Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Can You Smell That?

One thing that seems unique to the PNW is the presence of "Coffee Shacks."
They are just cabins with drive-through windows.
Yes, Starbucks still exists and the coffee counter in the local grocery,
but these little coffee shacks are very popular.

We have continued to work on the odors in the rental house.
The plants are doing a good job.
The diffuser helps.
The many days of open windows have kept the air clean.
I am armed with autumn scented candles when the fall rains come.

But ...
my tip of the day is for the car ...
and it involves coffee.

We just love scents and have had a hard time finding something that worked great in the car.

Essential oil on cotton works for a very short time.
Yankee candle car fresheners are spendy.
Gels, vent sticks, ...
so many options.

When we arrived in the PNW,
I came across an air freshener that has been GREAT!
The tip was to put coffee (whole beans or grounds) in a sock,
tie off,
hide under the seat.

Wow!  we just love it.
It does take some discipline not to be tempted to pull into the local coffee "shack" when we smell the interior,
but it is working like a charm.
And when it wears off (it has been going a good 45 days),
we just empty the sock and start again!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Not My Way

A storm is moving in for tomorrow ...
a pleasant breeze is blowing through the house ...
some pumpkin/gingerbread muffins are in the oven ...
and I should be blogging about the last room in the house ...
but ...
this week's Tuesday Transformation is not in the house,
but rather in me.

Change is always hard.
Moving across the country has not been easy.
So often, we wanted to cut our losses and run "home" - back to the familiar.
We wanted to devise our own way.
We wanted the familiar.
We wanted an easy path.

Every time we wanted to "cut and run,"
the Lord would send a confirmation.
He would show us that change happens everywhere.
He would show us that we had not made a mistake.
He would give an encouraging word from an unlikely source.
He would send a verse, a sermon, a podcast, ...

It is God's nature to be merciful and gracious.
When my faith is small,
He can grant more or grow that small faith.

Over and over again,
as we face the changes in our world,
God is faithful to show me where I need change.
where I need to be transformed.
Small faith is one of those areas.
I am thankful for His faithfulness and direction.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

When It Is Time To Rest

As we continue to get settled,
there is still enough that is "up in the air"
that sleep is definitely welcome at the end of the day.

It is nice to have a peaceful retreat.

So up the stairs ...

view from the top of the stairs and into the room

view from the bathroom

refinished dresser and mirror

new side tables hubby made for his birthday

view into bathroom - vanity on one side, closet on other, shower and commode through door

Obviously the vanity

Walk-in closet - room for hubby's dresser
which still needs to be refinished

I love the natural light and airflow into the shower area

A view of what dresser and mirror used to look like in our very first apartment.
We purchased the dressers 17 years ago and we were ready for a change.
The dresser "redo" involved filling in some etchings with wood filler.
Then the base was painted with chalk paint.
The top was sanded and stained and sealed.
New knobs added just today.
For all you wood lovers ...
... most of the dresser is not real wood ...
The mirror no longer attaches to the dresser, but can be hung anywhere.

refinished dresser and mirror

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Just and True

It's thankful Thursday!
I am so thankful that God is just,
 He is true AND truth.

Isn't there great comfort knowing that?
I can trust that everything that He does is right.
I can rest in His plans for me.

We definitely don't always see the plan, 
but we can rest knowing the Planner.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Element of Surprise!

By the end of our first month in Oregon,
we went to visit each of the neighbors on our street.
There are about 24 households on our street.

We probably caught about 12 at home.
3-4 were friendly and chatty.
5-6 looked frightened and eager for us to leave.
Others were polite, but not really sociable.
Many were just shocked.

Since the visits.
One neighbor has been more friendly (greeting me almost daily) and may be a good open door.
Another neighbor (who was not home when we stopped),
stopped by to introduce herself and brought macarons (naturally gluten free).
This again is another open door.

It is a start in this new area.
Keep praying for open doors.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Tour Continues ... Who Will be First?

Going up the stairs,
we find the living quarters.

Here is the guest room.
Our plan is to eventually swap out the twin bed for a larger one.

And here is the guest bath.

Both of these rooms got new paint.
What a difference!

So who will be first?
If you are flying - choose PDX (Portland).
If you have the time to come by train, Albany has a train station!

Will have to wait and see...

*Today the furniture painting went well. 
The painting and staining is done,
and the sealing will be tomorrow.
Maybe you will see that next week!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Yes, I Believe Time Flies

It is hard to believe that it has been over 2 months since we packed up and moved across the country.
The days have been speeding by.
With the move came some weeks of a certain "lost" feeling.
It is hard to reestablish routines and schedules after a month or so
of packing, traveling, unpacking ...
So I apologize for the lack of post
and will seek to get back to the updates and news.

I really enjoy setting up a new home.
There have been rooms to paint (to date I have done 8).
There has been furniture to place.
There have been new things to learn.
There has been the challenge of using what we have and fitting it to a new space 
with the effort of not accumulating even though for now we have a larger space 
since we don't know where we will find ourselves living at the end of this lease.

I still want to use the excess paint to freshen the garage.
This sounds odd, but it is our workout space and also acts like a covered porch when we open the garage door in the evenings.
We spend a lot of time in there and it will just cheer me to freshen it up!

I also want to refinish my dresser.
I am going to try using chalk paint which everyone builds up as so easy to use.
I'll let you know.

And in the meantime, the effort of trying to do the everyday tasks.

I have tried to keep my weekly schedule similar.
It varies a little since we changed to being a single car family again.
If I "oops" on shopping day, the day requires a 40 minute round trip to town by foot
to get the forgotten item.
Shopping day requires the extra trips to hubby's work.
But the payoff is worth it.
All in all, we save on gas.
The area is a little "puckered up" so it is nice to only need room for one vehicle.

And so today was cleaning day.
Though this home is larger,
it actually seems to be quicker to clean.
Though I miss the laminate floors,
it is definitely faster to vacuum.

And if I truly get back on my blogging schedule,
then I must leave you with a recipe today.

So here is our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
I made a batch last week for hubby's coworkers.
They were a success.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups almond flour
2.5 cups gluten-free oatmeal, put through blender or food processor
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
4.5 oz. grated semi-sweet chocolate (put the chips through a food processor)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla, combine. 
In a separate bowl, mix together almond flour, blended oatmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and grated chocolate.
Add to the butter mixture, and stir to combine.
Add chocolate chips and raisins (if you want).
Let the dough chill for at least one hour.
Bake for 9 minutes at 375 F.

Friday, July 12, 2019

A Day Late, But Right On Time

On this Friday edition of "Thankful Thursday,"
I am thankful for the faithfulness that my parents have modeled before us.
Today they celebrate 50 years of marriage.
50 years,
5 states,
8 9 houses,
4 kids,
3 dogs ...
(I think I have the numbers right, but check comments below for corrections from the family)

Oh such memories.

In a day when marriages are disposable,
I am so glad that my parents have chosen to stick-to-it.
I'm sure there were seasons of difficulty when throwing it away might have seemed easier,
but they didn't.
They continue to model,
they continue to be an example to look up to,
they continue to press on.

Thanks dad and mom!

Friday Forum: Odor Removal

Every home has a unique smell ...
some good, some bad, some just different.

Our rental home had some unique and some bad smells when we moved in.
I think many of them have been eradicated,
but we have also had the blessing of basically having open windows since we moved in.
We have cleaned, we have painted, we have cleaned the garbage disposal,
but I fear that when we have to close up we will notice the smell again.

Do you have any tried and true methods of odor removal in "new to you" homes?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Meet and Greet

This week, I am working on treats to give to our new neighbors in order to introduce ourselves.

We had 3 ideas.

One is popcorn with a tag that says

"Just poppin' in to say ... 'You have new neighbors!'"

Another was "Soda"lighted to have you for neighbors
obviously attached to some sort of soda.

The other is a small bag of candy, a tract, and an offer to help in any way that we can with a tag that says,

We are your new neighbors!
Our address
Our names
Our phone
Our email

The Pacific North West is not known for its friendliness
(kind of the polar opposite of our southern experience),
but we sure do want to meet our neighbors
and have an opportunity to share our faith with them.

So about 1/2 of the 24 are complete.