Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I choose joy!

Copyright (c) 2007 Wendee Holtcamp

This is a picture of my dad's log cabin in Oregon somewhere in between Rainier and St. Helens, where I grew up part of my life. It didn't have the big TV antenna back then! We never had running water, had no telephone, used wood stoves for heating and cooking (the stoves were named Gandalf and Smaug!) and we had no electricity for the early days. Boy you'd think I'd be used to the no electricity thing! Seriously I can handle it no problem, and I can trek through Nepal with no showers for 12 days, and use squat toilets, but it's different when you get in the routine of having electricity versus a routine of not having it! Anyway, living here was amazing in so many ways, and very formative. It was really just one big (or not so big...) open room with a loft. Dad still has an outhouse, though he has running water. We raised chickens and had a big veggie garden. We did not have a lot of money! I spent every summer here, plus my dad won custody of me when I was 8 and I lived there until I was 10. I lived there when Mt. St. Helens erupted, and we got out of school a month early. If you call what my kids are having a hurrication, I guess I got a volcanation! :)

Anyway, today was a mah-velous day. For one thing, my electricity was restored at about noon, and I said out loud, "There is a God!" I was so overjoyed. I had a stressful morning because I had my court case and courts just make me nervous, I'm sure a holdover from my childhood custody battle, but whatever. The Judge ruled in my favor, but not for as much money as I'd asked for. But it's something. So I got done with court, came home and the power came on! Because the house was still a zillion degrees and the kids were roasting and bored, I took them over to Stef's for the day and we hung out at her pool in the backyard with her, her adorable 3-yr old daughter Uli and her mother-in-law. Had a couple beers. Grilled pizza for dinner. Then celebrated Sam's birthday (which was on the 17th!) with the brownies I'd bought for his "cake" last week! We had planned on having ice cream brownie sundaes on his birthday, but no stores had ice cream at first and then we didn't have a working freezer for the ice cream, until, um, today! So we got some today, and put it on ice until after dinner at Stef's and then we had brownies with ice-cream-soup :) Sam put 12 candles on his brownie. I'll put some pics up tomorrow. I'm exhausted.

So the other cool thing is that as Stef and I walked around her neighborhood I saw a junkpile of fence and I was like, dude I have this great idea. We need to take that stuff and salvage it and make stuff out of it and start a business. She was like, that is such a great idea! I had the thought originally yesterday because of a couple things. First, because of all the fences that have blown down, people have the scraps of fence post out waiting for the garbagemen to pick up. I have this cool birdhouse that my brother got me last Christmas made by this guy in Berkeley, California who uses scrap wood . He's got a pretty funny website, Berkeley Rustic Birdhouses, and the story of how he got started is really funny and now he started a nonprofit where he taught people in Sri Lanka how to make these birdhouses and the money raised is helping them, tsunami victims, have money to rebuild their homes and communities - it's called Birdhouses to People Houses. Well I got to thinking, maybe I could do something like that. Matt is salvaging some to build a sort of interesting roof on an extension on his house and with all these things, I just thought, hmm.

So when we were walking around the neighborhood, I mentioned the idea and she thought that was such a great idea, and it's extra cool because since I'm such a tree hugger environmentalist type, we'd be saving stuff that would otherwise go to the dump, and go to waste. Stef had the idea to make plaques and signs, and I thought oooh that is cool. People love to buy those kinds of things like at Hallmark etc. So we can create all kinds of neat sayings on these wood boards and sell them - ranging from Bible verses to inspiring sayings to whatever. The kids want to get involved and create a teen/kids line. Sam had the idea to paint the saying, "No More War" - Can I just say how proud I am to be his mom?!! :) So tomorrow we are on a mission to collect as many fences as possible around the neighborhoods and store it in our respective garages. So if you are in Houston and have any fences lying around your yard that you're going to toss, send me an email. And I came up with the coolest name for the business but I'm not going to share it just yet! We are probably going to donate a % to benefit Ike victims. All this is still tentative but I think it's so cool, even if we do it on a small scale.

I think I was a born entrepreneur in some ways... when I was little I came up with the idea to go door to door selling crafts I made. I did this with my cousin who was 6 months older but my aunt said I was the ringleader - LOL. Sometimes I'd sell mom's stuff in a roving garage sale. And I also sold mistletoe which I got off the trees in the cemetery door to door at Christmas time. I also loved working with wood and crafty stuff when I lived with my dad, though I haven't done that kind of thing in years. I love hammering! Come to think of it, it's not so different than whacking a pillow with a baseball bat. Hmm, this might be therapeutic, even.

Yesterday or the day before I was thinking about joy and happiness and how I've been a bit stressed over various things, but I also realized, I need to just choose joy. And I set that in my mind, and despite the stress over court, I actually had a really great joyful day. There are so many amazing things going on in my life right now. The weirdest thing is that whenever I have a relationship or even a possible relationship in my life, it stresses me out so I push them away in one way or another. I feel so much happier and more stable when I am on my own. I think I'm just a freak that way - ha ha!

Alanis says she loves "edge-stretching" and so do I. I like to work on the areas of my life that feel like I need to stretch to grow to feel comfortable, but I love the challenge. I'm working on figuring out how to let someone into my life... it's going to take some time, but I'll get there. I'm super extremely protective of my kids and the life we have, and it's hard to imagine anyone changing all that. But I'm working on it... It's not always fun, or easy, but in the meantime, I choose joy, and I love my friends, my kids, my job, my house, and life in general!

Oh and can I just say that the mosquitos are absolutely HORRENDOUS!! There are like literally ten million everywhere, and the second you walk outside, they cover every inch of your body like killer bees! I think I am now covered with one ginormous mosquito bite!

1 comment:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Love seeing a photo after reading Chapter 1, and know that neck of the woods, myself, a little bit!