Category Archives: Help!

Help Wanted

Meridian, Idaho

I drove halfway across the valley yesterday to do some errands, and I decided not to drive along the freeway.

So I went down streets that I normally don’t travel on much.

I was shocked to see so many human sandwich boards advertising employment.

No, not this kind…

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But businesses actually looking FOR workers.

Even the Meridian School District had four men out on one of the busiest streets in the Treasure Valley carrying placards encouraging people to apply for school bus driver positions!

On my five mile drive, I saw an average of two HELP WANTED signs every mile.

Help-Wanted

I have barely seen any help wanted signs since we visited the oil boom in North Dakota last summer when almost every business had help wanted signs.

Is the economy on the mend?

I doubt it; it sure doesn’t feel like it to me.

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If I do decide to go back to work, I know not to waste my time looking at Help Wanted listings in the local paper.

I just need to drive down the street! 🙂

Best Place to Donate?

Meridian, Idaho

Dear Gentle Blog Reader,

I need your help.

Like you, I am heartbroken about the earthquake tragedy in Nepal.

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I want to send money to help, but I want my donation to do the most good.

Can you recommend a charity to me?

Aside from the terrible, terrible human cost, the economic cost to the Nepal will set the small country back at least a decade.

Nepal was dominated by agriculture, but it has been slowly moving to a more balanced economy. Agriculture was 70% of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) a decade ago; now it is 30%.

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Another 30% of the GDP comes from Nepalese workers who are employed outside of the country and send money back home. Much of that will be lost as those workers return home to help their families rebuild lives and homes.

Tourism accounts for 5% of the GDP because one million people travel there. Most go for hiking or mountain climbing.

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Richie went there several years ago to hike the Annapurna Circuit. He commented many times on how warm and engaging the Nepalese are. Here he is on the Thorong La pass, the highest point on the circuit several years ago.

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I have met several Nepalese at trade shows. Most are selling wares that are made back home. The traders I have met have all been wonderful to deal with–a rarity at trade shows. I bought a felted ball rug from one for Melissa. It was made by his family back home in Nepal.

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Please, if you know of a good place to send monetary help, let me know…

Baby Hats!

Gold Canyon, Arizona

I went to a craft store a few weeks ago in search of something that would be easy to work on in Homer and easy to pick up and work on for a couple of minutes randomly throughout the day.

After wandering through the aisles a couple of times, I had an epiphany–I’ll knit baby hats!

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Rich’s grandmother, Allie Mahoney, and his aunt, Leal Thompson, knit thousands of baby hats and donated them to hospitals for newborns.

Allie had knitting needles in hand clicking away whenever we visited her until just before she passed away.

Leal loves to make tiny hats for preemie babies which is difficult because it requires special needles and lots of dexterity.

I’m focusing for now on hats for newborns who weigh between five and ten pounds.

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It’s taken me a while to find the best yarn , pattern, and needle size. But now I’m knitting up a storm and have completed 20 hats so far.

I haven’t figured out where to donate them yet. I’ll wait until I have at least 50 to send.

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Until then, I’m just enjoying knitting and it feels like the time I spend doing it is a special prayer for each child…

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Technologically Deprived

Livingston, Montana

OK. I will be the first to admit it. I’m cranky and crabby! download (10)” Why?” you ask.

I am sick (and tired) of not having decent Internet and/or cell service that supports my Internet cravings…

Yes, this is a First World Problem, and I am very thankful that I live in a first world country where my problems are so trivial.

But I’m still cranky because I’m technologically deprived.

I have talked with other travelers and they confirm my findings. More and more RV parks are advertising their sites as having Free WiFi, but what they truthfully should advertise is that  they have one or two Free WiFi hot spots.

I’m fine with hot spots for a few days, but it feels like I haven’t had decent Internet for almost month.

This is how desperate I’ve become… can’t believe I did this, but I picked one of the places I booked for the end of August specifically because they say they have Verizon 4G throughout their entire park.

I’m going to be in technology heaven while we are there.

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Bunny Troubles

Livingston, Montana

Sophie’s got bunny troubles. Big bunny troubles.

The park that we are staying at has at least four cottontail rabbits hopping from site to site while they munch on delicious Montana grass.

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They are driving Sophie crazy.

Welsh terriers were originally bred to hunt fox, rodents, and badgers. Rabbits were an added bonus! 🙂

These rabbits must be related to Bugs Bunny because they seem to have a sense of humor. They wait until the last minute to run away, wagging their white tails in glee.

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Sophie watches them and shakes in anticipation hoping that one will help her out by making a mistake and run her way….

Effective Deterrent?

Boise, ID

The RV park we’re in right now is ‘nice’, but there’s lot of people going in and out all the time.

So we are locking the doors and chaining the bikes.

We only have one chain, and it’s not very long. Way too short to go around the frames of the bikes and attach to the table.

Rich got creative and chained the back tire from one bike to the front tire of the other bike.

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If thieves remove the tires and take the bikes with the remaining two tires, they will only get one complete bike once they combine parts.

He hopes they are smart enough to figure that out and leave our cheap battered bikes alone.

CRS

Fort Stevens, Oregon

We moved today from Netarts to Fort Stevens driving along Highway 101.

We had less than 75 miles to go, and maybe because it was such a short drive I forgot lots of things on my pre-drive check list.

Whatever caused my CRS–Can’t Remember Shit, I’m going to change my way of getting ready to travel.

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From now on, I’ll be using a check list to make sure I close ALL the windows, secure the refrigerator, get the dog ready, etc…

An RV traveling down the road is basically an earthquake on wheels, and there’s no room for CRS in preparing for that earthquake.

Power of Habits and Patterns

Fort Stevens, Oregon

Here’s another quote: “Never underestimate the power of habit.”

This one is from The Midnight Disease by Alice Weaver Flaherty, a neurologist who “explores the mysteries of literary creativity”. (It’s an excellent book…)

Dr. Flaherty talks about how much of what we do is ingrained: habits so deeply embedded that we don’t even realize that we could do things differently.

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Moving from a 2400 square foot house with a 2000 square foot shop into two 600 square foot storage units and a 280 square foot motor home has definitely made Rich, Sophie, and I re-examine our habits and patterns.

While walking through our old house, Rich passed on the right side while I veered to his left. Sophie even knew the traffic patterns in the house and where she should stand to have the best chance of getting a cookie.

Now all those movement patterns are out the window, and we’re starting from scratch. It’s both interesting and annoying.

Annoying: All three of us head for the single door out of the motor home at the same time looking a bit like the Three Stooges trying to squeeze through the narrow door.

Interesting: We can make a choice about new patterns. We could have before, but habit made those patterns seem set in stone.

While traveling last fall we met a elderly couple from eastern Canada. They had been married over 40 years. Every morning Ed fixed breakfast in bed for Marie who stayed in bed for at least an hour after eating breakfast and did crossword puzzles. This pattern continued even while they were traveling cross country.

Ed talked about how they had had a cat for over a decade. The cat helped him fix Marie’s breakfast every morning by standing a foot behind him in the kitchen. During the decade Ed carefully swung his leg over the cat every time he moved. Years after the cat died the habit continued and Ed still carefully swung his leg. I still get the giggles remember how Ed showed us exactly how he swung his leg…

So as we form new habits and patterns, I’m going to experiment and stir things up just a bit. How about eating dessert BEFORE dinner?

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All Beginnings are Hard

Sisters, Oregon

I collect quotes.

Strange hobby, I know, but it’s something I like to do.

One of my favorites is the first line in Chaim Potek’s wonderful book The Chosen: “All beginnings are hard.”

Rich and I have begun a new journey. It is more than a new chapter in our lives. It is actually more like we are beginning a new book.

The Beginning

We bought a motor home and will be full-timers for a while. Egads! Even just writing it takes my breath away.

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This is such a change from our pre-62 and 57 (respectively) year lives.

And the journey to get to this new beginning has been full of Cosmic Kicks – life’s way of altering our courses of action. Those cosmic kicks can be either boots on our behinds or planets aligning to support a change.

One of my new beginnings is to pay more attention to and act upon those cosmic kicks. They will always lead us on the right path.