Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Holidays are Coming! The Holidays are Coming!

"Therefore encourage each other with these words." 1Thessalonians 4:18

Instead of me trying to re-invent the wheel today... 
I'm juz gunna send y'all over to one of my favorite blogs that I try t'visit ever'a day! 
"Tips to Stay On Budget Throughout the Holiday Season"
(click on the BLUE letters to link to websites!)

Who couldn't use more encouragement in THIS area?
If I think about it long enough... I may have something to add to her ideas.... but this gal is really great about doing her homework, covering her basis, and is open to receiving positive feedback.

Andrea Decker of Simply Organized Living ... is an amazing and energetic young mother with a lot of great organizing tips for home & family. I try to read her blog daily for a variety of fun motivational projects, get inspired to write something, or just to get another perspective on things as a woman and a mother. Reading her blog reminds me of myself at that age (but she is waaay cuter!), of how busy I used to be when my kids were small... and that I really DID do a Good Job as a wife and mother... after all! Thanks Andrea & keep up the Great Work!

Just by reading Andrea's blog over the past few weeks I've been able to "springboard" several concept ideas for future blog postings (none published yet) here on "Adventures in BFE." Most have nothing to do with anything she has written specifically... but just seem to have a lot of "ta-da" moments while reading which sends me into a writing frenzy that I've gotta write down before it vanishes!

So needless to say... she is encouraging for me (even though I'm sometimes jealous of how much energy can she exude through a computer monitor!)

Stay posted with www.simplyorganizedliving.com  as she usually has really cool GIVE AWAYS on the weekends!!! 


Monday, October 29, 2012


Written.... Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2012

First: my phone will not pick up a signal today for whatever reason. I’ve tried turning the phone off, pulling the battery, waiting, then turning the phone back on again... in multiple locations throughout the house and even outside!  Again!?! Really???? This is the third day in a row of having that damned ‘searching’ message showing in the upper left hand corner of the screen! “Searching”... “Yea? Really? Well, You don’t seem to be finding anything you....”, “ Well I’m gonna be ‘searching’ all right... SEARCHING FOR ANOTHER PHONE COMPANY!!!!

Second: I’m stranded with NO WHEELS... this is going on like WEEK #3 NOW!!! I’m ok with that... it’s not like I have any place else to go anyways... and I have not money or even an allowance to do diddly. 

Third: We are without internet until Friday. I said to MC: “Well, not having the internet for a week might be a good trial run to see how we would fair if we weren’t able to have internet. Seeing as how we have so many other things we should be doing around here anyway.” And to boot: I couldn’t get the internet up & running even if I wanted to... now that I’m without a phone. 

So I’m OK with all of this ... so far... I can manage this:
No wheels, no phone, no internet, 
No worries! No Problem!

I have a dog and I can defend myself it there is an intruder. If I fall down or become deathly sick... I can crawl out to the fence and pray that someone driving by would stop and assist me. (worst case scenario... I’m good... I’m ok with that!!! It’s only 6 hours before “someone-or-two” would be home from work.... I could survive 6 hours... I think.

So... what to do with myself next?
My computer still works... I have a lot of things on my mind that I really need to “get down on paper”... so I started “writing”....

Great!  “this is really great stuff... I’m really on a roll... my grammar is exceptionally well today!.... “ and then BOOOM! OUT OF NO WHERE!!!!

SHUT DOWN’?!!!!” 
{"That's worth FOUR!" as my momma would say when she really wanted 
to be spouting off "four letter words repeatedly---four times!"}

I just lost 2 pages of really great writing because I didn’t SAVE EVERY 5 MINUTES!!!!!


So I did a GoodSsearch for “When Technology Fails” (click on the blue words to link to that website & learn more!)
{I use GoodSearch.com as much as I can instead of google. It is powered by Yahoo... and every time I search it donates $.01 to my selected charity!}

I guess if I had to... I could pull out the bicycle and ride a mile down the road to the nearest place where there are people and ask to borrow a phone... I can even use the internet THERE!!! But it’s blue *ss cold and windy outside.... why would I want to do that when I have a huge pot of brown beans in the crockpot making the house feel all warm & cozy. 

Now... let me see if I can do any laundry without anything else going wrong!
Oh, but wait... the washer doesn’t have any cold water! 
So unless I want to wash my colors in HOT water and have them all fade or shrink....
I’ve got to go retrieve the garden hose and be “on standby” during the two ‘fill cycles’.  

I can manage THAT! 
The *amn dryer better not break!

“You know you’re a redneck if doing the laundry depends on the weather?” ~Jeff Foxworthy. 

Just another "Adventure in BFE!"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fear of Lightening

I flashback to being a very small child in our little green house in Virginia where storms are common and fierce. I’m with my mother and her whole body is shaking in terror. The purest form of fear that I have ever seen in a person SINCE. (I’d say “before”... but this is one of the earliest memories I can ever remember in my life... so there's not much "before" to compare.)  

I have seen examples of fear in movies like the little girl in the first Jurassic Park Movie... the scene where the two kids are eating in the cafeteria and the girl is about to take a bite of green jello when she spots a dinosaur lurking in the shadows behind her brother. Yea! Kinda like THAT-kind-of-FEAR.... SHAKING-GREEN-JELLO-FEAR! But movies don’t compare to seeing it for yourself in real life. 

"When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance." Exd 20:18

Moms body would shake to the point that she could barely walk and she would hold onto the door frames and furniture as she passed by, and her eyes were as big as saucers.  Her fear was justifiable and verifiable as I would learn the story well enough to tell to others in her defence if they happened into our midst during one of these storms. 

Chairs like my Nanny's that were struck by Lightening.
{missed my chance to buy these @ thrift store. dang it!}
When momma was about two or three year old she was sitting on her mothers lap in the steel framed kitchen chair of their two room house during a lightening storm. Reportedly, lighting came in through the kitchen window and struck the base of the chair spinning the two of them, and the chair, in a circle around the floor. There were several adult witness to this amazing event. {I've got a call into one of them.... still waiting"  My Nanny told me later that the strike had left a burn mark on the floor that she could never get completely cleaned up.  She’d say: “If that house were still standing today, I swear that mark would still be there.” 

After that “enlightening experience”... my momma was petrified by the sound of thunder and immobilized by the sight of lightening. Nanny told me the additional things that she used to do during the storms to help momma ‘brave the storm’, but she said it was difficult for her because she herself had become a tad (petrified) leery of storms herself because of their spinning chair experience. Nanny said that it took the hair off her arms and, “Yes, I’ve been struck by lightening, and I survived. And lightening never strikes in the same place twice.” I often wondered if she ever sat in that same chair, in that same spot during a storm just because someone told her that. 

{Check out this YouTube video* of a lightening strike. 
This is the kind of storm that I grew up with on a regular basis in Virginia. While watching the video I screamed AND IT WAS ONLY ON MY COMPUTER!!! But my own scare was reassured... because my 20 y.o. son ALSO JUMPED as we sat huddled on the couch watching and re-watching the video! Still make me nervous.
*language alert: the gal hollers out "Oh, *hit!" mili-seconds after the 'double strike'. 
Can't say that I wouldn't have said the same!}

Nanny, as did my momma with me, would systematically go around and shut all the storm windows on the house (which I almost missed today!) She would leave the storm doors open till the last minute before the rain came. The first blast of air that comes in on the storms front is usually the coolest and one good breeze whipping through the stale air before the downpour would not only cool the house down, but would leave it with a fresh clean smell.  

{Closing the storm windows (while putting the screens UP) was an important pre-storm duty. Failure to do this important duty would result it wet window sills. And if the wooden window sills were left to the long lasting effects of being soaked in water, then the wood would warp, bend, shift and twist and would cause real challenges when opening or closing the windows. If this were to have ever happened (thankfully it never did to my knowledge) my granddaddy would have to then replace/repair the window. OHHHH and you didn’t want him to do that kind of work when it was something that could have been clearly preventable over time! Time was precious to him and working to fix a preventable ‘break’ really upset him.}

Nanny did her best with momma I’m sure. I remember many a storms at Nanny’s house where after the business of securing the house was completed we would all retreat into quiet and solitude with a book or craft until the storm was over. This was what Nanny had done for many years to calm a small child who had once been so traumatized after being struck by lightening (or at least struck the chair she was sitting in). 

Momma had learned to control her outward reactions to storms by the time I was old older. We used to hear stories about our 'local claim to fame': a local Park Ranger who worked atop the Skyline Drive and held the Guinness Gook of World Records for having been struck by lightening the most times of any human being and still survive!  {not too sure of the accuracy of this article... I was always told that the Ranger shot himself in the head. But really Cool lightening pix!}  Like THAT story was reassuring to my mother? 

Ironically Roy Sullivan (see the stats section... very interesting!) committed suicide years later in life :-( due to a broken heart. I was never sure whether-or-not this information about Ranger Sullivan (Read Poem herewas of any comfort to my mother in overcoming her fear, but she did learn to control her physical reactions to it over time.

Whenever there was an eminent storm on the horizon mom would go around the house (while she still had control of her body and her mind was not riddled in fear) and she would turn the TV set off and unplug all of the electrical appliances and the phone. She did this because someone had once told her that a lightening strike could come through those lines and electrocute you. Not sure if this is a proven fact or not... but to this day... I don’t like to talk on the phone during a storm. 

After all the “hatches were battened” mom and I would retreat to the living room... far away from windows... and sit on a wooden (green leather look) sofa and we would wait the storm out together.  I knew she was still very afraid, but she assured me that there was really nothing to be afraid of and that I needed to decide for myself if I really had anything to fear and not just copy her actions (that stuck with me for a very long time and I still struggle with it). If dad was home, the three of us would all crawl into their bed and ‘count’ the seconds between the lightening strikes and ‘bumpers’ to see how far away the storm was from us.  This often resulted in being lulled into a comfy sleep that has NO COMPARISON!  

Another story of lightening striking inside a house! 
Over many years I have re-trained myself from being PETRIFIED of major thunder and lightening storms to being EXHILARATED my them (I still JUMP which makes the kids laugh). The major factor in my decision to NOT BE AFRAID? I didn’t want my children to learn "to be afraid", from me (or anyone else for that matter)! My older children remember watching their grandma "in the midst of the storm", and they remember the stories we told them of how her fear was born, and how “her fear” was a reality. We often tried to explain to the kids that “her fear” did not have to be “their fear”. {nurture vs. nature???}

{new pic of sunshine day... which occurred shortly after the 10 minute downpour.}

I hope and pray my children remember that they can overcome ANY fear. 
I pray that they do not judge others who have fears different from their own. 
I pray that they learn from their fears (gotta put them to use some how!)
But most importantly...  I hope they remember to 
"Shut the Storm Windows!" {joke}

Daisy Mae wants to know
What fear have you had to overcome in your life and what did you do {or do you plan to-do} to overcome that fear?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happy Fall Blog Interrupted!

My $3 fuzzy slippers.
Note the Sunshine!
Today is the first “REAL” Day of FALL in my opinion. Cool, brisk and down right RAINY. No sun at all. Or at least there’s no sun at 8 AM. I really enjoy the smell of drenched sage brush. I don’t know what kind of sage brush it is we have out here.... I guess I could go look it up.....

I LOVE Fall!  After the heat of 100+ degree days I need a huge “WELCOME FALL” sign on my front gate. As cleaning and sorting never ends it’s so nice to sidetrack onto the storing of summer tank tops and shorts so you can start pulling out the the winter cozy things like fuzzy sox, slippers, robes, and sweaters. My bright orange fleece vest I purchased this summer at the Goodwill in Washington is my latest and addition to my football wardrobe this season!  And Coffee tastes so much better on nippy fall days as well. 


We interrupt today's “Happy Fall Blog” 
to bring you yet another Adventure in BFE!

This was how the morning started. Beautiful small ray of sunshine pouring out a hole in the clouds.
MC (my new alias for my hubby: "Master & Commander") works far enough away that when there’s a really bad storm in the BIG CITY.... and the power goes out there... He can call me and I have about 15-20 min. (depending on the how fast the wind is blowing the storm in my direction.) to baton-down-the-hatches.  

You know, make sure there’s nothing out in the open (not nailed down) that can be "blow away”... and I mean “AWAY” as in “never to be found again” and the following actions were taken:

...secure the chickens
...bring the dog inside
...maybe snap a few pix of the storm front before the rain hits!
... and... if there is time: microwave that last cup of hot coffee...
.... while you run around and shut down all of the computers printers and electronic stuff!!!!        

..... "AND HERE WE GO" ~Batman the Dark Knight.
.... the storm hits... and it's as dark as night !!!

"Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, 
like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.” 
Isaiah 32:2

Notice the small shadow (right. of sagebrush). Then the blackness of the storm (about 10 mi. away here)
I think to myself: “Power Outage is eminent.” Or so I think. {wait} What am I hearing????

This full size bath towel was soaked
full & heavy when I pulled it from the sill.
Less than 15 seconds worth of rain.
That is how hard and fast this storm struck!
Dang it!!! I forgot to close the storm windows in the kitchen! One of the main reasons that MC had called in the first place. That “don’t forget to....”. and Dang it, I forgot!  So towels to the rescue! I always use older bath towels in my kitchen for drying large quantities of pots & pans on heavy cook days, so they were readily available for me to grab and throw into the pool of rain water that had instantaneously appeared in the bottoms of the window sills. But I had grown up with storm windows all my life! MC grew up in Cali. I remember having to explain to him the purpose of storm windows and screens in a window (or was that someone else? IDK.)  
I should have known better and reacted quicker on this one!

 Ahhh!!!! the first strike of lighting! 
Oh! I forgot!!!! .....“I’m afraid of that stuff!!! 
No, I’m Not...... Yes, you are..... No I’m not! {wait}.” 
Another lightening strike... I nearly jumped right out of my skin.

Eminent Storm on the horizon moments before it
"let loose" over my house! (>3mi. out)
Little “bumpers” I can handle... 
Big ones... 
ones that come-right-after-one-another, 
and seem-to-go-on-for-hours? 
Forget it!  
I’m going back to bed 
with my head under the covers, 
ear plugs... 
and something to cover my eyes!!!!  

"But why?... 
There’s nothing to be afraid of!”... 
the voices inside my head tells me. 

I don’t like them... no, I do not.... 
"I do not like them Sam I am."

I spent the rest of my day (completely sidetracted from what I had planned to do) flashing back to my youth and asking myself:   "Why AM I afraid of thunder & lightening?", "Was it nature or nurture?"  {That 'flash back' is a forth coming in a blog post called "Fear of Lightening".}

How to download pix off my phone and onto my computer! 
(I took all these pix today, seconds before the storm hit.)
AND how to attach links in this Blog.. 
"I did it!!!! Yea!"

Daisy Mae wants to know
What are the things that sidetrack you? 
The 'storms' that come along in your day that send you off in a totally different direction from where you had originally planned to go.  
What happened, and what were the results?


Monday, October 15, 2012

How We Came to BFE. Part II

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.”   
Psa 37:3 (RSV)

Land in the High Desert to which we were to dwell.

It was at this moment I just gave the whole situation up to the Lord, and continued my daily search as new rentals appeared online daily. I expanded my search outside the greater metropolitan area and particularly liked the rental agencies that used pin-point maps to denote their rental locations. And then one day... out of the blue (not to be confused with Boise State BLUE)... there it WAS!  A PIN... LOCATED OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! AND THE PRICE WAS WITHIN OUR BUDGET! OOOHHHH, but then...... my excitement halted... No garage (just a small shop), and only a 2 bedroom (there were 4 of us!). Oh well.... cute place tho! (deflation of emotions) And continued searching for property locations.

As was our new routine, hubby and I met in the quiet of our bedroom to discuss the new prospects of the day.  I jokingly mentioned the “little two bedroom out in the middle of BFE.” I had really expected him to say: “not enough bedrooms.”, and/or “there’s no garage!”, and/or rounding out his comments with a “what are you thinking wo-man!”  (A comment I don’t mind hearing because that means that I’m “thinking outside the box.”) Instead..... he said: “Show Me!”  “WOW! Really?” So I pulled up the map and the pix of the “little house in the high desert... in the middle of BFE!”   I was surprised at what he said next: “Let’s go look! It can’t hurt to go look, can it? It will be an adventure!” So I scheduled our next available time to view the house the next day after hubby got off work. 

We sat on the front porch steps and hubby said to me: “You hear that?”... a long pause. We smiled with our eyes closed. It was if I could read his mind! After a few moments I replied: “Yea....”, and at the same time we said “NOTHING”. Oh but in that moment I could hear everything and nothing at all! 
I couldn’t hear the yap-yap beanie babies any more, but I could hear the birds chirping. 
I couldn’t hear cars driving by, but I could hear the wind whistling through the trees. 
I couldn’t see people walking down the sidewalk, but I could see a family of quail as they scurried across the lawn.
I had no fear of someone lurking over our back fence, but I knew that wild animals thrived beyond the property line. 
I could see for a long ways off... 50... maybe 100 miles off in the distance! Mountains on several sides and miles and miles of High Desert range land! Only a few houses dotted the landscape, and few with a road between them.  This felt sooo good. Like going camping in the mountains on a weekend. I could imagine us coming home to this place EVERYDAY! What a dream! It was ‘too good to be true!”

“Oh, but wait! There’s not enough room for us!” Trying to think of what the hubby would say next as so not to have my hopes set too high and then be let down.....
“We’ll make due! We will just have to trust in the Lord that this is were he wants us to be, and I feel strongly that this is it! This is the place! Pack your stuff ‘darlin’ (he makes fun of my souther accent sometimes),......... we’re moving!” 

And Our “Adventures in BFE" began!!!


Daisy Mae Wants to know: 
Have you ever ‘side stepped’ and event, a thought, or an action (maybe having turned it over to the Lord) only to have it ricochet and come back to you with Amazing results?  
Tell me your story!

Friday, October 12, 2012

How We Came to BFE. Part I

“I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and danger from false brothers.”  2 Corinthians 11:26

Urbania USA. Their Ain't No Pot-O-Gold!

It’s that time of year again. The first Saturday of October for the past two years, the owners “fly home” to see their family and to inspect THEIR property (aka: BFE). It may be “their property,” but it’s “my home” and lucky for us the owners see it that way too!  I can’t help but think to myself that when they come for their annual visit (and spend hours ‘chatting’) that they are glad to have renters who love this place as much as they used to when they were younger. Not that they are “old”, but it’s just that they are a tad older that us.

Two years ago after only being married for a little over a year, my husband and I decided that we no longer wanted to live “in the city”. We had lived in "Urbania USA” all our lives in one way shape or form.  Always within several miles from a grocery store or gas station, and usually within several hundred feet (10-20 feet in most subdivisions) of our neighbors. Now this was great when we were raising our children because we could open the front door and say “go play” and they would be gone for hours at a time. (and YES.... neighborhoods like THAT still existed 10 years ago, and may still for as much as I know in Idaho.)  But in a very short period of time we saw some of those neighborhoods who were clean and alive with ‘play’ became dirty and lifeless. 

When the housing bubble burst in 2008, a lot of homes in the subdivision became vacant and fell into disarray. Graffiti began to appear on the fences and sidewalks and there was a drug busts just down the street.  “TIME TO HEAD FOR HIGHER GROUND!” my husband announced. And so the search began: To relocate “some place else.”

As the dutiful wife (not always, but this was an area of which I seem to have excelled in my life... I’ve moved over 40x - and finding new places to live is like finding a new store to go shopping in... always adventurous!) 
I began an internet search of rental properties close to where we were currently resided and spread out from there. (at this point you are probably wondering ‘why rent?’ when “You own your own home, right?!”  Well thats another story for another day... I can’t get sidetracked now.... “sidetrack” is my middle name... which is better than “I want.” A title given to me in my younger years.) OK... where was I: Yea... I was house hunting. 

My parameters were very clear: House, Garage, at least 3 bedroom, NOT in a subdivision, preferably “out of the way”, “off the beaten path”, with some flat property to grow a garden. All of this for the wonderful monthly rental fee of....... well not much.  After further research.... for about as much as you could rent a two bedroom apartment in town. Not very promising, right?

Our prospects of finding a house in this price range was almost null. I began to loose any hope of finding a way to exodus our situation.  At the end of each day the hubby would ask me to share the results of my daily search. We had both become discouraged about our prospects.  Things I liked about a place, he didn’t like and visa-versa. We had only ventured out once before to look at a rental property and it was a ‘shared space’ which did not appeal to either of us. I was feeling defeated and trapped by our circumstances. It seemed as though we were “trapped in Urbania!”
Dunt Dun Daaaa.....

Daisy Mae Wants to Know: What was the catalyst that caused you and your family to want to relocate to BFE?
Maybe you know someone else who has “lost their mind” and “move to BFE”.  
Please share what you think their reasons could have been. What is your opinion of their ‘move’?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is BFE?

We have lived in the High Desert of what we affectionately call BFE for over two years now (stay tuned as the story of how we came to this place will unfold in the days to come!)  “What is BFE?” you may ask.  And most people DO ask that A LOT. I’ve been so shocked to hear of how many people DON’T know the meaning of that infamous acronym of ‘ol.... OR is it that they just want to see if I really know the meaning?... OR....  maybe they just want to lure me into saying a dirty-four-letter-word? AH-HA!... Nope! Not gonna say it... (not in public anyway!)

When a man eats at a famous fast food burger joint he says (with a deep voice): “Leave me Alone, I’m eating.” 
Now, whenever I feel like being on the computer to write, I can say (with a sassy voice): “Leave me alone, I’m Writing!”   DM

I’m starting this blog with the strong support and encouragement from several of the ladies in my local community. Bible Study Gals at that! (BSG’s for short.) If we had a church way out here in BFE I guess I could call them “my fellow church ladies” but then two or three of us who are old enough to remember would be rolling on the floor laughing hysterically with visions of Dana Carvey and Saturday Night Live flashbacks! “REAAALY, Well isn’t that Speccccial!” 

So first and foremost I would like to thank my fellow BSGs’ for their continued support, constant laughter, and tolerance of phone calls when shots ring out in the night. But more about THOSE adventures another time! 

Most individuals know of the acronym of BFE when referencing a geographical location: “way out in the middle of nowhere”, but wait..... Wouldn’t that be “WoitMon?” 
So after being questioned so many times: “What does BFE stand for?” I thought I might as well start my Blog off my rectifying the question before we go any further. 

I went to the website: http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/BFE where I was quite surprised at the multitude of duplicity of my favorite three letter acronym which could be quite entertaining to discuss on a rainy day. 

But for the purposes of my Blog, here/today, what I found to be most applicable.... the “polite version” of our “Adventures in BFE” phrase will be: Bum Freak Egypt.”  Translated into 'southern' is "Bumb Frick'n Egypt" (my native tounge). Even tho Egypt is on the other side of the world... I think you can catch the drift here. (If you are still unsure... let me know and I can spell it out for you... I know who you are!!!)

Our family has come up with their own versions of the three letter acronym, but as a parent I feel that I must “protect the innocent” and stay silent. We’ll just keep the aforementioned definition to be on the safe side!

So I hope you enjoy the days and weeks and hopefully years of “Adventures in BFE” as I report the “ongoings of the insane and slightly loony” , reflecting on the past, while I look to God for guidance in this Adventure we call Life!

Love & God Bless,