Wednesday, October 31, 2012

home away from home

from the time i was a little girl, i have loved the beach.  the ocean, the sand, the horizon, the smells, the freshness, the roar of the waves, the uniqueness -- it all speaks to me in a way no other place on earth can.  i have been lucky enough to live my entire life where in less than two hours, i can go from sitting in front of a computer to digging my toes into the sand. 

i have family members who own property at the coast, and over the years they have been generous enough to let us use their homes on occasion.  my dream, however, was to have a home of my own at the beach. it was something i never thought would happen, but i never lost sight of the dream.  about 15 years ago, a family friend contacted us and offered us the use of his house at the coast.  he gave us a set of keys and said it was ours to use any time; all we had to do was call and find out if anyone else was using the place at the same time we wanted it.  if it was not otherwise occupied, we could use it.  we began to go, occasionally at first, then more frequently.  except for our friend, it seemed that the rest of his family didn't use it much, so we had access to the house almost any time we wanted.  during our visits over the next couple of years, we began to explore the area where the house was located, on washington's long beach peninsula, and grew to love it.

about 2 years after we first started using the house, our friend called my husband and said that because of his advanced age (90+) he had decided that he wouldn't be using the home anymore, and that no one in his family wanted to take it over.  he wanted to know if we would be interested in buying it.  when my husband called and asked me, i said . . . "DO YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK ME THAT QUESTION??????????!!!"

of course, my response was an enthusiastic YES!  it took a bit of doing, and in the process of working out the details, our friend passed away, but his family went through with the sale at the agreed upon price and in 2002 we came into possession of what had always been  my dream: a home at the coast!!

it is a small house, and it doesn't have a view of the ocean, but i don't care!  in the summer when the windows are open, we can hear the waves.  it is an easy 2 mile walk to the beach. there is no cable or satellite, just a tv that is hooked up to a vcr and a dvd player. no internet. we do get cell service, but there is no land line.  it truly is a place for relaxing.  my husband goes up and fishes almost every weekend during the summer.  i am able to get away by myself occasionally, and there have been weekends where i have not left the house once (except to go on a walk). 

every time i go to our home away from home, i say a little prayer when i get there and when i leave: "thank you God for this place of rest, for allowing me to have my heart's desire.  for as long as we have it i thank you, and i pray it will always be a place of refreshment and restoration for all who come here."

i am a blessed woman.

here are a few pictures of our home away from home:

                                          front view of the house


                            view looking from bedrooms toward living area



                                 view of living area from kitchen

                             view upon entering house -- giant fireplace!!

                                         guest bedroom

                                         master bedroom

Saturday, October 20, 2012

i'm baaaack --- again!

so it looks like i fell off the blogging wagon for a few months!! not totally intentional, but when reading back over my last post, it appears i was feeling frustrated about some things i was experiencing. when i get like that, i tend to retreat back into myself. i didn't really want to share every detail about my difficulties.  i am a pretty private person -- even on facebook, i try to be positive and upbeat in my posts, yet not too personal.  the problem is, i don't always feel positive and upbeat.  i get tired, angry, annoyed and frustrated.  in short, i am a human being!  i have several blogs i read regularly, and some of them seem to only post funny, entertaining stories about themselves and their families.  others post all about the shortcomings and struggles in their daily lives.  i have decided it doesn't have to be totally one way or the other.  i am the author of this blog.  i am the one who decides what i want to write, whether it is about my diet, my family, something personal, or not so personal.

that being said, here is a brief update -- we had a nice summer -- once our summer weather finally arrived!  we went to our cabin on the coast a lot, and the weather there was fantastic almost every weekend we were there!  i continued to work part-time at our auto body repair facility, and i tried to balance that with some time at home.  in august, i returned to my part-time school portrait photographer job, only it hasn't been part-time -- i have been steadily working 40 hours a week or more, while still trying to fit in a few hours at the shop.  i am thankful for the income though!

we are still eating a mostly paleo diet -- we did another whole30 challenge in september, and even though i felt well and my clothes got a bit looser, i didn't lose nearly the pounds that i did in april -- then i lost 11 lbs, this time i only lost 3 lbs!! the good news is that 3 lbs put me at the long awaited total of 50 lbs lost since january of 2010.  wooo hoooo!!!! the only difference i could see between april when we did our first whole 30 and september is that i was not doing the amount of concentrated exercise that i was doing in april.  my photography job has been taking me out the door at 5 or 6 am almost every day, and that is usually my exercise time.  i am getting some exercise by setting up and tearing down my camera equipment, and by standing all day, but i am not getting in the weight training and walking and bike riding i was doing earlier in the year.  come december when my fall photography season is over, i will re-enter the exercise world with a vengeance.

i have been really good about being grain free almost all the time -- just few instances with corn and rice.  i am really trying to avoid wheat, and have been mostly successful with that (with just a couple of exceptions).  i have refined my waffle recipe and a couple of muffin recipes to be made with a combo of coconut, almond and quinoa flour, and they are good enough that my husband and 13 year old really like them.  in fact, i didn't tell my 13 year old that they were wheat free until after i had made them that way at least twice, and he smacked his lips and asked for more each time!! he was very surprised when i told him they were grain free, but he finally admitted that they were good enough that he didn't mind if i made them that way all the time!! i haven't gotten him totally off wheat yet, but he has come a long way!! it doesn't help that his big sister is a pastry chef, and i will confess i have indulged in a couple of her decidedly non-paleo treats recently!

that is a brief update -- i will make a renewed effort to continue blogging more consistently.  it may not be always about my diet or my exercise. i may decide to get personal on occasion. maybe i will even find a way to be mildly entertaining -- but i have found that putting my thoughts in writing does somehow help me to think more clearly, and that is a positive thing for everyone who knows me!