Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Fruits of My Labors - Bad Year for Fruit

Thanks to those of you concerned about my health. I appreciated the calls and texts to see how I was doing. I was in bed for 30+ hours with the migraine yesterday and was only up to take pills, throwing up and to eat and drink small amounts to take the pills. I woke up at 4 p.m. today feeling SO much better.

I have a lingering headache wondering if a storm will follow the storm that is coming and looking at the forecast, there is rain scheduled for three days so I think it was just the mother of all migraines as I have never been down like that for so long without some relief before. 

With that, here is todays post.....


I believe God gives us a bumper crop just before a famine year. This year is no exception. In the 20+ years in this home, I have never had such a horrible crop.

I believe in God, and last year, I had more fruit in one year than I have had in several years put together. I shared with Princess Five as we were drying fruit for months that I felt like perhaps God was letting us know that the next year would be a famine year.

Fast forward to this year. There was a late freeze and with that, all the blossoms died off. I got no plums on four of my five trees and only a handful on the one tree that did have a few on it. Last year, branches broke on two of my trees as they had so many plums on them. It was the first year of my life that I didn't freeze, can, dehydrate or give away all the fruit on the tree as I hate to see waste. I called several families and asked them to come pick as much as they wanted and I still had fruit drop to the ground wasted as I couldn't do more than I did.

I got about four cherries on our tree. The birds went after them before I could even find them and so Princess Five and I each got a few but that was it.



Usually, even if none of the other fruit does well, the apple trees usually have tons of fruit, this year, I got three golden delicious apples off of our two trees. I got two red apples off my "five variety" apple tree. That is less than last year as well.

The only tree that produced is my multiple variety pear tree. None of the red Asian pears survived the frost but the heartier pears on the main branches produced a large amount as in the past we have only had a handful of any type of pear so to get this larger amount was a blessing.

Two days ago, there were about 20 on the tree with one on the ground. We had wind storms for two days and as you know if you read yesterdays post, I was in bed with a migraine and when I got up today, half of the pears had been blown out of the tree due to the high winds.

I was grateful I was feeling better enough to go out and harvest the only crops I had this year. Five apples and 20 pears and some chives that were super over grown and I cut off the good parts to use in cooking and that was the extent of my crops other than some potatoes that started growing from some sprouted ones I threw in the garden area. I don't know yet if any of those are edible but didn't have time today to find out.

Truly, I am grateful for last years bumper crop as I hope to have enough to share until next year. Hopefully, the trees will produce next year as there weren't many people around that got any type of harvest that way. My neighbor that usually shares his garden produce with me is no longer able to garden so we didn't enjoy much fresh produce this year.

Here is a post from last years boom harvest. Funny, but looking for that post, I realized that the year before, I had only a handful of apples on my tree and my post is nearly the exact same as this post. Here is a link to that post as in 2014  when I had a HUGE crop. Funny how God works giving us high yields before a no yield year! Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I've Had Better Days

I woke with a horrible migraine and threw up anything I tried to take to help with it. It is now nearly midnight and I just got up to take another try taking pills and hope I can sleep tonight with no more stomach upset. It isn't looking very good at the moment so please forgive this post.  It is frustrating to have gotten nothing off my "to do" list today, it feels like a wasted day. I had to cancel an appointment as well that I'll have to make up. I'm hoping I have a better day tomorrow.

To know more about my migraines, click here.

Have a blessed day!

Closet Cleanout - Lots of Documents To Burn

This past few weeks, I have been digging through old court documents, bills, family papers etc. 

I have avoided looking at lots of this stuff for years as it was so stressful having to put it together in the first place. I have many milk crates full of court documents from the past 15+ years. I have been working on cleaning out my home as I have blogged about in the past few months, trying to do at least a drawer a day if not more.

I figured I need to face these demons and finish this for good as my youngest has turned 18 recently and I am SO thrilled to be able to go through and organize all the papers and documents so I can finish up these stress points in my life. 

I also had many medical documents and personal papers from my mother as I have helped her many times in the past 10 years as well.

I was able to throw away all the girls school documents that aren't pertinent anymore. I was able to get rid of any of my own bills and documents that are over 7 years old as they also aren't needed for anything. 

I didn't get to all my file cabinets yet but at least got through the main file drawer I use and was able to organize my life insurance policies and accounts so that if anything happened to me, my girls would only have to look in one spot. Most of my important documents are in one book but my retirement accounts and plans were not in that book yet. Here is a link to where I share how I organize my important documents. 

It feels good to have some of these things done and cleaned out and as you can see by the huge pile of "burn" stuff, I got rid of quite a bit of "trash" that has been cluttering my world as well as getting organized for the future! 

Not an exciting day in my world, but a good day! I hope you have a Blessed Day!  

Monday, September 18, 2017

Anything Will Do - Broadway Quilt Coming Together

I had a busy weekend with people coming home and then I went out of town for a family event. I had Princess Five coming home for an event and with that, I wanted to show her the shirts I have found for her Broadway quilt she asked me to make. 

I recently posted a few posts about how blessed I have been to be able to go to second hand stores and find a bunch of Broadway show shirts. I was also blessed to find a large canvas of the New York skyline which I hoped she would love.


They wanted quite a bit for the canvas but it has a tear on one corner so I was able to get it cheaper. I was really grateful they lowered the price and hoped that Princess Five would like it. 

I set out all the shirts on the bed so that she could see all the shirts tops I was able to find. It amazes me what you can find at second hand stores if you are willing to spend many hours searching. Even then, I posted that I felt like angels were helping me and truly friends and family did.

Princess Two helped me look and found several that I wouldn't have recognized if I had looked at the racks she looked at. She spent many hours looking with me and I am so grateful for that.

I found out this weekend that my nephew just went to NY and saw the musical "Dear Even Hansen" and that is one of the top three on Princess Fives wish list. I wish I had known he was going. 


I made a video of her reaction as she came into the room and saw the "quilt" and landscape. It was so cute that I wanted to share it with you. 

I truly am blessed! Have a BLESSED Day! 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting a New Printer - Which is the Best For You

I haven't had a working printer for many months now. My last printer has been on its last leg for over a year. I had to hand feed each sheet at a certain point after the ink cartridges were starting to move. It would get jammed and I would have to reset the entire thing. Printing a simple document could take four tries. 



I have a few other small printers that the girls have taken to college but I needed a scanner so I kept thinking I would research and purchase one when I was in a larger city. 

I have been so busy with the kids stuff and life situations that I hadn't had time to travel and purchase one.

Before returning from my stay last week with the surgery patient, I found time to go to a store and look at a few. I was a bit frustrated that I hadn't researched them but spent a bit of time online at the store looking at reviews. 

In the end, I was about to purchase one that was nearly $300. The reason I wanted that one was that it had a legal size scanner and it was a book scanner so you can scan right to the edge. 

When I looked into the ink cartridges, they weren't refillable. They were REALLY expensive. I then went and looked at the cheapest wireless printer. It scanned but was not a legal size but the print cartridges are refillable and not as expensive.

BUT, the price was over $200 less! I figured that if I needed a larger scanner, I could pay to have it scanned and it would be a few hundred scans / prints to cover the $200 difference. I doubt I would ever need that many larger scans printed.

The other issue I had with the expensive one was that it was really large. You can see from the second picture that the one I had was compact and fit into a slot in my desk / hutch. 

Basically, the more expensive one does the same things as the cheaper one with a color display, holds more paper per printing and you don't have to change out the ink cartridge as often. 

Downfalls, it costs lots more, it doesn't do more things, both are wireless, both have touch displays, both scan, fax, print, and copy. You can't refill the cartridges and it is VERY heavy. It was a laser printer but in the reviews, it said that the prints on pictures came out dark and a bit fuzzy on the edges. 


With that, I went with the cheaper, smaller version that I could refill the cartridges and is lighter and fits in the spot I had. I did have an issue setting up the wireless feature but that was due to my computer as I had never used my new computer with a printer before so the issue was that I didn't know how to choose the new printer. When I figured that out, the set up was super easy and I had downloaded the software twice from online before realizing the issue was my computer. 

It was SUPER easy to set up, I printed with it wirelessly from my computer within minutes of set up. I copied something over from the touchscreen without having to turn on the computer and it seems to be working great. 

The only downfall I have found is that I don't like how there is a little plastic piece that pops out to hold the printed papers out the front and you have to put that back in after it prints but I guess it is similar to the little front I had to pull down on the old printer. 


I am just super happy to have a printer again! VERY happy day! 

Have a blessed day! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Eating Octopus and Light Cups Princess Four in Japan

Hello, hello, HELLO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!! HAPPY SUNDAY YALL!!! And happy birthday today to my beautiful cousin Maddi, and to my gorgeous sister, Princess Three, later this week! You are both the ice cream to my cake. Ill eat some mochi ice cream for you! 

THIS WEEK WAS CRAZY!!!! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!  AND ILL TELL YOU HOW I KNOW!!!! BECAUSE OF ALL THE MIRACLES, AND THE SPIRIT!! YAY!!!! 

So lets begin with Mission tour. We Were able to hear from President Gay. (I think that is his correct title), but I am not very good at discerning the spirit always. During his talks though, I KNOW I felt the spirit. It was so strong. He was stating both deep doctrines, and simple truths, and through the spirit, I was able to know for myself that what he was saying was true. I might have taken a VERY large amount of notes. After he spoke, and the conference ended, I was pumped! I wanted to start working right away. So I did. 

Right after the conference I wanted to act, so I prayed and was guided to sit by a woman who sneezed( I thought "Bless you" in my head, so that was a sure sign she needed blessings) and we made eye contact, and I remembered President Gay saying he looked in people's  eyes to know if they were prepared to hear our message, and so there was only one available seat for two people to sit, and guess who snatched that opportunity??? the woman, and me!

Long story short, she loves English, and clearly knows we teach about the restored gospel as our first purpose, But very happily took a flyer, and will come to English class on Tuesday. YAY!!! MIRACLES!!! The biggest thing I learned from president Gay was to not just have nice conversations, but to teach this restored gospel, and to make your purpose known. Really good stuff! 

There were a TON of hard things this week too... So hard... I haven't cried like I did for a LONG time.. But something that I am learning, and that was talked about at the tour, is that the gospel doesn't make you happy 100% all the time, but if you put in the effort, you can find comfort and peace through the hard things. That is really why we have this gospel, and the savior. To make it through all times! Whether good or bad. And we can always look for the positives. That is probably my favorite part. we can ALWAYS give gratitude. 

Another crazy miracle came through finding.... We found not one, but TWO new investigators within a few hours of each other. We got a little lost, and I saw a Sally figurine from the nightmare before Christmas, and I knew we needed to ping it, so we did. And she took a Book of Mormon, AND gave us her number! That is SOOOOO AWESOME!!! 

Later, I wanted to ping a house I've always wanted to ping, so we did, and nobody answered, but then my companion shimai felt like we should ping the apartment next to it. So we did, and found another woman who said we could come back next Friday.... WHAT?! That has happened so frequently where we ping the house we are first prompted to ping, then the other companion gets a second prompting, and we find someone through it... CRAZY STUFF! But God exists so it actually makes a lot of sense! 

I also did an English fast this week... It was rough, and it wasnt 100 percent perfect, but I know through my fast, and my companion shimais fast, our prayers were answered! 

Last Monday was so long ago, but another crazy story!  We ran into ayaka 15 minutes before preparation day ended with our groceries in our backpack. She was free, so we went to the church, dropped off our groceries there, then went to a matsuri... AKA a festival.

On the way, we ran into a member who Ayaka adores,and he was able to come with us.. It was a long walk, but it was fun, and there was some good gospel discussion on the way. I also have a favorite word. Denki. It means light. Like electrical light. And we were able to buy denki drinks . Aka lightbulb cups. It was a dream! I also learned the word for toilet is Benki, so that was also a good time chanting GENKI, BENKI, DENKI! And lots of other rhyming words with ayaka. Good stuff! 

This week was crazy, and I love this gospel. I recommend this weeks liahona article by Elder Holland. It is about happiness. It will change you! It is very me-ish shimai poi.

I love it!  And all of you!!

Choose to have a good week!

PICTURES:
Matsuri - Festival with light cups
I ate this octopus arm.
Um. Yes. Hi. My COMPANION DREW THIS!!! I LOVE HER!!! 
Mission tour
Fireworks! They put americas Fourth of July to shame!!!
I got this. Why do people in Japan know how to gift so well!?
Also my comp made this... Why does she have al the talents? 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Another Art Show - One Talented Niece

I have a niece that is so talented. I love when I get to see her art. I usually ask her to bring some art for an art show when I get to see her. 


She always has a new thing she is working on. This last time I saw her, I asked if she had anything new as I didn't have time to remind her to bring something to the lake.

I was happy to see that she had her drawing pad with her and gave me a private art show. 
Look at the smile on her face.

She really loves art and has a gift. I hope that she works on her art creations as I know she can really be a great artist.


Here is a link to one of her art shows she did for us during an Easter Campout.

I know where she gets her talent, both of her parents are amazingly talented. Both have done many amazing things over the years. 


I hope you enjoy her art as much as I do. I am guessing you will be seeing more of her work through the years. Each time I see what she has done, it is something new. I am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Big Check Payout



I have known for years this day would come. I put money in a special 401K that I could access in order to have the money for this day. I have had some realizations come to me as I got ready to pay this bill.

There have been moments this week where I got really frustrated in the fact that divorce, "The big D" has some stigmas with it and also in many ways hurt women in general and keeps them from being able to move on.

Many times, like in my case, there is a clause in the divorce that states, "If she remarries, moves, cohabitates, or the youngest child turns 18, she must pay the equity in the home to the former spouse." This clause somewhat holds the divorced mom captive keeping her from really ever being free to date and marry because she will be financially punished if she did try and move on. In my case, if I married before Princess Five was 18, I would have had to pay nearly $50,000 to marry. Princess Five turned 18 and I had to pay the equity in the house. Interestingly enough, he owes me more in alimony than I owe him on the house equity.

Then comes the alimony clause, "The former will pay alimony for the length of the marriage unless the spouse dies or remarries." Well, that clause gives one hope for a bright future of joy and contentment. Once again, our society forces the woman (in most cases) to be forced into staying single and raising children alone for if she looks to move on, she is once again financially punished.

Today, if I got married, I would lose about fifty thousand dollars in alimony. So, if I remarried even five years ago, I would lose $50,000 in equity and $100,000 in alimony.  It makes it very hard to marry someone who makes an "ok" living and has his own kids. Society only values the time put into the marriage working to help provide for the family or supporting while they went to school, or taking care of the home, washing clothes, making meals etc as long as one stays single?

There isn't value in those things if one chooses to move on with their life and find someone who would possibly be a better father to their children and a better grandfather to their grandchildren? Society is creating a "forced single parent" situation as to keep them single in order to be or get valued. I believe that if the woman chooses to remarry, perhaps the alimony could be paid in a single payment just as if she marries, she has to pay equity in the home in a lump sum. It would be an incentive for her to be able to move on and take some fear out of the situation.

Things need to change. Society needs to change. There is value in the things that couples do for each other and punishing someone for moving on and seeking something better shouldn't be the goal, yet, that is what is constantly happening. Women (and some men) are afraid to marry again as if it doesn't work out, the alimony doesn't get reinstated. I can see why people don't want to remarry on many levels but a single mom struggling to keep the kids in clothes, activities, sports, clubs, and just fed, I didn't have the luxury of marrying for love when the need for financial support was needed.

I have already posted about how some people withhold even child support until compelled by the state to pay and then make minimum payments until the state stops watching only to stop paying again costing the state high fees in lawyers to come after the same offender over and over. Others, write letters requesting documents over and over to the government agencies just to "screw" with those working for the agencies costing them time and effort to reply as it is a law the agency has to provide those documents in a timely manner.

The situations truly need to be looked at as some situations just aren't working. The law stated that a parent keep the unwed child on the issuance until age 26 for example, what agency supervises and regulates that law? I haven't been able to find anyone who has any authority on that subject. So, even though it doesn't cost a married couple more to keep those children on the insurance family plan, some children are being taken off the insurance at age 18 out of spite.

Obviously, there are some issues needing to be looked at and I guess if you find true love, it may be worth losing those funds. Here is looking for True Love!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Birthday To ME - Easy Fifty


This year, and the past few actually, have been so crazy that my birthday hasn't been a big deal.

I had a friend turn 50 last year and it was a huge deal to her. Her family and friends really went all out. I think she was not happy that I didn't make a big deal. 

I talked with her on the phone and told her that I always say I am "fifty" or nearly 50 all the time. I don't think people care if you are 48 or 52. It only matters to you. I figure once you are over 21, really, no one cares about milestones but you. 

I do think your kids care if you are old and they are younger but for the most part, I don't think people care much about other peoples age. 
My girls wanted to do something big for me, they were going to send me to New Zealand for a visit with one of my girls. However, my health is not the best, I am dealing with so many issues and have so much going on, I don't think a visit right now would be enjoyable with all I have going on.

I would just want to visit with my friends there and I think that my daughter would rather see the "hobbit" shire and tour the country. My feet are swelling being at home and until I can figure out those problems, and my lung issues, I don't want to fly that far and maybe not have a good trip. 

I shared my concerns and the girls asked what I wanted for my birthday, I shared that mowing and edging the lawn takes me a few days with how little energy I have and I would love to just hire someone to do it for me. 

The girls all gave me money and this week was the first week I had someone come and mow and edge my lawn! It was WONDERFUL! I have been out of town for 1 1/2 weeks and to be able to drive home and see that beautiful mowed lawn, I smiled and every time I look out the window today, I felt such gratitude and relief that my grass wasn't a foot high.

The guy that mowed said they had to mow a few places twice since it was so long. I forgot to call him last week as it was so crazy so I was so glad I got ahold of him to do it this week

When I arrived home, there were several birthday cards and a birthday package from Japan from Princess Four! I videoed me opening the package so Princess Four could maybe see it as I know she has a few friends in Japan that view my blog. 

I LOVE my girls and am so grateful that they all would care enough about my needs to provide this blessing for me in my life. I actually do enjoy doing yard work but I am SO tired with all the health issues and busy schedule that I have to pick and choose what I spend my energy on. 

One of my sisters sent me a package of hand knit gloves, and a card, I got a bunch of texts and I listened to a voicemail my mother sang for me a few years back that I have saved. It was a good birthday. I was home living alone by myself for the first time in my entire life and my birthday was a bit weird as I bought myself some steak and sushi and artichokes. It was wonderful to have a good meal and relax for the first time in months after moving Princess Five to college and it was before the surgery. 

I am so grateful that my girls are all alive and doing well even though we have things come up. I am grateful to have made it to 50! I am grateful for my dad and his amazing wife who sent me a lovely card and am grateful for all they do for me and my girls so often. 

I hope you have a BLESSED DAY!



Friday, September 8, 2017

DEAR TAYLOR SWIFT - WALK AWAY WITH A SPARKLER


I was talking to one of my girls today and we had a long conversation about how there are some people who will never be happy.

We know someone who hasn't spoken to his only sibling in over four years since she wouldn't write the courts a negative letter about his spouse in a divorce situation. He is an unhappy person and being able to hold a grudge with your only sibling for four years over one letter is a deep issue.  This person is also hyper focused on money, I once said to him,  "How much money would you need to feel like you had enough and could stop obsessing about it, $1,000,000, $5,000,000?" He admitted that no amount would be enough that he would always continually want more.

In continuing the talk with my daughter, I told her that I believe that there are some people who are so angry with their lives and themselves in general that I don't think they would be happy if the person they hated the most in the world laid down in front of them naked and let them beat them to death. I believe they wouldn't be happy if they were elected president. I told her of the rich character in "The Count of Monte Christo" who has everything but isn't happy until the poor guy is out of the picture because the poor man was happy with nothing. The rich man beats the main character down taking everything he had and in the end, the rich man still wasn't happy.

During my marriage, there were only two books I ever remember seeing my spouse read, one was "The Count of Monte Christo" and the other was a John Grisham book where a guy plots to steal all sorts of money in elaborate schemes and then in the end, he is left with nothing as the woman who helped him steal from others, stole the money from him leaving him alone in the end. It is interesting that the rich man in both books lies, cheats, steals, and yet with all that, in the end, they are alone and unhappy and poor.

My daughter and I then talked of the person mentioned above who doesn't talk to his sibling and how the sister is also unhappy, in many ways, about her family not being how she wants it to be and how if her brother said he was sorry to her for not talking to her for years, would she finally be happy? If her mother all the sudden started "mothering" her as she feels she needs, would she then be happy? We talked of how fleeting happiness is if you cheat to win or attain a goal. There is always a cost for cheating and lying and it may not always be in ways you can see. Sometimes that cost is just a look of "carrying a load" on the face and eventually the body gives in some way.

I believe there is something in "letting go" of people in your life who make you unhappy, letting go of those people who are impossible to "make" happy in any way. The poor man in "The Count of Monte Christo" could do nothing to help the rich man find happiness, even when the poor man disappeared for many years, it didn't make the rich man any happier. No one can make others "Happy" as happiness comes from within. It is a choice.

I look at the situation with Taylor Swift. A happy girl who loved writing songs and making others happy by sharing her talent and happiness. An unhappy person attacks her for winning an award which she deserved according to those in charge of giving the awards, only to have that unhappy person steal a moment of HER happiness to gain attention for himself. Years go past and Taylor continues being happy, sharing her talent with others, bringing joy in sharing herself and using her money to do good. I believe her light makes the "unhappy in themselves people" in the world, more unhappy as you can't hide darkness when the light walks in and when she shows up, those in the darkness try to put the candle out as they can't hide their darkness when she is around!

I believe there is NOTHING Taylor can do to stop those people lurking in the dark from attacking her. Being herself didn't make them happy. Doing good to others didn't make them happy. fighting back doesn't make them happy. When she is spending her money on helping those in need, it makes them feel selfish as they spend their money lavishly traveling, doing drugs, buying things to draw attention to themselves. In order to ease their guilt and to make themselves look less selfish, they draw the attention away from the real truths of the situation by blowing smoke at someone else (the light) in order to hide what they are doing in the dark. The only thing that can hide a candle is smoke. The light penetrates the darkness unless there is smoke around.

The thing Taylor Swift needs to realize, is that giving them any attention, is fueling the smoke that hides who they are.
By saying anything or doing anything, it gives them a bigger smoke screen as it draws more attention to her and hides the real truths of who they are. I TOTALLY get her "Look What You Made Me Do" lyrics in her new song and depicting herself as "Dead" or a non-feeling "zombie" shows that their words and actions are "killing" her! They are tearing her down and the smoke is suffocating her.

I have come to realize that when someone says something horrible to you or about you, when you respond at all to say ANYTHING it only fuels the fire causing more smoke. The only solution I have found is to say nothing and go on being the light that only you can be. By saying nothing, the evil words and deeds of the haters, starts to sink in to those around it. When you start to defend the horrible thing said, people only hear the last thing said and if that is you defending yourself, they tend to not remember the horrible things that made you feel like you need to defend yourself. When I leave a "haters" comment on my youtube comments section and don't reply in any way, it doesn't take much time for someone, anyone to write a comment defending me which has much more strength then me trying to defend myself. 

DEAR TAYLOR SWIFT,
DON'T BLOW ON THE FUSE! THE ONLY WAY TO PUT OUT THE DYNAMITE IS TO PULL OUT THE FUSE! IF YOU BLOW ON IT, IT WILL GO OFF!

WHEN THEY TRY TO HAND YOU LIT DYNAMITE, GRAB THE FUSE AND WALK AWAY LEAVING THEM WITH THE DYNAMITE AND YOU WITH A HARMLESS SPARKLER WHICH WILL DRAW GREAT ATTENTION TO YOU AND LEAVE THEM WITH A POTENTIAL BOMB!

SINCERELY,
A FAN AT THESECRETISGRATITUDE.COM BLOG