Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Counting my blessings

I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed..... I know there are people out there who are doing much more, but going to school, raising a 17 month old, and being a good wife and housekeeper is a lot for me to handle! I have been starting to have more frequent seizures because of the stress... So I figured it was time to count my blessings so that I can see how much I am blessed rather than dwelling on how hard my life is getting, which always spirals into depression.....

I am grateful for family and friends close by that care for me

I am grateful for food on my table, a roof over my head, and a warm place to sleep at night

I am grateful that my husband finally got approved for social security, it nearly doubled our cash income from just under $600 per month to just over $1000 per month, even if our food stamps did get slashed to 1/4 of what they were....

Because our cash income went up, we are able to get a new car...
our old car, a 2-door Ford Escort, was 16 years old the e-brake never worked, the horn never worked, we replaced the head just before our son was born and then the clutch went out, the tires were getting bald and we had no money to replace them, the brakes were shot, and the miles had rolled over at least once before we bought it in 2004 and in 2005 we drove it to Washington from Indiana, after my dad paid for us to have the muffler fixed and a window replaced that had been broken.....
our new car is a 2008 Kia Rio and it had 9 miles on it when we bought it, it has a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty, it gets really good gas mileage, and it has 4 doors, which makes getting Alex in and out much easier

I am grateful for the opportunity to go to school and retrain to be able to work from home as a legal transcriptionist, this way I can stay home with my son, and be able to bring in some money.... because my seizures are uncontrolled, I can't work outside the home, so this is really a great blessing because I love working, doing something that helps my community...

I am grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whithout which I can't imagine how my life would be. I am grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever, the knowledge of who I am and where I come from and where I can go after this life, I am grateful for a community of loving people who care about me and my family and would never let us go hungry or without basic human needs

I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place, where I can look out my back door and see the bay and the trees and let my son play in the clean grass

There really are so many things that I have to be thankful for... I could never list them all... I feel much better knowing that I have things to be grateful for, it makes the world seem a little brighter!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Could you live without your car?


This website is dedicated to scoring cities and neighborhoods on how walkable they are. As it says on the website, it doesn't take into account aesthetics such as how pretty a place is, it only scores based on how convenient it would be to live your life on foot..... how easy would it be for you to walk to get your groceries, to the park, to the movies, to the library...etc... It also doesn't take into account things like public transportation, safety, or topography.

Take Silverdale, Wa for example.... my old childhood stomping grounds... got a 94%... "A Walker's Paradise".

Silverdale is a relatively small place, and as such doesn't have the crime rates of larger cities, so it is a "safe" place to walk. As long as you live in Silverdale, proper, and not on the outskirts, you could do very well without a car! As the website states, there are LOTS of things to do and see in Silverdale and you are never far away from refreshment, relaxation, entertainment, or work. And although Silverdale is located in a valley surrounded by hills that would not be friendly to walk up carrying a load of groceries, the public transit system is really great and can transport you to neighboring cities and even to a ferry to visit Seattle. Plus a bonus..... Silverdale is gorgeous! It boasts views of the water, a robust historical downtown area, several parks, and even a dedicated walking path that winds through the city.

How does your favorite city rate?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A compromise

Everyone in my family seems to think that I look great with long hair, but I HATE having long hair! It is so hard for me to manage and I end up just throwing it up into a ponytail.... I promised my husband that I would not go back to my favorite hairstyle, which is close to a pixie cut, but since I can't stand having gobbs of hair, I worked out a deal, I will maintain it at shoulder length....

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Kitchen is Open!

I have been listing my favorite recipes here on my personal blog for some time now, but the page seems to be getting longer and longer...... and I don't know about you, but I hate browsing pages that take forever to load because they have no end, so I have created A DAY IN THE KITCHEN OF A CHOICE SPIRIT to post my favorite recipes.... enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Beloved Wife, Mother, and Friend

My Step-Mother, Serena, passed away this morning. I cannot express how much she meant to me and my family. Words, simply aren't enough... they seem hollow, inadequate, and anything I say would necessarily be missing some important part of who and what she was, but not to say something of what she meant to me would be even worse.... so I will try....

To me, she was a mother who cared for me when my own mother was not able to be there. She was a friend who listened to me when I cried and cried with me. She explored knowledge, whimsy, spirituality and hope with me whenever I needed a companion on those journeys. She kept me grounded when I began to float to high, and she encouraged me to spread my wings when I felt lead in my soul. She fought my stubborn streak with a love that I didn't deserve. She cried when I made mistakes, but she tried to let me learn from them. She beamed in pride when I accomplished the impossible. She tempered my father's protective nature.... there really is no end to what she was to me. Even now, she is a source of strength to me.

She found out she had Lou Gehrig's Disease in July of 2005 and suffered for 3 years before succumbing to the diseases ravaging effects. She went from walking to work daily to lying in a bed in a nursing home, unable to command her body to do the simplest task. But she always comforted those around her rather than engage in pity over her situation. She was a pillar of strength to all those who knew her, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have been her daughter.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independance Day 2008

The city of Poulsbo, WA. had their fireworks display this evening and we got some gorgeous pictures of it from our back yard....

Thursday, July 3, 2008