Friday, April 14, 2017

What are you missing?

What is missing in your life? Is it love? Is it adventure? Is it serenity? Maybe you want to write a book? Go on vacation?

If you go through your days, placing one foot in front of the other, feeling bored, stuck, sad, numb, or any number of emotions, it is time. It is your time.

First you will want to identify what is missing. How do you do that?  "Think it over, think it under!" says Winnie the Pooh.

I always begin by making a list of the top 100 things I want to do.

Remember when everyone was writing their "bucket list"? This list was written by a man who had received the news that he would die within a year from cancer. He wasn't ready for that ultimate ending yet. By accomplishing all the items on his Bucket List, he then achieved a sense of peace and acceptance about his life's demise. Even my grown kids were talking about doing things from their bucket list! It was a trend, for sure. We can always glean little bits of wisdom and encouragement from movies with a moral or life lesson to be shared.

My point is this, not to focus on dying, but begin to think of all the possibilities and opportunities that are open in the universe. I usually run out of ideas to place on my list but I stick with it - day dreaming helps! Sometimes I return to my childhood for inspiration. For instance, I wanted to be a cowgirl, or a Radio City Rockette in New York City.

What about baking my own bread at home, like my mom always did? It was the best bread and made the entire house smell heavenly while in the oven. I will always remember eating the buns, fresh and hot, melting the butter before it could hit my tongue. What a yummy memory to recreate and take me out of the doldrums!

From this reverie, I begin to think of something new I can do. A challenge - to break up the sameness of daily living - even if you love your life, monotony creeps in. Hmmmm, maybe it will be salsa dancing for me? I have to find my red dress!

Whatever you are looking are capable of making it happen. Seek and ye shall find! Did you know that? YOU have the power within yourself. Because you are empowered. Open your tool box filled with Self Empowerment Strategies. Pull out your dreams, your desires and dust them off, because you are going to take them for a ride!   


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Women's work: Is it ever done?

So, how does work get identified as men's work? or women's work? is it important to have this distinction assigned? This is a question I ask myself. Often. Any task I complete in keeping my home and person clean is work. Any task I complete in my place of employment is work. I identify myself as a woman. It is "women's work" because I am doing it. However, anyone can do these same tasks.

"Work" usually means how a person earns their income. In this 21st Century, we all realize that all people must have a means of income, generally earned via the term "work."

Work means activity involving mental or physical effort in order to achieve a result. Labor means actions especially of a physical type. Work and labor are synonyms - meanings are basically the same.  Interpretation of the meaning is directly impacted by the person using the terms, based on perspective and experience.

The word "labor" is usually attached to the process of giving birth to a baby. If our labor is for love, does gender even have a place in the discussion of the work tasks? Or is is included because female bodies give birth, which is  a very strenuous and lengthy process. My experience with labor of this kind is real and practical, I have four kids! Plus, I have had the ultimate honor of witnessing the birth of 7 of my 8 grandchildren.

Well, maybe my identity as a woman has taken me over! If work needs to be done, I do it. No questions asked.  No gender assignment required!

Because I know....

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees or Plants!!!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Miami Momentum

My plan to get to Miami, Florida, is in motion!  

click this photo to go to the city of  Miami's website

On Wednesday, I finished moving out of my home in North Bonneville, WA, located in the scenic Columbia Gorge, Washington state side. "What did that entail?" you ask. I sold all my furniture, and packed my personal belongings in bins. I even let loose of my prized book collections! I cleaned and did the final walk through with the landlord...Voila! I am free! (It was a relief to have this task completed.)

I know! it says Entering North Bonneville. this was in my rear view mirror! click this photo to go to the city's website

For the days until I fly to Miami, I will be staying primarily with my firstborn child and her family. Of course, I plan to share my joyous self with my other three grown up children and their families. I will be only too happy to spend some time with each and every one of them. 

During this time period, I will also be working, until May 27. I am a case manager for a family shelter, working Tuesday through Friday, swing shift hours. My workplace organization is named Share Vancouver. Nonprofit work is so meaningful which is one of the reasons I am drawn to it.

While in Miami Florida, I will be inducted into the Teach For America Corps. I am truly looking forward to it!

anyone want to see the colorful night lights with me?  

anyone up for dipping their toes into the warm Atlantic Ocean with me?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DebraSeS: Loss of a loved one

Dear Mrs. Gertrude Plooster Adams;

You were the Best Auntie ever...

Some of the things I am remembering about you on your last day on Earth: 
  • summer visits with you (and my Uncle & Cousins): you got me, because you needed some girl time after living with Uncle Babe & 3 sons! I remember you telling me, "... you sure like to read! always got your nose in a book..."
  • homemade ice cream: one of your favorites was peach, you really loved peach walnut! 
  • sewing: Auntie, you were not much of a seamstress...I recall witnessing your finger running right under the needle in the machine! You & my my mom were always cutting up Uncle Babe's & my dad, Leo's old clothes to make more for the 4 boys! 
  • food: Oh my gosh, we had so many picnics & family dinners (about 15 of us) together - holidays especially but they were not required! All of us women were cooking and talking while snacking, and the dads were watching sports on TV or sitting on the patio like the KINGS they were: not always talking, just being together like the best companions they were for each other; and loving the life they created for us all. 
    We would eat, talk & tease & laugh, then play cards and then eat some more! I loved playing with your grandkids so I could get out of washing dishes! 
  • good work ethic: you worked at the Welch's grape canning factory and my mom worked at the Dairy Queen as the 5 of us were growing up. The 2 brothers/dads were carpenters building dams or working at Hanford Nuclear Power Plant. If you all weren't working, you were fixing, gardening, hunting & fishing something. I always thought the 4 of you could build, make, sew, skin, recycle metals for cash, cook, clean, can, create anything & everything to be as-good-as-newsuch hard working souls!!
  • family stories: Doug (Love You!) fished me out of the lake or river one time when I was about 3 - I guess I just walked in, like I knew what I was doing & pretty soon, I was underwater!
  • Larry stayed with us for his high school Senior year when your family moved to Chamberlain from Ft Pierre. I thought he was soooo cool and so did my friends! He (Love you Larry) literally carried us from the door to his car, so we wouldn't track dirt & mud- it was the old pink ford hot rod (1957??) with dingo balls from the ceiling above the windshield!! 
  • the youngest of us 5, I got to boss around some since I was older...I remember telling him that Santa was NOT real when he was  only 5 - sorry, Auntie. (I love you Danny!)
  • I am crying by now, no surprise to anyone who knows me - you ALL teased me unmercifully for crying while we watched Lassie, remember? especially my brother (Love ya, Richard)! 

Well, my dear Aunt, it has been just about one year since your sister/friend Irene (my mom) has passed. She will welcome you. You girls are in good company - I can see the two of you, all dolled up, getting ready for the Saturday Night Geddes Dance (as I heard while growing up).  I know those wild Adams' boys, Clarence & Leo, will take you, their sweethearts, for a twirl, for some 2-steppin' and many rousing whirling polkas until you can't breathe any longer, while drinking some good cheer!

Oh, so many good times, so many to fill my heart with a ba-zillion lovely, loving, never-ending memories. I will miss you, Auntie! and never, ever forget you..... 

Always Your Loving Niece, Debbie

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Debra K Adams MA
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#DebraSeS: Moon Over Miami

I am moving to Miami, FL in June! this is an exciting new adventure for me. An adventure I am more than ready to implement, because I have been in preparation mode for several months.

It began last October. My job, which is just  a job, was feeling stagnant. I was feeling stuck. I did not care for that feeling! Possibilities blipped on my radar...after thoughtful reflection, I made a move!

Have you heard of Teach For America ? During my bachelor degree studies, I became aware and thought..."That sounds like fun!" However, it got placed low on the fuel stash of my burning desires. 10 years later, I am experiencing a flash of flames, or ideas, looking for the next, big, new kindling to jumpstart my simmering fires.

What is Teach for America, you may be asking? It is a non-profit organization that works with school districts across the United States, to bring qualified and compassionate teachers to communities experiencing poverty, hunger, and lack of resources. The children in the communities usually have low scores on core courses, such as reading, writing, math, and science, The students rarely make it to college, as many struggle to complete their high school graduation.

Last October, I applied to be one of these teachers. And I have been accepted as a 2016 Corp Member who will be working in the Dade County School District of Miami, FL. My teaching duties will be secondary English between 6th and 12th grade.

I am very excited to see what my future holds for me as a teacher!  I will update my journey as I go through it!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

DebraSeS: Sunday Serenity

I love is a day I can slow down, spend some time enriching my life or ruminating on the future.

Last night, my son Mike invited me to babysit while they attended a friend's wedding. Perfect opportunity to play with my three grandchildren: Jaxon is 11; Kennedy is 8; and, Lincoln is 5!

Upon arrival, I was greeted with shouts of joy and foam rubber dart shot at me. Hugs all around and high level chatter caused by all three of them talking at once! A most important discussion began on the topic of what to eat. After a dinner of burritos, we talked about my plans to move to Miami, Florida. My granddaughter Kennedy is sad because I will not be able to come to her birthday party in August. :-(  We made a Wish List of things for us to do when they come to visit me: swimming in the Atlantic Ocean; swimming with dolphins for Kennedy; seeing Universal Harry Potter world for Jaxon; and even going to see where the alligators live! SNAP!

We explored their new camper. We tried all the buttons and all the beds. We found out how all the lights turn on, but we can't use the bathroom since we are parked next to the house. The pull out was discovered which gave us so much more space. It has a roll up awning. OOPS, we got some tree branches caught it! Not to worry - it is fixed. Jaxon and Kennedy each have their own bunk beds and Lincoln will hunker down with Gramma Debbie. We were all sleepy, so after all were settled and snug under covers ...light out!!

For breakfast we had orange fruit and waffles while talking about things they have been doing in school, going to soccer practice, which books they are reading, and all kinds of funny things! It was so much fun for us all.

This time spent with my son's family was so enjoyable, We really connected with each other and I came away feeling very fulfilled.

On my way home, I began my ruminations. First of all, I got to drive through the Columbia Gorge (Washington side) which is GORGE-ous! As I drove east along the great Columbia River, the tall evergreen trees towered and the curves of the two-lane highway soothed, I felt so lucky, so blessed.

Secondly, driving the forty miles to my home in the lovely town of North Bonneville, became a rolling meditation for me. I had enlightening thoughts as a sense of peace descended upon my soul.

Last of all, all in all, I say this with certainty... my life is GOOD!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Survivors Helping Survivors

My friend, Michelle, recently got married! She lives in the U.K. We are both part of a community created by The Missing Piece book series... this is a group of compassionate and passionate women who love to assist others, hoping to inspire others to reach greatness by sharing our particular life journeys and the pathways leading to success. This book was released in December 2013.

The next anthology in this series was released in March 2014. In this book, we shared business strategies and the practices and beliefs that propelled our personal business success. Michelle and I wrote our chapters, as well as 24 other wonderful authors.

Just when things were going exceedingly well, my friend ran into a blip....this is the type of blip one is never prepared for and does not voluntarily seek out.  You see, interpersonal violence can be devastating. It shows no mercy and spares no can happen to any one of us, at anytime.

So I am asking YOU, if you can do anything to support this amazing woman and her children, please do!!  After leaving the marital home, they are safe in local shelter. They have done everything in their power. They are brave enough to ask for help and  graceful enough accept it gratefully.  

Another friend has created the following website where you can directly support Michelle's efforts to build a new home for her family. 100% of your donation goes to them!      
Created by C Marmoy on May 21, 2014

"About a week ago, Michelle and her 2 children were locked out of their home by her husband with no access to such basics as food, toilets, clothes, shower etc. etc. for more than 36 hours. Michelle and her children were forced to go into the woods to go to the toilet as he refused to let them back in...." 

click this link to learn more

This is the website to send support directly to Michelle and her children.

We must all work together -  let's do what we can together!!