Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m back off the grid!

Hi everyone, how y’all doing?

Been a few.

If you don’t follow me on Facebook, I may have seemed to drop off the earth.

Well, I moved back to my family property in Pennsylvania and built this.

 

The first time since 2011 that I haven’t lived on wheels.

Winters are harsh in PA, especially on the river. Living there would require a 4wd vehicle with chains on all 4 tires to navigate the road. And a chainsaw to get through this….

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So, I’ve decided to go back off the grid for the winter and pack up my tent and camping gear and head to Florida. Edgar is still with me, along with his cousin Stanley.

Off to a new adventure……  join us.

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Driver’s Cards (Measure 88) is a Women’s Issue

Fire

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Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My niece Victoria is a superb baker 🙂

Except it just doesn’t work that way.

Part of life is death, the inevitable, no one has made it out alive. Humans believe there are certain orders of dying…. grandma, mom, kids – in age order, grand kids and so on and so forth.

Except it just doesn’t work that way.

My brother Paul died when I was 12.  45 years ago.  When I was at the cabin last year I found a box – Paul’s belongings. Medals from the Marines, certificates of achievement, a few small trinkets and pictures. It was emotional to find that box, I enjoyed looking through it and thinking of my brother. Melancholy would be the right word mixed in with a small twinge of sadness for a life not yet completely lived, he was 19.

My sister, Arleen, died on December 1, 2013. Her husband, Aldo, died November 13, 2013.

Yesterday, I picked up my sister Janet at PDX and we drove to Arleen and Aldo’s house. We were meeting with an estate sales company and hoping to get out of there. Except it just doesn’t work that way. We still had to go through the house, do an inventory, ship their daughter’s room to her new home. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. Going through two lives not completely lived, and another life, forever changed.

I dropped off Janet at the airport around 4:00 for her flight home. I drove straight back to the coast, well, almost straight back, I did stop at Dairy Queen and got a medium chocolate shake with whipped cream. The minute I got home, I got into bed and slept 4 hours.

This has been one of the most moving experiences of my life, a roller coaster of emotions, a walk through a life you did not live, you expect it to be a list of tasks, except it just doesn’t work that way.

Cathy

 

Ecola State Park

I am getting really excited, it is almost June – I will be moving to Ecola. My heart absolutely sings every single day at Ecola. I wake up to find this big fellow in my backyard, the Pacific in the background crashing on the rocks.
I set up a bird scope on the main deck and show visitors the thousands of Common Murres on the big rocks, watching their faces as the birds come into focus, and for the first time they see colonies of seabirds nesting.

We walk the road from Ecola Point to Indian Beach, a 3 mile aerobic exercise through old growth forest ending at one of the most beautiful beaches in Oregon. Tide pools filled with starfish and mussels and a beach with razor clams waiting to be dug for dinner. Edgar just loves the beach and is free to run and sniff, Oregon allows dogs on their beaches, unleashed, under voice control. Sometimes we find the beach unoccupied, ours alone to explore…. nirvana.
This year I am planning on taking photos of the big bull Roosevelt Elk that comes into my yard and document his growing antlers in pictures. It is my hope to catch some photos of the calfs as they grow through the summer, the mom elk cows keep them well hidden most of the time.

I am also within walking distance, 3 mile round trip, to Cannon Beach and Pizza a fetta. They sell some of the best pizza on earth, by the slice, a favorite destination. The ice cream shop across the street is a temptation but 3 miles = 1 slice of pizza or 1 ice cream – not both 😦

I just love living on wheels. I can’t imagine being cemented again to a foundation. I also love being an Oregon Park Host, living a life of giving as a volunteer, making the experience of Oregon State Parks the best ever for each and every visitor.

You do indeed reap what you sow… sow happiness and joy and it comes back in multitudes. It is a gorgeous day here, me and Edgar are heading for the bike path for a walk through the shore pines to Nehalem Bay.

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The Complaint Book

As I sat here this morning in my RV watching the hummingbirds six inches out my window, the sun shining, Edgar sleeping, I thought about my “old life”.

I kept a journal called the “Complaint Book”. The two things I did every morning were check my sales numbers from the day before and deal with Customer Complaints. I kept it separate from all my other paperwork and never carried it into a customer’s office, any meeting, it was a handwritten, stand alone, one of a kind living journal for my eyes only.

I believe complaints are the most important factor to happiness for yourself and a happy customer. You know a complaint… any sentence that starts with “This sucks” or your version thereof. Complaints are sacred in sales and life, writing them down gives you a good indicator of how your life, or sales, are going.

Along with customer complaints, I would write down my own daily complaints. When I found myself complaining enough about one certain thing – it was time for a change. If there were enough complaints to fill a book, you really got to look at your life…..

Customer complaints were usually easy to rectify. Some took a good explanation of the realities of supply and demand especially when a customer wanted a small supply of a paper that needed to be ordered by the big expensive case 🙂  I used to order in sample sheets for customers if they needed to do an order of business cards on a specialty sheet – I still hate business cards from a printers and paper suppliers point of view.

So this morning I thought about cleaning out my locker and finding the “Complaint Book” among my stored belongings. I left it at home when I started my journey, it was shredded, along with my other paperwork from xpedx and Clean Copy when the locker was emptied and I moved my entire life into the RV.

I no longer need a “Complaint Book”, I transformed my life into one where each day alive is certainly a good day on earth. Time to wake up Edgar, we are walking to Manzanita – about a 4 mile round trip, to drop off some mail at the post office and grab a nice coffee.

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Unite Against the War on Women

I have not written a blog in several weeks, the reason being, I am angry. As most of my readers know, I write from my heart and my heart has been heavy. It is difficult to put into words my feelings, but I am going to try.

Paying attention to all the reports on different states enacting laws against women’s reproductive freedoms, watching as the proposed budget cuts deepest in social services that support millions of my fellow American women and their children, makes me so upset that I am almost in tears just thinking about it. Every day I wonder, what are these guys thinking?

Why are they attacking the very people who gave them life, nurtured them, taught them right from wrong, cleaned their clothes, washed their little faces and hands, wiped snot from their noses, packed countless lunches, changed countless diapers, cheered at sporting events, stood proudly at every graduation, cried at every nick to their bodies and hearts, why?

I really don’t have an answer, just can’t understand why Women are the focus of so many attacks. Realizing this, I have decided to do something about it and joined Unite Against the War on Women. There is a rally at every State Capitol in the U.S.A., thousands of Women are joining me to protest, thousands of Women are joining to spread the word to Vote against the laws that are marginalizing us, shoving us into corners, telling us to sit down and shut up. NO MORE!!

I truly believe every human being has a right to live the life that they choose, to be a full member of humanity fitting in like puzzle pieces to form a whole. Like a puzzle piece each of us is different, but without each piece, connected to the others, the picture just does not make sense. Trying to shove a piece into a space that does not fit is like trying to shove a person into a place that does not fit for them. Only by each piece taking their place does the color of the puzzle come to life.

Why would anyone try to force their beliefs on another human being, why is our government trying to force their beliefs on our Citizens. Gay people should have the right to marry who they love, Women should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies, Minorities should have the right to equal protection. When you marginalize anyone, you marginalize us all. I do not have to agree with you to allow you your freedom to chose the life you want to live, a life that makes you happy, fulfilled, and at peace with yourself.

If you feel like I do, please join us on April 28th at every State Capitol, now is the time to stand up and fight for freedom and dignity for every American Citizen, we are all in this together, everyone is welcome, join me for a better tomorrow for yourself, your children and this wonderful country we proudly call the United States of America.

Cathy Herman

Moving an RV

Always get a kind of knot in the pit of my stomach when I have to move the RV. Edgar and I have been living at Ft. Stevens for 4 months. I moved the RV 3 months ago when I took the position as Park Host, but only about 1,000 yards.

This time we have been living in it and I have made a ton of improvements. Framed in the door, replaced shower and kitchen faucets, replaced toilet, replaced 3 blinds with awesome cellular shades that really keep in the warm and made 2 pairs of insulated drapes for the bedroom, replaced all the cabinet inserts, removed old wiring and got all the electrical systems, including changing out the breaker box (which is actually very easy) working. Put up a shelf where there was a hole and had to custom fit some cabinet door hinges to make it work. Painting – I hate painting, I end up with paint all over me, in my hair, but I love color and this place needed a good brightening, I still haven’t finished the ceiling.

So moving, things just don’t go in one direction, when we move, we move, batten down the hatches is no joke. Everything moves, everything, even the structure, that is why I am so nervous. I have glued, nailed, repaired and painted, crossing my fingers it all holds up. I tried to think about the movement when I made the repairs, compensating tight fit for flexibility.

Then there is your stuff in the cupboards, you learn quick when a bottle of olive oil falls over and leaks. I have mats in all the cupboards, but stuff still falls over if it is not stabilized. Everything hanging shifts and things on shelves go flying.

Then there is the hitching up and towing the car thing…but that’s a different story.

Glad we only have to go about 50 miles.

Cathy

Crazy Horse Memorial

After visiting Mount Rushmore, Edgar and I camped.  Getting up at 2:00 am to use the facilities, I thought for sure Edgar was zipped in the tent.  When I got back to the tent, no Edgar!!!  After searching and calling quietly to him for about an hour I heard a faint bark, was he stuck in a hole?  Oh no, not Edgar, he had followed me to the loo and I never saw him behind me.  Locked in the Ladies Room, he was sure glad to see me open the door.

The next morning it was 42 degrees and raining….brrrrrr.  We broke camp and headed to the Crazy Horse Memorial, it was cloudy and rainy, unfortunately you could not see the carving.
The visitor center at the memorial was worth the trip, I spent a couple hours hoping the weather would clear, the forecast was not cooperating.

We made our way to Deadwood.

Cathy