Cute N Cool

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Become an Organ Donor...

I have had a little red heart on my drivers license for years, at least 15 years I think. It means I am a registered organ donor.

 I did it while updating my drivers license at some point in time.

Recently the idea of what this means became up close and personal to my family, very personal. 

Within a 6 week period of time, my brother-in-law went from not feeling well, to full liver failure with his kidneys starting to fail as well... and then being told he was declined approval to be added to the organ transplant list for a liver transplant. This was at the top transplant hospital in our area. 

He was told to go home to hospice.

Through a series of miracles ( I am not using that term lightly...I truly believe they really were miracles) as hundreds of prayer warriors were standing in the gap in prayer for him.
He not only got approved for the transplant list via a different hospital in Seattle, but he also received his new liver just one week after being added to the National Transplant List. He was at the top of our regions list when his name was added, that is how sick he was.

If this had not happened, we would not have this wonderful man alive and continuing to get better day after day today. We are all so very thankful, and in awe of what happened.

As the head of that hospitals transplant team told him later... a certain doctor with clout went to bat for him, and advocated for him...saying "he's a good man, and needs a chance". I feel that the favor of God was with my brother in law, and gave him favor with all those who were associated with his case.

Now that being said, we need to also recognize that another family had experienced a devastating loss, while my family was rejoicing for our precious family member getting a chance at life. While we were crying with excitement, another family was weeping for their personal loss.

I can only pray for that family as they mourn for their lost son, father, brother, uncle, and loved one. I can also be very thankful that the donor and his family gave our family and others families life at the time they were in the depth of their loss... because he was a registered organ donor.  I wish I could thank them personally at some time.

I encourage anyone and everyone, if you have not signed up to be an organ donor, do so. To find out more click on  The National Donation Network, to see what it is about. 

If you have questions about how your religion views this program, you may be surprised to know that most religions support organ and tissue donation as a selfless act of giving.  To give ones organs is an expression to a true deep act of the command to "love thy neighbor". 
You may want to click here for more information regarding your faith and being a donor.

If you go to Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network OPTN, you will see how many are "waiting list candidates"... as of today, it shows 118,545, and every 10 minutes someone new is added to the list.  

 On average 18 people die every day because they did not receive an organ donation. Did you know that the success rate for organ transplantation is 80-90%?

Because we are in Washington State, we are connected to a region made up of Washington, Oregon, North Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Hawaii, for transplants. The good news is some of these states have a very high percentage of organ donor registrations. I read that Montana is 84%, and Washington is 74%. 

I also read that Vermont is 5%, New Jersey is 30% and New York is 20%, which would mean our story may have had a different ending if we had lived in the region that included these states.

Many states like mine, Washington let you sign up at the Department of Licensing. To find out how to register in your state, and get more information,  click on Organ, and choose your state from the drop down bar on the upper right side of the page.

I know this is not a subject we like to think about, but if your family member was the one needing a transplant, this subject becomes very personal and real. You just don't know.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Loving my Camera Again!

I have been enjoying my camera lately, to distract my mind from some difficult things that are going on in a family members life. 

Recently I had signed up for a basic course in how to use my manual settings on my Nikon DSLR camera, and think it was worth every penny of the Groupon price I payed for it.

It is really challenging to use the different Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed settings, so much to learn.

I thought I would post a few of my recent shots... what do you think?

My favorite is the hummingbird, he was almost asking to have his picture taken, as he kept buzzing around me. 

I haven't posted in a while, so please comment to let me know you have come by to visit!


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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sepia Saturday...Snow and more...

After seeing the theme  for this weeks Sepia Saturday...I knew I had some family pictures that fit the theme of snow, long coats and more...and my mom is in each of them.

Being from the midwest, I should have a lot more snow pictures then I do. My brother has many of the pictures of my father, so you will see that mine show mom. I need to get the pictures of dad, and get them scanned for my family to have too.

 What has amazed me when I look at pictures from this era, is how everyone was almost  always dressed to the "T"s! 

My mother, Gloria  in the early 40's, yes in Minnesota. The above photo is unique, as she wore skirts more often then not, so one with her in pants is unusual for this period of her life.

This is an earlier shot with my mother on the left, her favorite cousin next to her, then her little sister Carol and her mother Agnes. 

 Her mother had many sisters, so my mother was surrounded by aunts and cousins. Her mothers family lived very close to each other in St Paul, in fact she had an aunt who lived across the street.

With the snowstorms they are having in the Northeast,  I imagine it won't be hard to get some perfect shots NOW for this theme!

Now another shot of mom and my sister Chrys in 1998, on a trip we made to Scandinavia in 1998. This is when we were in Finland for a couple days...the ships on this overnight cruise ship take you through the Baltic from Stockholm to Helsinki, I would of loved to spend more time then we had.

My next shot is me, in a snowstorm we had a few years back. In the Pacific NW the world stops when it snows. Schools close, people do not  go to work, every one panics.

Thanks for visiting!


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sepia Saturday...did you say bike or maybe transportation?

This weeks Sepia Saturday has some options, and bikes (or should I say transportation), were clearly my takeoff.

My brother Ron was 11 months older then me, and got first shot at the vehicles...

Are you seeing what I am seeing? The boys ride, the girls don't. Now it is a while later and you see my little sister with me, and my older brother Dale with Ron as well. Where are the girls bikes?

Well, when I was a kid, my preferred mode of transportation was a horse. 

When I was 12, I got my first horse, which made the bike my mode of transportation to get to the farm not far from our house, where I boarded her.

Her name was "Sweetie" and she was probably much older then the 20 I had been told. She was the perfect first horse that left a string of 30 more horses after her, over many decades.

We have 2 girls that live with us now, first shown below is Betsy who is 18. I have had her since she was 6 months old.


And we have Zoe who is  23. We bought Zoe when she was 2, she seems to be everyone's favorite. She is deaf, and the sweetest horse to be around.

So that is my spin for Sepia Saturday, from bikes to transportation to horses!

Thanks for coming by,


Linking with

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It was cold in St Paul too!

I love this picture of my mother as a small girl. Her family lived  in St Paul, not far from the Capital, but they still had work horses and a barn for her grandfathers work horses behind the house.

She said she was not allowed in the barn area,

She lived in this house on Winter St until she gort married to my father, and her father before her grew up in this house that his father built.

After though....

I am adding 2 pictures of the house now, even though it is no longer in our family, a family member took a picture of it in 94, when he was back in St Paul.

Linked to 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby it's Cold Outside!

We usually do not get ongoing weather in the low 30's. I left for a short trip to Vegas to see my sister 
last week, and when I came back it was just the same as when I had left...can you say BRRRRR!!!

My airplane continues to look frosty..

And my Palm tree just doesn't look right with icicles hanging on it...

And my water feeder yard Art Angel..looks chilly too.

And the birds water dish is also icy as much so we actually had cold birds..who came in for a warm up, before being released and flying away. They appeared to be be too cold to move when we came near, they did not fly away.

This first bird we took to PAWS, who take injured birds as it was missing tail feathers. The second was a Grosbeak also, and we were able to feed and water it for a couple days, then he did fly off when we took him outside, whatever was wrong appeared to have been OK by then.

As cold as it is, it is still better then our normal PNW all is well here!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Memories of a trip to Sweden, Finland and Denmark..

I noticed someone from Finland had been by to visit this blog. And decided to share some pictures from a trip my mom and sisters and I took to Sweden,  a long time ago. It was one of those trips that I was glad I took pictures.

My youngest sister was going to Stockholm for an operation, so my other sister and I decided we would go as well, and leave a few days earlier to go to Denmark...then catch up with youngest sister and mom in Stockholm.

While we were in Denmark, we only wished it was longer then the 2 days we gave it...loved it. Everyone rides bikes, no wonder the ladies all looked so slim!

We learned some things on this trip.

1. Do not overpack a large suitcase, as then you have to drag said large suitcase which weighs a ton, and gets heavier as the trip progresses.

2. Wear a warm coat with a hood, and one cozy warm pair of boots, we went in February!

3. See everything you can, you may not get back.

4. Enjoy your mother if she is with you, this is where memories are made!

5. Share stories after, it will make the rest of the family want to go.

6. Learn, laugh, and just enjoy.

We were told Stockholm is the safest place in the world for a woman to to be out walking in the evening.

Once we caught up with Mom and my youngest sister, we  got sis all cozy at her surgeons for a few days, while we did some sightseeing.

 We totally enjoyed the Stockholm Art Museum, where we had a curator give us the grand tour, and the details of the artists and the stories about the paintings they had painted.

We took the overnight Cruise ship to Finland, which was a story of it's own.

We found the young people take the cruise, get drunk as skunks and crash in the hallways, after a night of loud crazy partying. My sister had the ship people move us to a quieter room, as the parties seem to be in the hallway especially on the lower level where we were.  She is a person of action, and went to the ship personal stating.."Bad. very bad!" I think they understood what she was saying as they did move quickly to change our room!!

Here you see Mom and I at a park in Stockholm, then my Sis and Mom after getting off ferry in Finland.

Anyway..we had a great time, and someday I want to go back!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sepia shot of Mom, Opening Day fishing....

This picture is just so cool to me, it is a shot of my Mom and brother in law up at the old family cabin  on Lake Haven in Belfair WA. Mom loved going up with all the boys for opening day fishing...

Linking with Sepia Saturday

Thanks for coming by!


Monday, January 7, 2013

New Pictures...New Year

I took 251 pictures with my trusty Nikon in the last few weeks, with Christmas and New Years...that is not bad. I just finally got around to downloading them.

Of course I seem to look at the Christmas pictures, and find I was to busy enjoying it, that I didn't get enough of those pictures I love to go back later to see, of the ones I love at Christmas.

And with the new kitty, of course she has been a "lets try and get the perfect kitty shot" subject. She has her food and box in my master bath at this time, so the dogs can't cross "the divide" (bathtub) to get her food! She enjoys the view of the birds at her breakfast window as well.

The dogs and cat get along great, as of course Elenore my kitty is top dog, and the dogs seem to know it.

Charlie, my King Charles Cavalier cross took a pretty good shot, as taking pictures of a black dog isn't that easy. He is a special pet to me, though he does think he has some pit bull in him.. he wants to eat the UPS guy who drops the package and turns and runs.

I had a lot of Christmas things to put away, and am still tackling it. This time I am emptying the storage boxes and repacking fresh, so it is not a miss mash of previous unknowns mixed in. That way I will know next year, it has some rhyme or reason in each box, and not old unknowns.

I thought I had to much Christmas stuff, and was not going to use it all, and would thin it out. Since we had our Atrium ( off of our mudroom) covered last spring, it added a wonderful outdoor covered room which took all the remaining decorations. I actually hit the thrift stores, and picked up more!

The ladder in the middle picture above was my "Ladder Tree", and was really pretty with it's blinking lights. I just ordered a large patio heater, so I can use it even in the coldest cold...which isn't usually that bad in the PNW.

Speaking of birds, we feed them, and they are busy at all of our feeders. They are however not supposed to find  their way into the feeders...this happens occasionally...

It has now happened twice, we have to unscrew the top piece, to let our feathery friend fly out.

So I could go on and on.. but I won't at this time.

Hope you all are getting your Christmas wrapped up and put away until next December as well!


Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year...New Beginnings!

I am so glad the year is new, really I am. I am blogging more on my new blog The Pink Geranium, dedicated to my mom and all things vintage.

So now that it is getting it's feet wet, and off the ground, I want to come back to renew friends here at Jan's Place! After all, this was the start of my life as a blogger.

I am reverting back to my original plan for Jan's Place since vintage is diverted to The Pink Geranium. I have fun, family, places to go, and general ramblings to address.

I hope you read, comment, and follow me...

Please don't make me beg!

 To start with, my 2 horses came back after they (well, really only Betsy) didn't work out at the new home. Betsy just didn't like different riders at different levels pounding on her sides. She was fine, didn't buck or anything, they said she was just not a schooling horse ..I think it's cuz she thinks she is a Diva.

I am very frustrated about the horses, as I would like to downsize, but finding safe good homes for the girls who have lived with me for longer then some peoples kids...well, it isn't easy.

I can't run ad's, as I don't trust people I don't know. Hey we live to close to Canada, to know where they could end up! And when I do have a possibility, it's not for both. They are really a set, as they have been non related sisters for about 18 years.

So on to some new news, I got a new you want to see her?

Her name is Elenore, and she is a Diva Kitty...

My husband is still working and his wife, (yes me) is praying he and his business partner sell their company so we both can retire.

I am re-purposing old stuff...though it is to cold to do big projects at this time...soon I hope.

Since my job ended at the end of June, I have often felt like I was living "Ground Hog Day" over and over. I need to have a schedule, but as a person who is serious adult A.D.D. it can keep me on the gerbil spinning wheel of life.. jumping off here and there, and then back on again, randomly.

Is anyone else out there running in circles at times due to a little (or a lot) adult ADD? I hear there are a lot of us out there. How do you handle it,med's. calenders. to-do lists? I need help. If retired, what do you do to keep focused?

Please let me know if you came by, seriously please comment, and point me to your blog as well so I can come see you...and follow of course!