What Makes Me Smile

Sometimes we need to stop and count our blessing especially when it feels like the negative is trying to suck us into the darkness.

My list of positives
My Husband
My kids
My cats
My dog
My rock collection

It's Sunday

Dang, how many times can one person stop and erase everything they are writing only to turn around and start the dreaded process over again. I just can’t seem to find my words sometimes. They feel so jumbled up and what kills me is that before Shanny was killed it wasn’t like that. So much has changed as a direct result of her death and sometimes it feels like I may never learn what all those changes are.

I have a lot of hobbies and activities and it used to be that I had time for each and every one. Now with being into the new job for the last 6 months I don’t have nearly enough time for anything except sleep. And the weekends are not even close to long enough to cover it.  So, when Friday rolled around I was eager to get off work and get to writing for both my blogs and work on the article I was asked to do for Gold Star’s quarterly newsletter.  I even had parts of those post already written in my head, then I got home and they were gone.

Now it’s Sunday and I am writing but not exactly what I had in mind and dreading going back to the place where my husband and I work. Because the hostile atmosphere of the work environment there can be really suffocating at times. I am beginning to think that manufacturing plants are the worst places in the world to work and that I now understand by Unions have their place in our country.

My dog, Trip, is not helping get my projects done, he is only 9 months old and he just loves attention and follows me everywhere. Right now, we are outside working while Doug is in his studio with his customers working on their projects. LOL Trip can’t decide if he wants on my lap or if he wants to tangle himself up in the legs of my table and chair. Goofy dog.

I worked on some genealogy, yesterday. I mean really worked on it. I have touched very little since Shanny’s death because I didn’t want to update the files pertaining to her and I know I have to and I will but not yet. I worked on my Lewis line and found a few records on the Washington State Digital Archives site, so I felt some sense of accomplishment in that department.

I changed the day I work on my rock tumblers from Wednesday to Tuesday with the plan of bring that continuous project around to the weekend as well but it seems like a moot point with Winter coming. It will be too cold to be outside rinsing sludge off of rocks, but I figure I have at least 3 or 4 weeks before I have to stop the rock tumblers for the winter. Unfortunately, I had some set backs in the process so I don’t see me having any of my rocks polished until next Spring. Which means I have none to send to my sister to sell. Well, at least she has a few from the ones I did last Summer so no point in stressing.

I haven’t written to Shanny for a few weeks and it is starting to get to me a bit. I started the journal to her shortly after the crash because it was so hard to not be able to talk to her. I was so used to talking to her almost daily and I miss that so much so the journal helps with that on some level but honestly it would be better if she was hear to respond. I also need to get down to the memorial to make sure it is cleaned up for the Winter because getting down there will be a bit of a challenge between work and the weather. That’s another thing I have noticed since leaving the bus barn to go for the same plant Doug does. I used to drive by the memorial several times a day because that was the way my bus route went and I was able to look out for it and make sure it was picked up but now I can’t do that as often and it feels weird.

Thanks for listening (reading). I am off to make another attempt at a post for my book blog, wish me luck. It used to be a lot easier than this.


Two years ago, today, DDA Alicia Eagan stood up in front of Judge Stone and told him that she had no evidence or witnesses and that only half of the victims’ families and friends wanted a trial. In both cases she lied, there was only one family member from Jake’s family that didn’t want a trial. We were all ready to take it all the way to the wall and the DDA preferred to talk a big talk then turn around and stab the victims in the case in the back. DDA Alicia Eagan said she a tried a lot of cases like the crash that killed Shanny and Jake and that she could get a conviction that would be a Measure 11 sentence which would have been mandatory without parole. DA Brad Berry promised us he would settle for nothing less then a Measure 11 sentence and he to talked a big talk and didn't keep his word. They should both be ashamed of themselves for being such dishonest public officials.

Here is the thing that really kills us, there was a street racing crash a few months later and someone died in that crash. The driver of the at fault car was sentenced to 12 years for first-degree manslaughter, the same measure 11 offense that Kevin Milanez-Gomez was charged with. The person in the street racing accident injured 2 people and killed one person and he got 12 years oh and his friend got just over six years for his part in the street race. While Kevin Milanez-Gomez only got just over six years with time off for good behavior for killing 2 people while driving without a license and under the influence of marijuana that he should never have had in the first place because he was 17 years old and blowing threw a stop sign. The Sheriff’s office didn’t even issue any tickets DUII, MIP or reckless driving. The difference between the street racer case and Kevin’s case… One of the street racers victims’ (who happened to be in the racers car) mother work for the Yamhill County Court House… makes you think don’t it? Why did they give due diligence to one and not the other?

The there is of course Kevin’s accomplice in all of this, Dianna Muńiz. Based on her social media sites it is clear that the death of my child and her friend has done nothing to curb her parting and that she clearly could careless that she and Kevin took two lives and deprived families and friends of two special young people who deserved to live. I should not be surprised, after all she cared so little that she was willing to lie about smoking pot when asked about it for both her and Kevin and the legal system called her a victim even knowing that Dianna was in a car she knew she had no business being because she knew Kevin was unlicensed. Dianna should be in prison as well for her part in the deaths of Shanny and Jake.

Kevin and Dianna, why did you kill Shanny and Jake? 

Related Article

The Day Shanny Died July 8, 2015

September 9th 2018

It’s been two weeks since my last posting and I can’t decide on the order in which I want to write things which means I will probably be all over the map. I am sorry about that and hope it won’t be too confusing.

We had a really great visit with two of our kids this weekend, they were on leave from the Navy and visiting with family up here in Oregon. We feel very honored that they included us in their list of family to visit and even better, we were their first stop. I got to make homemade pizza and fry bread for them. I would have to say that was the best part of the last two weeks.

We went to a bar-b-que at the farm and some cousins from my husband’s side of the family were their and to be honest I hope I never see one of them again. This cousin started talking about how she had threatened to kick her kicks out if they got into drugs and how she did just that when she found drugs in their rooms. Then in the very next part of her topic of choice she talked about how she (of course she only smokes it in the evening) and her husband were pot smokers and he will drive under the influence when and I quote “you shouldn’t drive for 4 hours after smoking pot” (Really? Wow, somebody needs a better education in intoxicants and intoxication). I was sitting there listening to this and getting upset by the second and I finally just left. I sat in the truck away from that until my husband was ready to leave, yes, I was good with that, I had my computer and tablet and wasn’t going to ruin my husband’s fun (granted he wasn’t crazy with the cousin’s topic choice either). By the time we left I was calm enough to realize that she clearly did not know how Shanny was killed or any of the details. Because if she had I would like to think she would have avoided the topic all together.

I started getting sick last Thursday and today I feel marginally better, I think. 

Yesterday like the 8th day of every month left me sad and clocking just one more month that I haven’t seen or talked to Shanny. Don’t get me wrong, I do focus on other things and so does my husband but our youngest daughter as with my other kids is never far from my thoughts. Family functions are fun but there is always this sense of someone missing and it leaves a heavy, empty feeling in my heart. I still miss my phone going off around 8:30 every morning with either a phone call or a text message, makes me wonder why I even keep my stupid phone because it doesn’t ring as much as it used to. Shanny wasn’t happy unless she was texting or calling someone, anyone lol even me. Unless of course she was working out, I miss her every day.  

Where To Start

I have been thinking about this new blog for sometime and wondering at where to start. Because it feels like I am starting it in the middle rather than at the beginning. But then how can there be a middle when there is no ending. Which has left me with the questions of where to start here because I had already started on my book blog but it truly doesn’t belong there and so here we are with a new blog and the need to write this stuff out so that I can let it go for just a little while in order to write the other things I want to write before the this stuff come crashing back into my head and clogging the whole works.

I know at times people won’t be happy with what I write but it needs to come out and to be honest some of those people have no right to be angry with me since they either caused the situation or did something to impede justice and deserve what gets said about them. I could write this out in the journal that I have but I actually started that to write to Shanny so why would I clog it up with all the negative. I would rather write to her about the good stuff because I missing talking to her. 

I plan to move my previous blog post about Shanny’s death here but I haven’t gotten around to sorting the process out yet. But will in a few days, maybe. Might as well have everything in one place, right?

Here I Go Again

I am going to try this again because I honestly want my book blog to be about books and not how I feel since the rose cover glasses came off after my youngest daughter was killed in an avoidable car crash.

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The Day Shanny Died July 8, 2015

Shanny showing us the proper way to salute
It’s hard to believe that it has been three years, it feels more like a lifetime since I last heard Shanny’s voice and yet it seems like the nightmare has just started. Every day I wish I could wake up from the nightmare to a happy smiling/laughing Shanny pushing me out the door to get a Dutch Bros coffee.

On July 8 2015 Jerod (my son) and I picked her up at from the airport at 8:50AM from there we proceeded to find the closet Dutch Bros so she could get her favorite coffee. She and Jerod each ordered an annihilator while I ordered a caramelizer, she was so excited and was Snap chatting everything as we went, including the fact that we got lost in Portland with the help of GPS. It took us nearly 2 hours to find our way back to a highway that would get us to Forest Grove in time to have lunch with my husband, Doug. We did make to Doug’s work by 11:30 for his lunch break.

Doug was expected home by 5 and her 3 best friends were going to be over at the same time and in the meantime, she was going to go run some errands with her friend Jake. Jake picked her up at around 12:30/1:00, I was washing my Jeep so she could drive it during the week. 2 of the girls showed up early and were waiting and Doug was home by 5 as expected. At about 5:15 pm the Fire Departments air-raid siren
(that’s what I call it) went off indicating that something was going on, about this time, my daughter Kara showed up and the sirens from the emergency responders were loud and still going on. My daughter checked YAMCO Watch and learned there was an accident on Meadow Lake and Westside. By this time, we had started blowing up Shanny’s phone asking her where she was because Shanny would not be late without calling.

We figured that her and Jake had gotten caught in the traffic jam and would be a while and that Shanny had not answered her phone because the battery had died. At one-point Kara said one of the cars was red and I knew Jake’s car was red and I got to thinking that if it was them then they might need a ride and should go down and check on them and if they were just sitting in traffic I would go find her. The 2 girls decided to come with while Doug and Kara opted to wait incase she came home, they would call.

Shanny's first track meet
The three of us hoped in the car and head for Meadow Lake only to discover it was barricaded and the person who was watching it directed us to Chief Graven at another barricade when we explained what we were trying to do. Chief Graven knew who Shanny was but didn’t know she had come home but when I explained and told him what we were thinking he radioed for someone to relieve him so he could back down to the accident, telling us to stay where we were. We also continued in our task of trying to get Shanny to answer her phone.

Chief Graven came back up with a Yamhill County Officer who asked me a few questions and told us to keep trying to reach Shanny and Jake before going back down to the intersection where the crash was at. We sat there for nearly 2 hours before they came back and pulled me from the car. I remember saying “your going to tell me something I won’t like aren’t you?” They showed me Shanny’s Military ID and her Drivers license and told me she died, about this time the girls were running straight for me because they had just
Shanny's new car
been told too.

My head went into overdrive and I knew I had to get to Doug and tell him, as we came down our street I saw that the number of people at my house had grown because my father-in-law and my sister-in-law were there. I could hear them all screaming from 2 blocks away, they had been outside waiting. I went straight to Doug who had been lying down in our room. I remember yelling at my father-in-law to get the hell out of my way and out of my room because he was blocking my path to Doug.

We wanted to go down to the crash sight and had gotten ready to do just that when the victim liaison person and some of my neighbors told us we shouldn’t and stopped us halfway towards the door. From there everything becomes a blur of snippets of things. I remember bits and pieces of things, I lived in a fog for over 6 months and sometimes that very fog takes over. She had only been home for 8 hours and her sister and other family members hadn’t even gotten to see her yet.

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