A Cabin in the Mountains

IS1vwcw7flr2cu0000000000While playing around on Zillow yesterday I found the opportunity to purchase a small cabin way up in the mountains of Washington. It appeared to me to be a great vacation spot nestled along a lake in the heart of wine country. The owner was asking 115,000.00 for this piece of property and after looking at it over and over again I showed it to my wife. So we ended up taking a ride up into the mountains near Mt. Saint Helens.

The drive took almost 2 hours and was divided by driving major highway (205 – I5 North) then some pretty challenging, winding roads which had a lot of wet and icy spots. As I was driving I was dreaming and anticipating arriving at a beautiful resort area that is well manicured and meticulous. Yes, this could be a great investment where it could be rented out seasonally and provide enough income to support itself. And what a great place to get away on the weekend from all of the craziness of living in a city. The kids would also love the opportunity to get away with the kids and spend some quality time in the mountains.

We arrived by almost driving past this gloomy run down town. What we found was what appeared to be a group of hunting cabins with a small store. The store was for sale also. These cabins overlooked an incredible lake (Swift Reservoir). Beautiful mountains in the background and a view of the peak of Mt. Saint Helens. It was a very nice area but it was also just a bit too remote for us. We had no cell phone signal, the house is heated only by a fireplace and the difficulty to get there outweighed the opportunity. It only took about a minute to decide that this was not for us. I couldn’t imagine driving these roads with snow on the ground. But just across the road there was a small diner where we had a fantastic lunch before heading back to Oregon.

Yea, sometimes what we see advertised and our own visions are somewhat not realistic when we discover what it actually is that we are dreaming of. I still believe that there is great opportunity in owning this type of property as an investment, but for now I will quiet my mind a little more before investigating.

Blood Sugar- 124, Weight- 185.2
It has been almost a month since I have taken probiotics and I am finding that my blood sugar numbers are starting to rise. I will be back on track with taking them in a few days as we start a new month. It has also been a month since I last exercised an this too will start up once again in December as I see my body weight slowly increasing to an uncomfortable area.

The funny thing about taking these probiotics is that I started taking them to ease the conditions of IBS, but soon learned that it also helped with keeping my blood sugar numbers under control. Last month I talked with a friend at work who also suffers from T2D and told him about the changes in my numbers since taking probiotics. The other day was the first time I spoke with him and he thanked me for my advice. He too started taking probiotics and discovered incredible changes in his blood sugar numbers.

Posted in Adventures, Camping, Emergency, Family, Finances, Fun, Hiking, Life, Marriage, Minimalist, Nature, Oregon, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Passing down the Thanksgiving Torch

imagesOne of the benefits of getting older is trading places with the kids on Thanksgiving. Where it has been the norm to prepare a large thanksgiving dinner for family and friends there comes a time when our children are starting their own families and creating their own homes and start their own traditions. Many of us struggle with this type of change, but I welcome it with open arms. Rather than spending days preparing and cooking we are enjoying the fact that we only need to prepare a few dishes and allow the spirit of Thanksgiving take form in the homes of our children.

I have always said that you don’t need the excuse of a holiday to have loved ones over for a great meal and we practice this many times throughout the year. Too many of us over 50’s want to stick to a stringent annual schedule of dictating the holiday by insisting on making our very own homes the centerpiece for Thanksgiving. We must allow our children to flourish even years after they leave the nest and go out on their own. It matters little where the meal is taking place, only the love that is shared during our time together.

To all of the other families, I hope your day is blessed with joy and happiness. Be safe and remember that it is OK to take a nap after dinner. LOL

Blood Sugar- 97, Weight-184.8

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Thanksgiving Proclamation

thanksgiving-proclamation-178[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

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Readiness for Fear

It has been a while since I wrote a post and I am really started to miss it. With all of the attention that I have been putting into this new job I have hardly left anytime to sit down and write my thoughts.

The last post I wrote I ended up taking down. It was about the general fear of the United States receiving refugees from Syria. Although I got a lot of interesting responses to it as I re-read my post I realized that it was driven by fear rather than what I feel in my heart. This brings me into my thoughts about fear itself.

There is something about fear itself that is exciting and actually enticing. It is the engine behind what makes CNN and Fox News such a large success. I have been watching and monitoring both news groups and have started collecting my own data. It seems to me that just 1 out of every 25 stories is fueled by fear and some of those even stir up the feeling of doom.

We all have our own personal fears of losing a job, getting sick or having to deal with a catastrophe. We worry if we will be able to pay our bills each month and the penalties we may face if we can’t. I have always had these fears and they have driven me to learn how to protect myself from certain life situations. This is one of the reasons that I chose a minimalist lifestyle where I make sure that there is always a little money left over at the end of the month to put into preserve if something should happen.

I really don’t want to live in a fantasy world of fear with all that the news delivers to our homes each day. There is always the possibility that something could happen. With an increased onslaught of home invasions in my area I am learning to develop a plan of protection rather than join the crowd of those who worry about it. Most of these home invasions being conducted by individuals who fall into categories of homeless, transient, drug addicted or mentally ill. Most are simply looking for a little something that they can steal from your home and sell to get money to support their drug habits. I am learning that the mentally ill are amongst this category as so many are choosing self medication rather than the distracting pharmaceutical ones they are prescribed.







So what is my preferred plan of defense?

A break in while at work:
The use of a small remote door alarm works great after you leave the house. It is small compact and inexpensive. Both alarm and remote work on batteries and if someone should open the front door while engaged they will be greeted by a loud ear piercing sound that will also alert the neighbors of a problem. If they do decide to take a chance and run and and try to grab something I make sure that it is not so easy to find anything worth taking. This means either having a safe for valuables or just making sure that anything they may be searching for is hard to find. Electronics like expensive smart phones and computers seem to be a large target for them. The longer they have to stay in the house searching the more time the local police have to get there. When I get home I just turn off the alarm with my remote.

A break in while I am home:
If someone should enter my home while I am in it the chances are that it will happen after the lights are out and they know I am asleep. Again the personal alarm is on and I am in bed with my personal defense bag next to me. My cellphone is plugged in and sitting on my nightstand if I need to call for help. My personal defense bag is just an old lunch bag that I picked up at a garage sale. Inside I have several items. A 2000 lumen flashlight, a knife, a can of mace, and a small handgun. The method I have chosen should I be confronted by an invader in my own home is this. I hold the bright flashlight in my weak hand while my arm is extended as far as it can go. If the invader has a gun they will shoot at the light rather than at me. As the light is bright enough to cause temporary blindness it puts me the advantage. I want to as loud as I can possible be when I am telling this invader. “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, I HAVE A GUN AND I WILL SHOOT YOU” After that I give the invader a few seconds to respond or flee. The reason for this is that being woken up out of a sound sleep you don’t want to shoot as the invader could end up to be a family member. If after a few seconds there is no response the invader gets hit with a spray of mace. Within seconds this should cause enough discomfort and disorientation to make this invader think about his or her initial plan of robbery and head for the door. In the mean time I am on the phone will 911. The last thing I want to do is engage in hand to hand combat with this individual. I don’t know there strength and with adrenaline flowing I don’t know their capabilities. The last thing I want to do is shoot this person, but if I am approached in an aggressive manner I have no other choice but to defend my own life.

So why do I choose a personal alarm over a commercial alarm with the connectivity to automatically triggering a response to local law enforcement? It has been my experience while working in the field of security where I quickly learned that most responses come from a security company. I have personally witnessed alarm responses arrive to the scene well over 30 minutes from the time the alarm is set off. This is usually the cause and effect of local traffic or not having the adequate staffing to respond quickly. For local law enforcement most departments are terribly undermanned right now. The bottom line is that you have to depend on yourself in a situation and you must act more quickly than the home invader. It should also be noted that with a personal alarm system your trusted neighbors should be informed that if they hear your alarm to wait 3 minutes before call the police. Many times it is possible to simply forget to turn off the alarm before entering your home.

Of course there always vulnerable area’s to think about like windows and each can be equipped with it’s own personal alarm. In this case the remote should be located near the window as to not forget to turn if off before letting in some fresh air. Hanging a bell on the front door is also another method. If you hear that bell ringing you know that your front door has been opened. Having thorny bushes just outside each window also makes for a good deterrent. No one likes getting stuck by a thorny bush and it also leaves traces of DNA at the scene later for police to identify the perpetrator.

These are just some of the thoughts that go through my mind when I think about the things I fear and that fear seems to be a little less as I know I will be ready should I have to react. I would love to hear your thoughts and methods you have developed to protect your family and your home.

Blood Sugar- 92, Weight- 182.6

Posted in Emergency, Family, Life, Marriage, Minimalist, Simple Living, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Donut?

ariseoldfashionedI have seen to have gotten into a very healthy groove lately and it amazes me to say that I am keeping my blood sugar in a good range while keeping my body weight in check. What’s even more amazing that it is all happening without a daily exercise routine or a perfectly healthy diet. So what am doing to make this all happen? Breakfast consists of just a bowl of oatmeal and two probiotics at 6:15 AM each morning. The next time I eat is lunch which I usually eat at between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM. Lunch consists simply of left overs from the night before. The next meal is dinner at around 6:30 PM and is kept small. I stay busy all day and active as I work my job and rarely think about food at all, but if I do I just grab a donut. That’s right a freakin donut. I believe that the success I am having is from the distance in time between meals.

I certainly feel guilty for not working out each morning and I know that I will return to vigorous walks a few times per week, especially on the weekends but for for now I am very happy with the results I am seeing.

With the probiotics I am not longer having any issues with the IBS and starting to wonder if this problem was closely linked in any way to Type II Diabetes.

Blood Sugar- 94, Weight- 182.4

Posted in Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Minimalist, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thank You for Your Service

Albert-Einstein-qUOTES.Only-a-life-lived-in-the-service-to-others-is-worth-livingToday is Veterans Day, the day that we honor all who have served this great country throughout all of it’s struggles to protect our liberty and way of life. This brings up a touch subject for me in that are many ways of looking at it. Many of my fellow veterans do not like hearing the term, “Thank you for your service”.

Although I believe that it is a wonderful term for an American citizen to show their gratitude for one who goes into the trenches to fight for their freedom it seems that it has become so generic that it doesn’t mean much anymore. In other words their is really not much feeling behind it, and more like when someone says, “Have a nice day”.

Along with our military there are nurses, doctors, police, EMT’s, firefighters, corrections officers and a slew of other first responders who also have given so much and put their lives on the line. Working through holidays and shifts that take them away from their families. They should also be thanked for their service. Personally I believe that if everyone dedicated a little of their time to some type of service our country would be better served and no one would have to thank anyone else for their service. It would simply be understood.

Even if you are not of one of these professions there are other ways to serve. Community outreach programs, voluntary police or fire, soup kitchens and the list goes on. There is no higher calling than service to others and all it takes is just a small portion of your time. Just one Saturday per month makes even a difference in the lives of others. You don’t have to look far for ways you can serve your community. If you are already involved in one then I thank you for your service.

Blood Sugar- 80, Weight- 181.2

Posted in Health, Life, Minimalist, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

True Wealth

pinky-loveSometimes it is too easy to lose perspective on the realities of life. We too often can forget about the ground we walk on as we are allowing our minds to move forward. Sometimes we get so caught up in where we would like to be that we forget about what where we are and what we have.

The most valuable thing I have in my life is my amazing relationship with my wife Sharon. Together we have done amazing things and accomplished much. We have a nice home here in Oregon which I am working hard to pay off in the next couple of years. We share all of the joys of living a simple life and both enjoy each other’s company. One of the things we like to do best is do just sit around and talk after a hard days work. Just the simple act of looking into her eyes lets me know that I am loved and I so love her too. We support each other in everything we do without criticism. Our relationship is the key to our happiness in life. Everything else is a bonus.

As we both met later in life we both had children separately and the amazing thing is that we both were blessed with the most wonderful and thoughtful children in the world. Our family continues to grow as grandchildren and coming into the world and we both love spending time with all of them.

Yes, sometimes we all look out into the world we live in and desire things that we don’t have, but it is sometimes too easy to forget about the things we do have. Wealth is the definition of what you feel in your heart and has very little to do with what is in your bank account. It is the treasure that you wake up to each morning and fall asleep to each night. Money comes and goes, but what really counts is the love you have in your heart and your home.

Blood Sugar- 90, Weight- 183.2

Posted in Simple Living | 13 Comments

Two Weeks on the Job

onthejobI made it through two whole weeks of working at the new job and time certainly has flown. Each day seems like the hours are just passing away and before you know it it is time to go home. I believe that it has a great deal to do with the challenges I face each day between learning and applying what I have learned.

Basically all I am doing right now is driving around a city and responding to neighborhood complaints of abandoned vehicles. Most people wouldn’t think that this is such a big problem but the list never seems to end.

I am learning that the best way to deal with any situation is with kindness and understanding. Besides what we are told on the news I know first hand that the economy pretty much sucks right now. The latest figure I heard is that 51% of all workers in America are earning less than thirty thousand dollars per year, while 70% are earning less than fifty thousand dollars per year. Between taxes and benefits there is not much left in that paycheck and people are scrambling to try to make ends meet. Even though I still have to do my job and right a citation when the law is broken when I get the chance to speak with people I try to give them some loving advice.

There are so many homeless in the area of the country I live in that it is starting to reach a critical mass. Although we have many programs in place to help the homeless I understand that what people want more than anything is a way to provide for themselves. I know this doesn’t apply to those with certain addictions, but many would simply appreciate a job that would help them get back on track.

solocator-app-iphone-and-androidI was able to make a small contribution already towards working smarter. The whole crew was recently updated with iPhones to make communications easier. Typically we us a separate camera to take pictures of the complaints we receive. The iPhone can do the same job but doesn’t have the capability of placing a time and date stamp on the picture. I found in inexpensive app called Solocator that not only time and dates stamp a picture but also provides the information of where the photo was taken and stamps it on top of the photo. I can see that many of my tech skills are going to come in handy and help the department a great deal.

This has been a really good week for Type II Diabetes as my numbers have steadily remained under 100. I attribute this success to maintaining a good meal schedule and staying constantly busy. Without the workout in the morning and the holiday away from blogging during the work week I find myself sleeping just a little bit longer. Although I do miss both the workouts and writing in the morning I am finding that just getting up and doing an hours worth of studying with a cup of coffee is helping out with the work day.

This is one of the things that minimalism is all about. It’s not only about reducing our stuff, but also about reducing certain commitments that may cause stress. Where blogging was at one time a labor of love turned into a commitment where I felt obligated to write each morning. When your life becomes overwhelmed with too many commitments some of them simply have to go. This is also the reason why I keep my nights during the week free. I know that after spending 11 hours a day dedicated to work the one thing I look forward to is coming home and relaxing. I know that this doesn’t make me a very social creature, but on the other hand it seems to work out as our friends and family understand it and have adapted to it.

One of the things I do miss a great deal is reading other peoples posts. I haven’t been too good at finding that time right now, but am actually thinking about replacing some stupid TV time with reading time. I have the wordpress app on my phone and have to start learning to pick it up and use it.

Blood Sugar- 86, Weight- 185.0

Posted in Blogging, debt, Finances, Fitness, Food, Growing Up, Health, Life, Minimalist, photography, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

An Active Day is a Balanced Day

Thomas-Edison-Famous-QuotesI have gotten my studies in this morning and still have a little time for a short post. I had a busy active day at work yesterday, ate a small breakfast, small lunch and then a small dinner with no exercise routine in the morning. My blood sugar is down and my body weight is also coming down. I believe that just the busy work schedule where I am moving throughout the day is replacing what my morning exercise routine was doing when I was just sitting all day. With my body weight dropping and it shows me that I am continuously burning calories. During my workday I am so involved in what I am doing that I don’t think at all about food.

I remember writing a post about this about a year ago where I stated that if I had a physical job there would be no need for working out. This is starting to be proven to be true. Of course I will return to challenging my body with a morning exercise routine a few days a week just for the sake of maintaining strength and endurance but it will not be to the extremes I went through in the past.

The human body was designed to work and the mind designed to be creative. I believe that this combination along with eating a whole food diet may be the key to avoiding many of the medical problems people suffer today.

Blood Sugar – 74, Weight – 182.8

Posted in Body Building, Fitness, Food, Health, Life, Minimalist, Primal, Simple Living, Type II Diabetes, Walking, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

No More Work Day Posts

I have made the decision to start focusing more on education and learning in the early mornings and spend less time working with this blog. This may only be for a short time until I am more comfortable and confident in understanding all of the aspects of the law that surround my new position at work so I can apply those laws to the job I do each day. I will still write on the weekends but the few hours I have in the morning during the work week I want to dedicate to this new career that I am a part of.

I will miss writing each morning and still may write a short post now and then during the week, but as a minimalist we have to make certain sacrifices to make room for opportunity.

I certainly do not want to lose contact with many of the friends I have made in the past few years and encourage anyone who wants to chat to simply email me.

Blood Sugar- 95, Weight- 183.6

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments