empty.  He says we will have water.  One thing we are going to do is ask the guy who comes and cleans the port-a-potty if they also deliver water.  Someone else suggested calling the local fire department and see if we can fill up there from an outside spigot.


Ron and I have talked ~ if we don't have many sales before Monday we will call Chuck and see how this lot has done in the past.  Maybe it starts out slow and then picks up.  I need to remember we are only one day out after Thanksgiving.


So I am thankful I get encouragement from my hubby and from friends.  Thankful I have a husband and friends and that I am not alone.


Will write more tomorrow and add some more pictures.


Oh, one more thing...a grandma and a little boy walked by.  He saw Ron and told his Grandma that Ron was Grandpa Max (from a cartoon that he watches) and he had to come and say hi.  His name was Nolan, he was about 5.  He was a cutie.  I asked his Grandma if I could give him a candy cane (I had bought some last week at Big Lots to hand out while we are here).  She said sure.  Nolan followed me to the door of the motor home.  He stood outside and when I handed him the candy cane he yelled - it has candy with it!  He was so happy.  He also told me Grandpa Max is a nice guy.  I laughed and told him his name was Grandpa Ron and yes, he is a pretty nice guy.   Thank you Lord for bringing little Nolan to our lot today and that he could make me laugh and I could give him a special treat.  Yes God is good!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today I am thankful for...Updated @ 7:15 p.m.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family.  Wherever you may be may the Lord bless you and keep you.  

I am thankful for...

...for a loving husband of almost 35 years
...for healthy children and grandchildren
...for a dry, warm place to lay my head
...for a job right now
...for good friends & family who love and care about us
...for my cyberspace friends who are too many to count
...for a loving aunt, who loves me like a mom should
...for food to eat
...for the love of my Lord Jesus Christ
...emotional healing and the medications that keep my depression at bay

And then we had our Thanksgiving meal...

...thank you Connie & Marian for the duck; it turned out well.
...for all the greetings from friends and family today; made the day less lonesome.
...for the best team player ~ Ron...he is on dish duty tonight...THANK YOU!
...for the heat of the oven to make this little motor home so toasty that we had to take off our sweaters and fleeces.
 ...for friends and family to share our pictures with...

Ron relaxing.  See the snow outside, got about 3" more in the night and early morning.
Alice hard at work on dinner...this is the view from the bedroom into the kitchen/living room.
Rolls, butter and wine.  In this little place we use every available space to put stuff.

Getting ready to fix our plates.  Remember we use every available space :)
And the finished duck.  Hope it tastes as good as it smells and looks.
Our bountiful table. 
And the remnants of a delicious dinner.
 ...and dinner was wonderful.  Thank you Lord for providing for us in so many different ways. 

As I was putting the captions on the pictures I thought about our little home. And more reasons for us to be thankful for.  It is fully equipped.  It has a living room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom and bedroom plus a closet and lots of cupboards.  Which are all full of clothes to keep us warm, food in our pantry and storage cupboard.  We have fun things to do ~ like read books, listen to music on our little CD player and of course our two computers.  Our home can also be used as a get-a-way car if necessary.  Not everyone can say that!  We are truly blessed!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

73 Followers

Wow!  I can't believe I have 73 followers.  Today I am thankful to all of you for following along on this journey we call life. If you click on a picture of one of the followers you can see their name and what blog they write (if they have one) and learn a little about them.  I like to read about my followers and read their blogs.  It is a fun way to make and meet new friends.   Also thanks to all those who follow along who are not signed up as a follower ~ I know a few of you :)

Today has been a fun and frustrating day.  
This is the view of the tree lot looking out our front window.

This is the tree lot looking from Safeway. 

This is the motor home.  See the Santa hanging on the welcome sign.

This is the back side of the tree lot facing the motor home.
 Fun in that we decorated the motor home for Christmas today.  I set up our little tree in the window of the front passenger door.  It is a 2' tall artificial tree that has a light circle underneath of it.  I so enjoy sitting and watching the colors change from blue to red, to white to purple to green (not sure that is the order though).  Underneath the tree I have the little nativity set that I got from my mom 35 years ago this year.  It is the set she had up in our home for as long as I can remember.  I will try to get a close up picture of it and post it on here.

We also hung Christmas lights around the windows from the kitchen, through the living room, in front and above the TV and then back through the living room and into the dining room.  I also put out a few of the stuffed Christmas animals we have.  Outside Ron hung a welcome sign with a Santa on it and then set up our big blow up snowman and friend.  We had a mom and little girl pull up next to the motor home because the little girl wanted to see the snowman.  I put my Christmas centerpiece on the table and filled my stocking candy dish with candy canes to hand out to little kids when they come to get a Christmas tree.  It sure is looking festive around here.


Here are the Snowmen ready to greet the buyers of our Christmas trees.

These are the lights around our kitchen window.  The Christmas centerpiece is on the left and a beautiful fruit basket sits on the right.  The fruit basket was a going away gift from Stacey...so far everything we have eaten has tasted wonderful.  Will use the basket to hold something I am sure.

This is the right side of the living room in the motor home.  We have a good view of the opening to the lot.  Right now people walk through the lot and cut through to the bus stop on the corner.  We think that will stop once the trees are on the lot.  At least we hope so.

This view is standing in the kitchen looking to the front of the motor home.  It feels very Christmassey in here now!
We were waiting for Roy and the delivery of the Christmas trees.  We are supposed to start selling them tomorrow.  Well Roy showed up but no trees.  Seems the guys did not go and pick them up due to the snow storm that hit Western Washington.   So understand that but it would have been nice to have gotten a phone call to say the trees won't be here till Friday.  We could  have made plans for Thanksgiving Day.  Oh well,  am sure God knew what was happening and maybe a day of rest is what we need before we hit it hard selling Christmas trees.  

Another delivery that was made today was a port-a-potty for the customers.  The delivery guy also brought us good news ~ Chuck pays to have the tanks dumped on the motor home while we are here.  Yeah ~ that will save us about $100.  Thank you Lord for providing for the little things that bring us comfort and saves us some money along the way.


This evening we are just watching television and both of us are on our respective computers.  A quiet evening for sure.  Talk to you all again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beginning Another New Adventure

Today I am thankful for safety on the road and a patient and resourceful husband.  No matter what obstacles we faced today, Ron greeted each of them with a smile and perseverance.  

Today we started our new adventure of selling Christmas trees.  And what an adventure we had today.  It was only 15' when we woke up this morning so getting out of bed was a challenge.  It didn't help that it was only 44' in the motor home.  I got up and turned the furnace up and crawled back into bed till about 8:30.  It had warmed up inside to 57' so it wasn't too bad.  I started to organize a few things and turned on the news.  The roads did not look to inviting as there were lots of accidents, icy roads and lots of snow had fallen in the Seattle/Everett area.  Ron got up about 9:30.  The first thing on the agenda for Ron was to go to the storage unit and get the tie downs for the Jeep/trailer.  Since we did not sell the flat bed we decided to tow the Jeep on the trailer.  Ron went to the storage unit and then promptly had to come back to the motor home.  He had forgotten the keys to the tool box.  After a second trip to the storage unit and his return to the motor home we got everything ready to go and then the motor home would not start.  

We tried to jump it from the house batteries.  Did not work.  Then Ron jumped it from the Jeep.  It took about 5 tries and then the motor home finally started.  Whew...did not want to call Chuck and say we could not make it to Edmonds.  We then drove into Blaine where Ron hooked the trailer up to the motor home.  I went to the Post Office.  We met over behind the library where there was plenty of room for the motor home, the trailer and for the Jeep.  We need about 85' to get everything all lined up and then get the Jeep on the trailer.
 
 Ron had no problems getting the trailer hooked up to the motor home or the Jeep on the trailer.  I took about five pictures but for some reason I can not get them to upload to the blog post.  The motor home handled the trailer with the Jeep without any problems.  Though when we arrived in Edmonds Ron noticed one of the tie downs had ripped apart.  We will pick up another tie down strap before heading to Lewiston on the 25th of December.
Ron tying down the Jeep on the trailer.


Our next stop was for gas at AMPM on Grandview Road.  Good thing we put premium gas in the motor home - that was all they had.  Our next stop was then to get propane.  Remember we emptied the one tank yesterday and was using the small portable tank.  It took 21 gallons of propane between the two tanks.  We got ready to leave there and the motor home would not start again.  This time it worked to jump the motor home with the house batteries.  Guess the motor home doesn't like to run when it is super cold outside.

Then we were off to Haggens in Sehome Village.  Met our friend Jerry to make a trade and then we were finally on the road about 2:30 in the afternoon.  Not bad since we wanted to be on the road by 10:00 a.m.  


This is Mt. Baker from I5 in Ferndale.  The weather was cold but clear today.
Our trip to Edmonds was uneventful till we were going to turn from 220th to Highway 99.  The roads were quite icy down here and so Ron was going pretty steady up the hill.  The turn lane light turned red so Ron kept going straight...there was no way if we stopped on the hill we would get going again.  So around the block and we were back on Highway 99.  We safely arrived at the Aurora Marketplace Safeway at 4:15 p.m.  We got hooked up to the power, unhooked the Jeep and got ourselves settled into our spot.  While Ron was setting up the TV and DirectTV I went into Safeway to introduce myself to the manager.  Thought that would be a good thing to do since we are going to be here for a month.  The manager was quite busy so I gave him one of our business cards and he said we would talk tomorrow sometime. 


I then went back to the motor home to help with setting the satellite dish up.  No go, there is a tree in the way (it is right next to the motor home) so tomorrow Ron will get on top of the motor home and see what he can do about getting us a signal.  I think part of the problem was that Ron was cold and it was now dark.


So we went into Safeway and picked up a few things and then settled into the motor home for the evening. 


Thank you all for praying for our safety today as we traveled.  All the issues we had were ones that could be fixed and were just an inconvenience at most.


Our address for the next month: 23632 Highway 99, Edmonds, WA.  Please do not mail us anything here.  It is just our physical address.  We welcome any visitors that make it down or up this way.  I plan to have coffee and hot chocolate ready for any visitors.


Will write more tomorrow, hopefully having pictures to show what we are doing.

Propane and Electricity and Selling Christmas Trees

Today I am thankful for propane and electricity.  Most days I tend to take those things for granted.  Today I am thankful I have access to both.  It is very cold here in Blaine.  The high of 27' and an expected low of 16' tonight means a very cold motor home without propane and/or electricity.  We usually just heat the motor home with a small electric heater.  We actually have two but we can only run one at a time.  So during the day when we are up and about we run the heater in the living room facing it towards the kitchen.  When we go to bed, we turn the one in the living room off and turn the one on in the middle of the rig and face it towards the bedroom.  

We usually use the propane furnace to just take the chill off first thing in the morning and when we come home from being gone for any period of time.  Well, since Saturday we have been running the furnace quite a bit.  Our plan was to fill the propane tank when we left to go sell Christmas trees.  Saturday I happened to check the level and it was getting down into the top of the red so Ron made a trip to the storage unit to get our little propane tank (like one used on a gas grill).  I am so thankful he did because when he came home from Ferndale earlier today we had totally run out of propane out of the tank in the motor home.  He quickly hooked up the little tank and made it all toasty in here.

With the weather as cold as it has been the little electric heaters just can't keep the motor home warm.

Thank you Lord for the men who invented the use of electricity and how to make propane.  Thank you Lord too, for a husband who is handy and knows how to switch out tanks.

Selling Christmas Trees ~~~

We are going to be selling Christmas trees for Noel's Christmas Trees at the Aurora Marketplace Safeway parking lot.  The address is 23632 Highway 99, Edmonds, WA.  You take exit 179 off of I5 and go west on 220th.  Go to Highway 99 and turn left.  (I think it is the 3rd or 4th stoplight.)  The parking lot for Safeway is on the right about 2 1/2 miles from 220th.  We are in the corner.  You won't be able to miss us.  Our hours start on Wednesday, November 24th and go thru December 24th at 5:00 p.m.  Monday thru Friday the hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday's 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

One of us will always be there as we are also on duty all night - for security.

If you are in the area we would love to have you stop and see us, check out the trees and if it works for you to buy one.  We plan to have coffee and hot chocolate going.  I know if this cold weather continues we will definitely need the warm drinks to keep us going.  Though I have told Ron I may have to go to Starbucks, inside Safeway, once in awhile :)

Prayer requests ~
1.  Please pray for our friends Kenny & Tammy.  Tammy is having a radical double mastectomy on the 9th of December.  Please pray for clarity for Kenny and Tammy regarding treatment and for the doctors who are treating her.  Please also pray for others to be able to physically near them to walk hand in hand with them to doctor appointments.

2.  For safety for Ron and I as we travel to Edmonds tomorrow.  We are in the midst of a very cold and blustery storm.  Snow and ice are prevalent throughout the area.  We had our 16' flatbed trailer for sale so that we could purchase a tow bar setup for the Jeep but the trailer did not sell.  We have made the decision to tow the Jeep on the trailer.  This means we are going to be almost 60 feet long on the road.  This means extra stress on Ron as he will do the driving this trip.  I have not ever pulled a trailer with the motor home and in winter weather I am not going to learn.

3.  For our boys and their families as this will be the first year we will not be with at least one of them for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  I guess also pray for us to not be missing them too much.

4.  For Theresa as she has had her final surgery for her breast cancer and is now recovering and the healing process is going slow.  Pray that she will be patient with herself and follow the doctor's orders.  Pray also for Rick as he stands by her and supports her during this recovery time.

I will check in with all of you tomorrow night once we are settled at the Christmas tree lot.  They are supposed to have power to the lot no later than Wednesday - we are praying it will be ready for us when we arrive tomorrow, especially with this brrrr chilly weather.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

God's Blessing's!

God's gift to us this morning!  Thank you Lord for this beautiful view of your creation.

God's blessings are all around us.  This morning we woke up to snow, lots of snow. It is so beautiful, fresh, clean - just how God sees us with all our imperfections. 
The view outside our motor home window this morning.  The bay is behind the trees.
Another view of the campground this morning with all the beautiful snow!
I thought about how God sees us a few times today as I reflected on a friendship Ron and I have had for many years. Ron and I have been blessed to be friends with Al & Selma Geinger since early 1989 when we moved back to the Blaine, WA area.  In fact, Ron has known them all his life.  I was blessed to meet them late 1977 when Ron traveled to Holland for his job in the Air Force and I stayed with his parents until he had housing for us.  

Our friendship together really began though once we were living up here.  Al & Selma were Ron's parents age.  Al & Selma just kinda adopted us and our two boys. Jamie & Brandon greeted them whenever we saw them just as Max & Christopher greet us ~ with open arms, hugs and kisses.  We have shared many meals,  attended many basketball games around Whatcom County as well as District and State Tournaments.  We have visited with each other in our homes and even gone on a few camping trips together at Mt. Vernon, WA and Birch Bay, WA.  Al & Selma loved us with all our imperfections and weirdness.  They loved us through some great times and rough times.  We laughed and cried together and even disagreed once in awhile.  They stood by us through medical emergencies and celebrated special birthday's, wedding's, and graduations.  And through it all we knew we were loved by them at all times.

We heard this morning that Al went home to the Lord early this morning.  He is now with his beloved Selma who left us just over two years ago.  As soon as we heard the news I told Ron I was so thankful we followed the Lord's leading and stopped in to see Al last Saturday while we were in Bellingham.  Al welcomed us into his home.  He was sitting in his chair watching football.  We started talking like we had just seen each other the day before.  That was not the case, it had been a long time since we had seen him.  We only stayed about an half hour as he seemed to be tired.  He asked about our boys.  He was excited to hear that Brandon is now coaching a boys high school basketball team.  Al said he just knows Brandon will do well at that.  We showed him pictures of Opal, Max and Christopher.  Al said Jamie is going to have his hands full with that precious little girl. 

Opal Rae Trulock-Workentin.  Al said her smile reminded him of Jamie.
And for us to remember to love on those grands as often as we can.  We told him that is not a problem for us ~ we love to hold, snuggle and love on them all.  Al asked us if we were still going to church ~ he lovingly called us "church hoppers" as we went to three different churches over the last 22 years we have lived here in Blaine.  He said one time he didn't understand why we had to leave the Birch Bay Mennonite Church but he was glad we were attending a Bible believing, God loving church and participating in the fellowship of other believers.  We will miss you Al (and Selma too) and are so thankful that you were a part of our family.   We have so many wonderful memories of our time with you both.  Thank you for loving us as your own children and grandchildren.  Thank you Lord for blessing us with Al & Selma for all these years.

Ron and I shared with each other some of our memories of Al & Selma, reflecting again how glad we were that we saw him just last week.  What a reminder to take those little nudges the Lord sends our way, follow up on those thoughts "I should call so and so."  You may never know the reason the Lord nudges you do to do something but in this case we do ~ God knew we would have felt horrible if we had not had time for a visit with Al.  Thank you Lord for the little nudge last Saturday.

Then it was time to get on with our day.  Ron did some work around the motor home and then loaded our little jeep up with more stuff to take to the storage unit.  We have just a couple more days before we head off on our new adventure.

Ron and our new jeep.
Here he is again.  Don't the two of them look like a great pair.  We are so happy we have this little 4x4 that we can tow behind the motor home.  It handled great in the snow.  Ron just popped it into 4 wheel drive and off we went.
Ron and I both worked at the church for a couple of hours today.  Ron and Phil put in the new dishwasher and I finished up the bulletin and script for the Sunday service tomorrow as well as finished up a project for Pastor Charles. As I finished up I felt some sadness as I put some notes on Charles' desk and turned the heat down for the last time.  As I pulled the door shut behind me I thought this is the last time I walk out of the office as church secretary.  I have so enjoyed my time working with Charles and for Northwood Alliance Church and will miss it lots.  I am excited that Tina is stepping into that position.  I know she will do a great job.  I shared with her one of the things I have learned over the years "remember to laugh often and be flexible."  Thank you Charles for teaching those two important tools in any job I will have in the future.  Thank you Northwood Family for letting me serve you these past seven years. I love you all and will miss you as we travel and work on this journey we call life.  A few tears fell down my cheeks as we drove away from Northwood ~ we are still a part of the Northwood family, just in a different way.

This little guy greeted us as we pulled into Beachwood upon our return from Blaine.






After we got back to the motor home I made a pot of minestrone soup.  It was so good on this cold night.  The weatherman is calling for more snow tonight and tomorrow.  I hope it does not dump too much as we are driving to Redmond tomorrow to meet up with Chuck from Noel Christmas Trees. Tomorrow we will get a little training and instructions.  Am thinking the learning curve for selling Christmas trees will be easy compared to learning the ropes at the carnival. We found out we will be selling trees in Edmonds, WA.  We start next Wednesday.  Once we have the address of the Christmas tree lot we will send it on to all of you.  Who knows, maybe some of you will be able to come by and say hello!  I plan to have coffee and hot chocolate readily available.

Till next time!

Saturday Smiles

Woke up to beautiful snow everywhere!  It is so pretty and shows God's masterpiece in beautiful ways.

Yesterday was another busy day for us.  I worked at the church for 4.5 hours, trained Tina on a couple of things, then met Marla for tea and great conversation and prayer.  Congrats to Glenn for passing the National Boards in Education!!!!  While I was busy at the church and doing some visiting Ron was at Jerry & Lynda's doing plumbing work.  Am thankful for friends who need plumbing work done once in awhile.  Yesterday's job was to replace the garbage disposal.  Sorry Lynda it needed done, but thanks for the job.  God is faithful to provide for us in many ways.

In the evening we watched television, listened to the rain come down for awhile and then noticed it had changed to snow.  It was pretty white outside when we went to bed.  For the first night in many I was in bed before 10:00 p.m.  Slept well and now ready to face the new day!

Be safe in whatever you are doing today whether it be traveling, working, resting.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Life Sure Get's Busy at Times

Greetings on this very chilly night.  We just got in the door (10:20 p.m.) and it is 37' outside.  Forecast is calling for snow tomorrow here in Whatcom County.  Sure won't be surprised if we wake up to white stuff tomorrow.

Sorry for not keeping up with daily posts.  The last few days have just been crazy busy for us but have had lots of things to be thankful for.

Monday was a busy day for us.  We ran errands, had lunch with a friend and then realized we had a few hours before meeting Glenn & Marla for dinner so we went truck shopping.  Didn't find a truck but did find a Jeep Wrangler.  It met all our requirements: towable, room to haul a couple of grandkids, 4x4 and low mileage.  We took it for a test drive but told the salesman we didn't have time to talk as we had to be in Blaine to meet our friends.  Ron made arrangements to meet with Guy, the salesman the next morning.  We then met up with Glenn & Marla about 6:30 p.m.  At one point I looked at my watch and it was 7:45 p.m. and then the next thing we all knew it was 9:30 p.m. and we all had plans for Tuesday.

Tuesday morning found me being very thankful for friends.  While Ron went to Bellingham to see if we could make a deal for the Jeep, my friend Dee picked me up and took me to run some errands.  While we were out Ron called and said we had a new to us vehicle.  We were able to trade in the suburban and add a little cash and the car was ours.  So off Dee and I were to Bellingham.  We loaded everything from the suburban into her car.  She had twice has much room in her car then we have in the Jeep.  We ran a few more errands before calling it a day.  I was so thankful she was free for the day and able to help us out.

Wednesday Ron was going to go to the Men's breakfast/Bible study at Blackberry House but my phone died in the night so the alarm did not go off.  So we got a late start to the day.  We had both made commitments to be at the church around 9:00 a.m.  I needed to meet with Charles and get some things done at the church office and Ron was meeting up with Gerald & Philip, two of our church deacons, to remove the old dishwasher and change lights in the parking lot.  Before going to the church we stopped by Blackberry House for some much needed coffee.  I am thankful for the little things in life...like a nice little coffee shop to stop in, get great coffee and help support friends.  Thanks Aaron & Kelly for having great coffee and nice friendly staff.  It was a great way to start a busy day.

After both of us finished up at the church we headed into Bellingham to go to the bank and then to the store to pick up a few groceries.  While I was in the bank, John called to say the motor home was ready for us to pick up ~ yippee!  The busyness of the day continued.  We got the motor home, went to the condo and loaded up all our stuff except the food from the fridge & freezer.  Because the motor home had been locked up for three weeks and the electricity was off to the fridge it had gotten pretty stinky.  So we took the motor home to Beachwood (one of two campgrounds we stay in while in Blaine) and got the power on and the motor home settled in.  Then we were off to dinner with Gerald & Sandra.  We were able to do a load of laundry while we ate and visited.  Again, thankful for the little things ~ clean laundry, great food and wonderful fellowship.  We stayed there till after 11:00 p.m. ~ we were having so much fun talking and solving all the worldly problems that the time got away from us.

We had another busy day today.  We had to organize the motor home from all the stuff that had been in the condo plus the stuff I had picked up at the store and from the storage unit.  One of the things I wanted to do was take my regular dishes out of the motor home and switch them for my Christmas dishes.  I had made plans for Dee to come over so I could unload all of the stuff that had been in the suburban (remember Tuesday's activities).  So with Dee's help we were able to take all the regular dishes and put them in a storage tote and put the other dishes in the cupboards.  One of the delights of today was finding my Christmas dishes were all wrapped in my Christmas sweaters.  Remember I was feeling frustrated that I could not find the tote with them in it and yet it was there all along.  With needing room to put my sweaters away I took out all our summer clothes from the closet and bedroom cupboards (including 4 pairs of black pants ~ our carnival uniforms ~ don't need those for a few months).  With all the clothes out of the closet Ron was able to fix the clothes rack that half the screws had come out.  Today I am thankful for willing hands to help with some projects that needed to be done before we head out to sell Christmas trees.

Once we were done in the motor home, Dee and I headed to Bellingham to run some more errands.  I can't believe I have been to Bellingham (about 20 miles one way from Blaine) four days in a row.  Usually once a week is more than enough.  

After running errands Dee dropped me back here at the motor home.  Ron took a short nap and I checked emails before we once again headed out the door for some food and fellowship with friends.    Tonight we enjoyed a delicious meal of steak, baked potatoes, with baked creamed corn and broccoli raisin salad all the while watching the Huskies beat UCLA and sharing lots of laughter and stories with Jim & Mary.  

Now we are back in the warmth of our motor home.  As they say "there is no place like home."  Snuggled in, watching some television and catching up on writing blogs, reading emails and getting ready to start another busy day tomorrow.

Wishing all who read my blog to have a great night and a terrific weekend. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sleep

Today I am thankful for SLEEP.  Sleep is such a good thing.  Last night I slept hard and for  9 1/2 hours.  I woke feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.

There was a time where I did not sleep much.  Insomnia ruled my life.  For about 2 1/2 years if I got 4 hours of sleep I was happy.  I dealt with insomnia for over 3 years.  I am so thankful that lack of sleep in my life is a thing of the past.

Now I usually sleep 7 or more hours each night.  Eight hours is the average now.  9 1/2 is a gift, treat and enjoyed.

Sleep.   Love it and enjoy it.  Thank you Lord for the good night's sleep I had last night.

Sitting Here

This morning as I sit at my laptop working on weekly reports and thinking about finishing up our daily logs for this week,  my heart ache...