Friday, February 3, 2017

Take Me Home, Country Roads

John Denver once sang. "Country roads, take me home/ To the place I belong/ West Virginia, mountain mama/ Take me home, country roads."

I am excited to announce, that a country road is taking me home. A new home that I will call my own. That cute Country Boy I get to share my life with and I are merging our two homes into one. That's right. We have decided to move in together and get our lives with each other and as parents to Baby Girl started.

I am over the moon about this, as is my Baby Girl, because it has been a long time coming. We've lived with Nanna and Papa for the last four years and in a way, I'm proud to say, it was also the only time I've ever moved back home to Mom and Dad's. 

I  moved out of Mom and Dad's place literally four days after my high school graduation and had lived away from home ever since. That was from age 18 to age 25 that I was in my own place. I was on my own and had an unexpected layoff in my professional life that caused me to be unable to renew a lease and move back home to my folk's house.

After moving back home, the ultimate goal was to move back out again, with money in savings and all bills/debts paid off. Now that would require a j-o-b, right? Well, unfortunately, it took me about 8 months to find work and all the gigs I could land were temp jobs. Just when I thought I could make money to pay debts because I received job offers, I would accept - only to have them tell me 3 weeks after hiring me that they decided to make it a 90 temp job. It was like another job crashed and burned and was like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street.

I worked dead end jobs for 2 out of the 4 years I was living with my parents. I wasn't making enough money to pay off debt and most importantly, save money to get back to where I was prior to moving in.

All that changed when I started looking for more professionally. I was working another craptastic job that I was getting burnt out on and not making money to pay even monthly expenses with. I decided I was going to start looking for more because this ol' world had to have something better and worth having for not only myself, but for my daughter. 

I landed my current gig that I was over the moon about getting... Working for Acura. I've always been a car person and its always been something I love spending my time with. Mechanics, detail, selling, financing... Everything. The car business is something I always wanted to damper in and it just fell out of the sky and landed in my life one March day. (For more about my career and what it means to me, please read my entry from 2015: A Year In Review).

So since landing my job with Acura and since I was living with my parent's, I was able to pay off a lot more debt over time and start getting expenses broken down to just the necessities and no luxuries. I am so proud to say that I paid off 95% of my debt and only have monthly expenses - so now I was finally able to just see what options were. 

While waiting to see what those options were, time was flying by at the same time. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months dating my hunny and we decided that maybe since enough time as past that we've spent together, perhaps maybe it meant that we could merge our homes into one. Realistically, it made sense because I was now financially ready, and he was coming out to see Baby Girl and I almost every other to every day so, we were both just ready. 

Well, the big moving day is tomorrow! Like, holy hell, people! Its already here! We toured a few places to reside on Sunday, January 22, 2017 all including the opinions, thoughts and feelings of Baby Girl. She voiced her feelings on every place we looked at and if she really saw her and our little family living there or not.

When it came time to decide where we should apply to, her opinions, thoughts and feelings were graciously considered and we made our decision. We applied that January Sunday night around 8:30 PM after our Baby Girl went to bed and by the time I got to work the next morning at 9 AM, our leasing agent was calling to tell me the great news. 

Moving day is TOMORROW. As of tomorrow, February 04, 2017 - We will be moving out of Nanna and Papa's and into our own home. Its very bittersweet in Baby Girl and my life to be leaving but we are also excited to start new chapters with our special man in our lives.

This is officially Chapter 3 in our relationship. In case you need a refresher, Chapter One was dating. Chapter Two was officiating our relationship lol. Another chapter being written in our love story. 

To everyone who have love and supported us over the last 4 years, especially my parents, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we couldn't be any more blessed than we are right now.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When "Taxes" Are High

"Grief is the tax you pay for losing someone. And today, taxes are high." - Randy Lewis, ODFW

"You can never say enough about a person who was so influential in your life. He was a hard worker and an avid outdoorsman. The State of Oregon will never know how much he did for this state. He was tough but fair, and loved us all unconditionally. Just like when you're pitching a little league game at Harmon Field in Bend, suddenly you see dad watching. the fastball got a little faster, and the bat started finding the ball. Our Disneyland and far away places were right here in Oregon. He took us camping every year at Cow Camp; We looked for morel mushrooms at the Metolius and Ochocos; Found many an arrowhead on Squaw Creek; Learning to catch brookies on Snow Creek and fly fishing at Sparks. Too many memories to capture in such a little space. Thank you Dad for all you did for me, my family and friends. You will truly be missed in so many ways. Give mom a big hug and kiss for us. Love you." - Jeff Montgomery, on his father's passing.

This man was truly the greatest hero, influence and idol of my life. On November 03, 2016, our lives were changed by the tremendous loss of my grandfather, my Papa Monty. I remember every moment form the day that I met him, up until the very end. Instead of all the attention, all he really would have wanted was a few words mentioned - a simple man, simply at rest. He always said some things just glitter and shine, but always taught us that love was the one thing money couldn't buy. His love and support always just meant so much.

He was the man who brought our family together countless times a year, and he instilled so many traditions and legacies within us - just saying thank you just wasn't ever enough. He was the greatest and most influential man that I, and countless others, ever had.

For everything he has ever done for us. For all the many memories that I have with him, I will cherish those forever. He will never know the gratitude I have for him, for all he has done for me and for everything he has ever given me.

I love him endlessly and I miss him terribly. This loss was just tremendous. 
I miss him a little too much, a little too often, a little more everyday.


Montgomery, Monty Leon - 89 - May 03, 1927 to November 03, 2016
Monty, 89, a long time resident of Portland, passed away on November 03, 2016 peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. Monty was born in Talent, Ore. on May 03, 1927 to Donnie Allen and Vera Mae Withrow Montgomery (later Newland). As part of the "Greatest Generation", Monty graduated early for Talent High School and with his parent's permission, joined the Naval Service at 17 years of age, sailing on the USS Gurke (DD 783) into Tokyo Bay in August of 1945. After being discharged, he attended Oregon State University and graduated with a degree in aquatic biology and fishery management. Monty met Sally Marie Knight in Medford, Ore. and they were married there on September. 16, 1949. They made Medford, Bend, Corvallis and Portland, their home over their 60 years of marriage. Our favorite family memory is our yearly camping trip at "Cow Camp"outside of Bend. Monty began working for Oregon State Game Commission (now known as Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) in 1950 as a biologist. As a manager at Fall River Hatchery, in his first position with the Commission, Monty's first success in conservation was was to convince the US Army Corps of Engineers not to put the Upper Deschutes into a culvert about the Deschutes Bridge during construction of the Cascade Lakes Highway; as was being mandated by the regulations created by the Tennessee Valley Authority construction project of the 1930's. He continued his working career and long after into retirement, Monty continued to do what he loved, volunteering for conservation projects. He received the highest award of the Izaac Walton League of America. "Monty dedicated a lifetime to conservation and protecting Oregon's natural resources," said Chuck Clayton, the League's nation president. "His work to benefit conservation as a local, state, and national leader in the Izaac Walton League represents a spirit of volunteerism many Americans cherish." Sally proceeded him in death in 2010. They are survived by their six children, Teresa Franzke of Bend,  Kimberly Waddle of Walla Walla, Wash., Molly Montgomery of Happy Valley, Lisa Joyce of Newberg, Heidi Elliott of Vancouver, Wash., and Jeff Montgomery of Aloha. They had 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. A celebration of Monty and Sally's life will be held at the family home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in honor of Montyto a project that he and his best friend, Corky Corthell were instrumental in initiating. The Coos County STEP Commission, Educational Account, PO Box 1611, North Bend, Ore. 97459. (Visit online at

*Published in The Oregonian from November 11, 2016 to November 16, 2016.


"You should be here, standing with your arms around me here.
Cuttin' up crackin' a cold beer, saying 'Cheers! Hey, yall it's sure been a good year."
It's one of those moments, that's got your name written all over it.
And you know that if I had just one wish - It'd be that you didn't have to miss this.
Cause you should be here."
-Cole Swindell.