If You Didn’t Know

When I find something that works really well or makes my life easier, I enjoy nothing more than to share it with others!

CREACLIP

My favorite hairdresser moved away a few years ago, so I decided to take my hair into my own hands. Thanks to Shark Tank and the inventor of Creaclip I did it! The only thing is, it wouldn’t work for short hair styles. So if your looking to save a buck and cut your own hair, I highly recommend the Creaclip!

METHOD ALL PURPOSE GRAPEFRUIT CLEANER

Have you ever been cleaning your bathtub and the fumes are so strong your nose begins to burn, eyes start stinging and your throat feels dry? Sure it’s great to make you work faster just to get it over with, but wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to clean the tub and enjoy the experience! Yes, believe it or not, I find joy in cleaning! Well there’s a method for the madness! I LOVE it.    It works really well, and smells great, but make sure you use it for things that you would rinse well enough because I’ve found it to be somewhat sticky if you don’t.

LIQUID BLUING

 This works on more than just clothes and it’s safe. I’ve even used a little giving Milo a bath and it made his fur super white!

AWESOME

This stuff really is awesome! Mitch used it on some rims he got from the pull and save and they shined like a new penny.

And the best part about it is that ITS ONLY A DOLLAR at the dollar store! From a coffee stain on a white sweatshirt to a permanent marker on his pants! He swears by it, and it really is totally AWESOME!

COOK TOP CLEANER

When we were working on our 1906 house the original window glass had a good 100 years of build up and the ONLY thing that got it off… yep cook top cleaner! Say goodbye to hard water stains!

WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER

It really is the BEST cat litter! It’s not the average white powdered stinky litter… it’s made from corn and is flushable!

SCOOT AWAY BITES

If your dog has ever had issues with their anal glands needing expressed (and you’ll know because that business is putrid), try these. They’ve worked wonders for our dog!

So that’s my list of you gotta know abouts, now I have to share with you a few companies who’ve been a business worth going back to!

CHEWY

They have the very best customer service and a wonderful selection of all your pets needs. Plus you get everything delivered right to your door! And they have great prices too!

BEST BUY

We got a “fancy” washer and dryer, you know the kind where you have to fold things before you wash them…ugh! Thankfully we got the extended warranty and Best Buy helped us get back to our happy basic washer and dryer world. The key… that extended warranty… it also paid off like crazy with our fridge, so many issues with that fridge. They sure don’t make things like they used to. If you’re like us with things not working right or breaking down a lot sooner than it should… I’d recommend the warranty on the pricey items. Just sayin.

INSINKERATOR

Instant hot water at your sink.. although the 3 year warranty expired a few months prior to it leaking, I contacted the company and out of good faith and being a good business they sent us a new unit and they are quite pricey.

How about you? Anything you have to share that makes everyday life a little easier?

A Moment of Profound Enlightenment

Years ago I was going through therapy, and it helped at the time, but I now realize I’ve stopped using the knowledge I was given. While looking through some items tucked away in the corner of my closet that hadn’t seen the light of day for years, I spot a note with my hand writing from a time when I was struggling with personal interactions.  My one moment in life where I felt connected with all in the world, being my true spiritual self. I thought I’d share what I wrote:

To not react with a feeling, but to respond from an enlightened, caring, loving place.

To know that all are doing what they know, and some do not know why they are how they are.

To be me and true to my light. To accept myself, know that I am a work in progress and to forgive me when I don’t let out my truth with love.

To be one with all things that are good, to absorb love, happiness and joy.

Not to feed off negative, unimportant, frivolous things that truly have no power over my world, heart, self and relationships.

To like myself at the end of the day. To say, if you need me now I am here.

I did my best today Lord and I hope you are pleased with me.

 

I will keep trying….

 

Good Intentions

Years ago I made a friend when I really needed one, but we weren’t meant to remain friends for the long haul. Looking back with a healthy perspective I see she came into my life to teach me a lesson and to help guide me at a time when I felt lost.  We were alike in many ways at the time, always with good intentions, yet occasionally coming across as pushy instead of helpful. Sometimes too needy, expecting more from someone than they were willing to give.  I can see my 20 something self swirling in a coldren of emotions, lost in a world of self created solitude. I was stuck between the free spirited person I once knew and the authenitc self I would become, but at the time I felt like a shell of a woman grasping for meaning and purpose. I’m so glad I’m not in my 20’s anymore, talk about emotional growing pains!

The lesson she taught me was this… Sometimes in life it’s not about doing what you want, it’s about doing what’s right for someone else.  I lived at Edwards AFB, California at the time, (the twilight zone of my life expereinces)  and my parents lived in Oklahoma.  I was on the phone with this friend when I was talking about how I didn’t want to travel all the way to Oklahoma for Christmas, but with my mom’s cancer back that year it could be her last.  Without hesitation she said to me, “it’s not about what you want, it’s about what’s right.”  She flipped a switch in my heart and set me straight.  I went, it was wonderful and it was my mom’s last Christmas on earth. Thankfully she gave me that clarity, and showed me the error of my ways.  I still think of her often, beyond grateful for her guidance and love, I hope she is nothing but happy.

Doing what’s right for the sake of another isn’t always what we might want for ourselves, but in those situations it’s not about us, it’s about them.  Case in point our little Happy dog. When Mitch brought him home we had such good intentions, helping him to overcome his past and keeping him forever.

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He needed more from us that we could give, from the beginning he would nip at me if I tried to trim his feet or remove a knot from his belly.  He also developed what is called trick knee that wasn’t getting better with medicine, and probably needed surgery. He needed a home where his people had time to work with him and for those around him to know and remember that he’s had a rough past and required more attention and work.

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He’d become protective of things and was quick to nip. Unfortunaely, even being cautious of my actions resulted in a nip that broke the skin and we knew we had to make a change.

Not an enviroment we could provide for him with our current living situation.

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We tried to keep him away from Zoey in the house because all he wanted to do was run and play, and that was making his leg worse, so he hung out in the little place.  Unfortuantely knowing that he was unpredictable, it wasn’t safe either.

Thankfully I know someone who knows all about the world of animal rescue.  After my 5th text to her in a few months time frame she said, “Shawna, take him to the Humane Society, he’ll get all the care he needs and he will find a home that fits his needs, it’s the right thing to do.”

 

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Putting the needs of Happy and the safety of family first, we made an appt and took Happy to the Humane Society. Just a few days after he’d been there trying another medicine that didn’t work for him, my friend updated me that they gave him the surgery he needed and he would soon be available for adoptions.  Not even a week later he was on the news and days after that he got adopted! It all worked out for the best. I hope and pray that whoever was lucky enough to adopt him knows what a gem that boy is.

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Happy reminded me that sometimes friendships aren’t supposed to last forever, even though love will.

We love you Happy.

Gratitude

Thanks to the movies, all the advertisements and just the overall essence of something magical happening during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, my realities have fallen short of my expectations… which I assume most peoples have. But there was one Christmas when I was a child, probably around the age of 8 that I’ll never forget because I knew there would be no magic.

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We lived on the cut off between DeBeque and Mesa, Colorado a mile and half back from the road on 80 acres in a house that my parents built. Oh, and yes, I did have to walk miles in the snow to get to school, once.  We had a two-seater outhouse, no running water, no electricity and definitely no money.

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It was going to be a year without Santa, but my mom kept our spirits bright, decorating the tree from top to bottom with so much tinsel you couldn’t see any of the tree. She would always help to put life in perspective, saying “It could be worse, there are people who don’t have a place to call home.”

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the glistening of tinsel

Knowing we wouldn’t have anything that year gave me a sense of relief. There was no potential for disappointment as the years past. Previously I’d asked Santa for the Ms. Pac-Man table top arcade two years in a row, finally to get it and feeling for a second Santa really was real I was beside myself with joy. Then sadly finding myself underwhelmed with it in a days time, I couldn’t believe I wanted it for so long just to have something that only the “lucky” kids got. I felt a different kind of disappointment, reality.  My ideals of fulfillment I’d get from this one toy became replaced with a sense of guilt for wanting an object to be the source of my joy.  I’d built it up for so long, gave it a power over my happiness and then to be so displeased with the reality, made me not want for things as I once did. You could say that was a gift in itself! Ok, I digress.

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I was eight, living out on the cut off, it was Christmas Eve and we’d gone to town to load up our old 500 gallon metal water tank that was always in the back of our truck.  Driving down the little hill to get to the house I stare out the window into the sea of glistening sage brush and silence.  With the house in sight, something unfamiliar appeared, a large brown box sitting on our front door step. I think my mom was out the door and on the porch before the truck even came to stop. She squealed with delight realizing it was food, clothes and most of all the true meaning of Christmas; to give without wanting and to receive with gratitude!

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Thankful for a home

Laying on the top of everything were the most beautiful white lace up REAL roller skates, and they were meant for me! Realizing they were used, I was in awe that anyone would give away something so nice to a stranger.  I said so long to the strap on metal skates, and hello to rollin in style!  For a few years I stuffed socks in the front of toes so they’d fit until I grew into them, years later when I finally outgrew them, I never outgrew the feeling of appreciation every time I saw them. Now that is the magic of Christmas!

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The card our friends gave us this year

I’m happy to share that the magic of Christmas is still out there. This Christmas we were given two 1 hour massage gift cards left between the screen and our front door with a written note on the card saying, “you need to take care of yourself too, please enjoy this gift from us.”   We know who, but that fact that they did and they don’t know us very well…. we’re beyond grateful. Such a wonderful surprise! It’s something we both really needed and wouldn’t have gotten for ourselves.  I squealed with delight! We don’t even have their phone numbers! I  cant wait to catch them in passing to give them both the biggest hugs and make sure they know how much we appreciate their kindness.

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The other wonderful news to share is that I’ve become an Independent Provider and the official caretaker of my dad.  With that being said I am now obligated to protect his privacy as I am contracted with the Department of Social and Health Services. Although it is realized about the personal nature of our relationship, I’m still held to the same standard as all of the contracted providers so no more photos or stories shall be shared.  Hopefully you’ll still find my posts interesting and worthy of reading.  Thanks for understanding.

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A white Christmas

So now we are days from a new year and I go into it with no expectations, not even of the kiss at midnight… mainly because we’ll probably already be asleep, ha.  But I know that with the promise of tomorrow there will also be love, and I have faith that without expectations, yet full of hope, my cup runneth over.

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May the New Year be your best yet,

and you be your best you!

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My Christmas mailbox full of candy for customers

 

 

Rollie Pollie and The Tadpole

When I see a Monarch butterfly it makes me think of my mom, when Mitch see’s a hummingbird it reminds him of his dad.

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I believe most people have something in the wild that remind them of a loved one that’s passed.  I asked Mitch the other day what he would want to remind me of him, if he were to die before me and he gave me the silliest answer, an earwig! I told him that just wouldn’t work for me, they are icky and they have pinchers (plus they’re always in pops place and I end up killing them)! I needed him to pick something else, I mean how about an eagle or a fox? Nope, after a couple more odd choices he picked one that I could manage, a rollie pollie, (or as he calls them, a potato bug) makes me smile just thinking of his choice! When did we have this deep conversation you ask? It was when we were driving up to Clark Fork River Saturday July 30th on our way in Harvy the RV to go kayaking….alone, just the two of us!

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Life is a highway (remember that song) and Mitch is usually the one driving

We are beyond blessed to have a wonderful friend couple, Mike and Karen, VOLUNTEER their time to watch pops and the dogs for a night while we took a much-needed break.  Karen is one of the three gals that cares for dad during those times when we aren’t able to work out our schedules for one of us to be with him and she’s been so great with him.

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Near Hope Idaho

But for both of them to give of their time and most of their weekend to help us out and not want anything in return, we are forever indebted to them. Not just for that weekend, but for all the times they’ve been there for us! Good quality people and great friends, one of life’s greatest treasures.

What to do when you home make kayak rack doesn't work!

What to do when your home-made kayak rack doesn’t work yet?…Improvise!

When we made it to the boat launch at Clark Fork River we cased out the area and saw people camping.  We roamed around reading all the signs, checking to see if we needed to pay, but all it said was 3 day max for camping…. really, could it be free?!  We found one area tucked the back, surrounded by trees with a fire pit right in the center.  We were so excited that we could camp right in the same vicinity of the boat launch, but first we opted to look a little further.  As we walked towards the water directly in our line of sight was an open spot next to two other campers with a little fire pit, literally right on the side of the water and Harvy would  fit perfectly!  I stayed right where I was, calling dibs on that prime real-estate so no one else could lay claim while Mitch went and got Harvy.

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Mitch pulled up and parked Harvy

 

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We unloaded the kayaks

 

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And in 15 minutes we were on the water! There’s Harvy, and our friendly camping neighbors to the left (even offered us their remaining wood)

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Look Ma, no hands

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We saw both Hawks and Eagles while kayaking

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From the sound it made, we were almost certain it was a Hawk

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The water was so serene and calm, until we ventured out into Lake Pend Oreille. There were white caps on the lake that day, so we turned around and headed back to our campsite.

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But not before we saw a pretty daisy growing out of the water

Our night away was so refreshing we topped the night off with some dollar store games.  We started with  domino’s, followed by rummy and capped the night off with the memory match game!  Honestly it couldn’t have been better, just to breathe, catch up and have some quality time together. The next morning we opted to kayak up the river, going right of our campsite since the night before we’d gone left. Believe it or not it was more serene and secluded than the other way!

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Can you feel the peace and tranquility?

We’ve been on the water a few times now and neither of us had fallen in, until now.  It was morning time and we were ready to go adventure before heading home.  Feeling confident and certain of myself I decide to get in my own way,  I mean it’s been so easy straddling and sitting so far, why not just put my foot in and get in right? Nope, the kayak tipped and half of me was in water before I knew it, oops.  So I did what anyone who doesn’t learn the first time does, I did the exact same thing AGAIN and this time I took a real fall in the water, the kayak flipped over and I was submerged up to my neck.  Couldn’t tell you why I just didn’t keep doing what I had been doing, but during the first fall I hit my thumbnail on the kayak and it ripped a corner of the nail from the nail bed and it was bleeding.

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See the white lines, that’s where the nail pulled away from the nail bed. Ouch

After that I really wasn’t thinking straight and was more determined to get in my way and was trying to not notice the pain.  Which of course made matters worse, and more comical. Mitch being super concerned and wonderfully loving about my double dipping had a great laugh with me about it after I finally got in. He just wished he’d caught it on camera.

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there’s something about going under a bridge, it’s just neat

We hadn’t named our kayaks yet and it was right around this area when we were talking about getting decals so we could tell them apart, since they’re the same boat.  I was giving Mitch a hard time and told him we should call his Rollie Pollie and mine Tadpole. Funny enough, we loved it, sealed it with a kiss and kept on paddling.

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After going under this bridge it takes you toward to lake and right away it’s choppy

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We fall more in love with kayaking the more we do it. It’s just so peaceful and the fact that we are two love birds floating on the water, it’s just ducky!

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Flower power

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upclose it looks like a  cherry blossom tree

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Heading back to pack up feeling replenished and refreshed

It’s only while I was writing this post did it dawn on me that another name for Tadpole is Pollywog.  Those two names are just fun to say together, Pollywog and Rollie Pollie but in the end we named it The Tadpole.  It just fits, like me and my love!

Our Neck Of The Woods

Although we’ve lived in Medical Lake for many years, we’re surprised we haven’t been to more places and done more things that are so close to home.

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Klinks

We decided that we would try Klinks, out on Williams Lake. It’s only about a 40 minute drive from our house.

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Initially we just wanted to rent kayaks and see what kind we liked best, but decided to try out the restaurant since we’d be there.

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The view from inside the restaurant, the kayaks they have for rent are on the right side of the picture.

It was only coincidence that it was on Mother’s day and they were having a brunch.  If you ever do decide to go, it’s best to make reservations since it is a small establishment.

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The restaurant Klinks is hidden within the trees

When we got there it was really windy, thought maybe it would die down after breakfast but that didn’t happen, so we took a peek at the kayaks they had and said, nah, lets just get the ones we want.

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Some of the yummy pastries they had available to eat

The cream puffs were divine, strawberries and raspberries super fresh and the wait staff were attentive and kind.

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We were overall quite happy with our meals, except we each had a little portion of egg whites that weren’t cooked well enough, for us that will ruin even the greatest meal.

I was beyond adventurous in my breakfast choice, I had a shrimp and asparagus omelet, if you can see I was so excited to dig in I got a picture after I'd eaten half.

I was beyond adventurous in my breakfast choice, especially since I am not a breakfast girl, at all. I had a shrimp and asparagus omelet, if you can see I was so excited to dig in I got a picture after I’d eaten half. Loved the taste.

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

On our way back home we decided to go through Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, we’d always talked about checking out, just hadn’t made time to do it before, but when in the vicinity, it must be divinity! Oh I don’t know, just trying to make a rhyme, please don’t give me a hard time.

Finally made a turn to go see Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

It was beautiful, no one around, wild flowers blooming everywhere and the weather was ideal!

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Pops on the other hand was a “I want a smoke” Nut that day.  Every 5 minutes while we were driving he wanted us to pull over so he could have another cigarette, we would tell him he just had one, and he wouldn’t believe us and start threatening to light up in the car.

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Needless to say, the calm enjoyable experience became overwrought with Pops endless craving to smoke, after less than 45 minutes we high-tailed it out of there with hopes of going back another time when he isn’t dying to smoke every other mile.

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Sometimes you just have to grin and barn it!

He did end the day with a grand finale of, “This is what I think of your rules” when he lit up in the back of the car only miles from home, just because he wanted a smoke now and wasn’t about to wait another minute. I turned around and there he was, smoking away. Frustrated, I said, “Dad are you kidding me! You couldn’t wait just one minute?” We pull over, I finally get him to throw it down and I grind it into the ground until there’s nothing left. There was just no reasoning with him, but then again how can you when dementia is in the picture?  Seconds later the event has already been forgotten by dad, knowing there’s no reason to remain bothered, we do our best to join him in forgetting all about it.  Since this all happened a couple months ago, as you know things have drastically changed in the smoking department, thankfully.

Lefevre St. Bakery

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The outside of the remodeled building that used to be Chan’s Chinese restaurant.

I can’t express how excited the town of Medical Lake is about the new bakery in town!

 

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An adorable ambiance with a super cute guy in the picture

Deliciously divine and cute as can be!

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Fresh baked huge pastries

 

 

Kayaking Medical Lake

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Our first kayak outing, we brought pops and we had a little picnic afterwards. Thankfully he doesn’t wander off…..yet.

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What a wonderfully serene experience it was!

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There’s even a cup holder for iced coffee!            Livin the dream

 

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Pops stayed and held down the park bench while we took our maiden voyage

 

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I’ll never take this life for granted! I’m especially grateful to have this wonderful man as my traveling companion.

 

 

It’lldo, Ruby Sue, and My Love

Itlldo

In a previous post I’d mentioned that I was going to trade in Fancy (my Volkswagen Tiguan) for a different car. To my surprise it happened without any problems….except what to name her. She has a lot less miles, not as many bells and whistles and is exactly everything I could need, as if it were meant to be.

IMG_0916Who doesn’t want to owe more on something valued for less?! Yes, because Fancy had such problems I basically lost what it would cost to get it fixed. At least now I can afford things that need fixed with my Nissan Versa, plus I got an extended warranty that I plan to use this summer since there’s already a clunk when I turn the wheel. I couldn’t decide on a name for weeks, after going through tons of options I kept thinking about how we came together. She was my best option from the lot considering my situation and I remember saying to myself, well it’lldo. And there you go; she is now henceforth my baby girl, itlldo.

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Plus she has cup holders in the right spot!!! Wahoooo!  not under the elbow like Fancy….why do they put cup holders is such inconvenience places sometimes?

Ruby Sue

Before our traveling days, I was a substitute rural carrier for the USPS in Medical Lake and I had a right side drive car named Ruby Sue the Subaru. She was a rock star out on the route and I sold her to my friends dad who is also a sub-carrier for a different town. They didn’t tell me at the time, but right after he got her, he let a family member borrow her and unfortunately had an accident. Thankfully no one was hurt.

He never even got to use her out on the route! Not even once!

 

My Love

Mitch now has a new occupation under his belt….yep, a substitute rural carrier for the City of Medical Lake! Being a sub carrier only guarantees one day a week of work, so he is also staying at the assisted living facility as a maintenance tech and now works 6 days a week. Knowing that he was going to need a car we asked about Ruby Sue and that’s when we heard the sad news about the accident. To our surprise, my friend’s dad said that we could just have her back if we wanted her. We met him about 45 minutes south of Spokane and saw my baby girl sitting in an open field with a beautiful view of the land, just enjoying her temporary retirement.

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The front left side was damaged, the windshield had a hole from nothing other than a mailbox that was involved in the accident and still they were able to drive her to her current location. Such a tough ol’ gal!

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Right then and there he signed over the title and just GAVE us back Ruby Sue the Subaru!!!! We were so grateful and counted our blessings all the way home. Now how to get her fixed.  Thankfully our wonderful massage lady Mikey (Whispering Palms in Medical Lake, affordable and amazing!) has an equally amazing husband named Steve who helped us get her to his place and fixed her up better than she was when I had her!

 

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Rear window busted out as well

She looked worse than she really was and after taking her to see Steve Block the dinged up car whisperer, she was ready to hit the route.

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Onto our next adventure, driving “new” old cars and looking forward to what the future holds.