Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I know, I know.  I haven't been blogging every day.  Honestly, getting settled into the condo has sucked up more time than I imagined.  Partly because I have terminal ADD and can't stick with one project (or even one room!) for more than a day.  It's sooooo exciting!

It's so fun for me to have a busy social life as well.  I'm back in the swing of things heading two committees for our HOA.  I spent days formatting a monthly newsletter, filling it up with four pages of stuff AND learning how to send blast emails so we don't have to pay our property manager for that any more.  Really?  $25/hour for a 15 minute job?  

The weather here in Lake Oswego has been glorious, so I've been buying flowers and plants for the miniature patio.  Been searching for a tiny footprint propane BBQ (no luck yet).

But most of all ... I just can't get enough of the boys!

Deacon is on the left, Braeden at about the same age on the right!

Monday, April 28, 2014


This week it will be ONE YEAR since Mr. Ralph died.  A milestone for sure ... and I don't know how I managed the ups and downs.  As well as I could, I know that.  The blogging helps!

In some ways this has been the longest year of my life (so far).  Yet the fact that it is going to be ONE YEAR seems like it went by quickly.  In my mind, I know it is just 365 days either way.  I guess it just depends on the day.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Weight Watcher mentality is creeping into my train of thought.  

This is such a good thing!  I've noticed several new things about myself.  Now when I want something that isn't so good for me (think potato chips), I delay munching some and drink a glass of water.  If I am still having a craving, I put a few in a small bowl to enjoy leisurely.  (In the past, I brought the whole bag over).

At last weeks meeting our pamphlet was on some of the WW "super foods" that are high in fiber and LOW in points.  Raspberries!   8 grams of fiber and 0 points.  There were lots of other foods on the chart ... artichokes, avocado, lentils, pears, etc ... but I love raspberries.  Yet I rarely buy them.  They are so expensive and only last 2-3 days in the fridge.

I now have a reason, a healthy reason, to treat myself to raspberries.  Of course, I made myself go to Walmart so the price wouldn't put me into cardiac arrest.
When I'm feeling snacky, I reach in the fridge and grab a handful. Along with the ubiquitous water, it is another way to feed the tummy with a filling and healthful treat. 

This morning I made oatmeal (did I mention how cold it was here this morning???) and put icy cold raspberries on top.  This afternoon I had a Chobani yogurt with raspberries.  

I need to look at the positive and delicious choices WW has for me ... instead of thinking about any deprivation.  My plan is to have a glass or two of wine on weekends (socializing) and even a little bowl of chips.  When I have something to look forward to, it makes it easier for me to decline.  

Braeden loves them also!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Sorry.  I couldn't pass that up!

Apparently it is a pinched nerve in the metatarsal area of my right foot.  Dr. gave me a cortisone injection (ouch!), said stay off of it for a couple of days ... and it will feel worse then start getting better.  

I look fashionable with my Crocs and a gel toe separator, but gosh it IS feeling better.  My friends were right!  When your feet hurt, nothing else matters.  Ugh.

The bad news is that even though I've done everything right for 20+ years, genetics wins.  The good news is that one should get to the Dr. as soon as they have problems.  If I had not, the nerve damage could have been permanent.

I guess it pays to be a hypochondriac!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Ah, don't worry.  I filed my extensions online this afternoon. Grrrr, I hate doing taxes.  Thank goodness for TurboTax.  I can't wait to find out how a death in the middle of the year affects things.  

I always procrastinate.  For a few years, when Alternative Minimum Tax kicked in, I hired someone to do taxes.  Honestly, I'm too cheap to do that for very long.  And the cost just kept going up!  So I went back to TurboTax.

This year (well, 2013) I hope to file in Hawaii rather than Oregon.  It will save me $2,000 in property taxes.  Residents (who file Hawaii taxes) get a $300,000 exclusion in property value.  Last year I did live there for 11 months.  Now I have to look into the ramifications of doing this ... must I live there for six months and one day to qualify?  Will it change where I vote?  The tax rate is about the same for both states.

Stay tuned.  Did I say I hate doing taxes??

Monday, April 14, 2014


My growing little family is returning to their own nest this week.  Deacon will be six weeks old!  Already!!??

This will be bittersweet for me.  Yes, there will be more calm and quiet and everything done my way.  But it will be toooo quiet in the beginning, I'm sure.  They live just 8 miles south ... about 20 minutes.  Now I will invite them over.  I think this week I get Deacon to myself while they go to the zoo (weather permitting)

I'm gonna miss those morning Braeden snuggles before he turns back into a rambunctious noisy playful BOY.  He is such a verbal little man.  And a very good thinker.  We have some of our best talks in the morning when he first wakes up.

At night, I will miss his words of wisdom.  Occasionally, he will be a bit wiggly and squirming while trying to settle in.  I'll ask him to lay still.  After the second or third time, he proclaimed "JB Gramma, I can't be still .... I a boy."  Or ... I serious (skip the "r" sound and substitute a "w") JB Gramma.  You make me sad if I don't have cookies.

The title above is misleading.  I don't play solitaire.  I do play Words with Friends, Letterpress and Word Scramble.  These friends will be glad to see me back! 

Friday, April 11, 2014


Some Maui friends live in Port Orchard, Washington and once when they borrowed my home, they brought their friend, Ona.  As my luck would have it, Ona lives on the Oregon coast.  Since their trip to Maui, I have only been in Oregon on short, mission-oriented trips .... never having time to drive 3 hours to visit and meet her in person.

This week the planets aligned!  Lindee and John were picking up their 11 year old twin granddaughters to bring them to Newport for a few nights of visiting and sightseeing.  My family (and temporary roommates) had been talking about a night on the Coast before they go back to work.  Even though I was having trouble wrapping my brain around bringing a five week old (and the supplies and equipment necessary for that), we decided to crash the party!

I had dinner with them at Ona's charming seaside home on Weds.  My travel mates were pooped and had promised Braeden some pool and hot tub time for being such a good traveler (actually, all four of them slept most of the way).  Last night, Kate and Jesse graciously volunteered to host Emma and Abby so the senior citizens could go out for dinner!

The four of us went to the best, freshest seafood place in town.  And were joined by a friend of Ona's and enjoyed steamer clams, halibut, salad Nicoise, etc.  YUM!  (I'm allergic to shellfish but they have so much more!)  We had a table perfectly located in the sunshine which encouraged lots of fun conversations.  These guys are SOOO funny!  They continue the theme inserting "cat" into many phrases (remember they have been to Meowi!).  We had a purrfect time.

I texted the kids that we were on our way .... they said "NO!  We just started our pizza and a movie!"  So off we weary oldsters went, in search of a not too noisy place to have another adult beverage.  We landed at Nana's Irish Pub.  It was a pleasant memory moment as Ralph and I discovered this place courtesy of his friend and co-worker.

I had a glass of single malt Scotch in his honor.  And shared some Mr. Ralph stories.  Finally, we made it til 9pm ... and reluctantly the kids allowed us to return.

Friday morning.  In an hour or two, we load up the Grandmother Mobile and head to Cannon Beach, about three hours north!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I have been wearing sensible shoes for over 30 years. Dansko since a friend's podiatrist encouraged her to wear them to alleviate a bunion. And for the past four years flip flops were perfect. 


For the past six months the bunion fairies have lovingly nurtured a bunion on my right foot. It's now to the bothersome phase. And it's making my second toe morph into a painful mess. 

I've been trying toe separators, gel sleeves and massage. All to no avail. I've run out of home remedy treatments. I officially feel old. 

I'm in the process of getting my own podiatrist. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


For some unknown reason, today has been a sad day.  I awoke with a headache from grinding my teeth ... and a bit of remembering some not good dreams about Mr. Ralph last night.  Not a good way to start.

Also very emotional today.  I'm going to chalk it all up to a Negative Nellie day.  A friend was having her after wedding party tonight.  Needless to say, I haven't unpacked everything here and I didn't have a thing that would be appropriate (dressing up a pair of jeans was going to have to do).  I was not in the mood to shop.  Feeling fat, frumpy and forlorn.  Definitely not in the right mood to be with mostly strangers, congratulating someone on her fourth marriage.  I did go in on a gift with two others so I hope that will suffice.

It's rainy and grey here as well.  The kids were supposed to head out for a few hours (to start taking some of their stuff back to their apt) ... it's 8pm and they haven't left yet (oh, yes ... their rent is due today also).  I've been not as entertaining as usual.  Just had to ask them to have Braeden in the living room for a while so I can have some QUIET.

Part of this might also be starvation.  The Weight Watcher program is kicking my butt (I hope literally).  Portions are so minuscule ... who eats 13 pretzels?  Or two cups of popcorn?  I used to eat the whole microwave bag of popcorn!!

Ugh.  My buddy and his girlfriend called to invite me out for a glass of wine (4 pts for a mere 5 oz).  He called at the perfect time ... Deacon is wailing and Braeden is noisily re-enacting Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ... all I had to say was I think I'll stay in and rest my ears.

Tomorrow is bound to be better!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


It's time for some widow technology sharing.  I just love finding an app that proves to be useful as well as easy to use.  This would have been even better for Mr. Ralph who almost always forgot his reading glasses when going out for dinner.

Welcome to MagLight.  It's a magnifying glass that is adjustable WITH a light.  Because doesn't it always seem too dark in restaurants these days?  Or maybe it's just me.  I have an eye exam tomorrow morning.  

We always had little tiny LED flashlight on our key ring but now I don't really need that.  The keychain can lighten up a bit.  I've only been using this for a few months but gosh does it come in handy.  Honestly, it's way more cool to use your phone for old age eyes rather than readers on a string.  In my humble opinion.

Of which I have a lot!  Opinions!!  More on that next time ....