Thursday, October 29, 2015


Jurassic World camo cake made by Dadda!

This is the best birthday effah.

Oh!  I love this a lot.

A "real" fishing pole!

Momma, Dadda ... this cost too many dollars!

Remote control car

Can I stick my finger in the frosting?

Yes, of course!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


This is now my most priceless keepsake.  A "girl" style invitation to Braeden's birthday party on Wednesday.  It says "I love you Gramma please come to my party".  As if I'd miss it!

He is more excited about turning five than most kids are about Christmas.  Everything that is advertised on TV is EXACTLY what he wants for his birthday.  Yesterday I went and bought the makings for his Jurassic World cake (camo cake mix, a 5 candle and 15 Jurassic World dinosaurs.  His dream is to go to Chuck E. Cheese ... so unfortunately, that is where we will go.  It's close to Jesse's family and even though he has not informed them (yet?), Kate did contact Jesse's mom and invited her.  Braeden would much rather have his three cousins to run around with!!  But we will see what happens.  Families are what they are.

Dad and Mom are trying to steer him into another hobby besides army and  legos.  Gramma feeds the frenzy!  A bucket of 200 2inch  army guys!  

Saturday, October 24, 2015


It's a little sad this morning after hearing about the hurricane that hit Mexico.  Kate's manager and friend were supposed to leave this morning for two weeks in Puerto Vallarta.  They had been planning and scheming and saving for two years ... and it was cancelled due to Patricia.  They have lots of pets and had arranged with many friends to have them all cared for.  Bummer.  Unfortunately, my Maui house is occupied or I would have loaned it ..

Maui has had wetter and hotter than typical summers so I am curious about El Nino and what he will bring.  For Maui, it supposedly means a bit wetter than usual.  Which it has been.  And now it will continue through our winter.  Looks like a wet but mild winter for Oregon.  Sorry about the rest of you with likelihood of SNOW!

But even if it rains in Maui, it is warm and comfortable.  I look forward to having the low at night be in the 60's instead of the 70's.  Much better for sleeping.  Our island has two volcanoes so if the weather is too hot where I live, I can drive 40 minutes and be in Upcountry, about halfway up Haleakala ... where they do have heat and fireplaces!  Mr. Ralph had wanted to live there.  It's lush and green and where most of our tender produce grows.  But I wanted to move to Maui to enjoy the sunshine.  And I knew it would take a bit of effort to get him down to the ocean.  So glad he compromised with me.  It's just perfect in Kihei.

My tenants say they have noticed a change in the "feeling" of Maui.  Not as friendly towards the haoles (non native Hawaiians) and often mean spirited.  Many Hawaiians can no longer afford to buy homes on their island ... because the tourists and snowbirds have driven up the prices.  Most businesses offer Hawaiian residents a Kama'aina discount to help keep things affordable.  But I, too, get this deal because I live there.

It's a tough situation.  I feel lucky I get to live there and I feel a little bad about being part of the problem.

Friday, October 23, 2015

AHHHHHHH ... Ambien

This picture says it all.  Last night!  Six wonderful hours in a row.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Thanks to my blogger friend, The Misadventures of Widowhood, I bought a FitBit.  Now I realize how sleep deprived I am.  Today I called my Dr. to ask for a prescription.

After working like a champ for two weeks, my FitBit now shows that I am sleeping soundly.  NOT!  I need to figure out what happened.  But in the meantime, I started using SleepBot.  It's a free app for iPhone and I think they have one for Androids.

This was last night.  Doesn't look very restful, does it?  I think this is why I feel so lethargic all day, every day.  I have used Ambien for many years.   When Dr. asked me to go off, I had no trouble.  But after feeling so punk for so long, I think I do need some uninterrupted sleep.  EVERYTHING looks better after a good night's sleep.  Everything.

I never really knew how much sleep affects our health.  WOW!  It is responsible for so much in our lives.   Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

From the National Institutes of Health I learned sleep influences:

Healthy brain function
Emotional Well being
Physical health 
     high blood pressure
     insulin production
     ability to fight off minor illnesses
Daytime performance and safety

Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested.  (Hmmm ... this might help my WW venture ....)

Dr. just called me back.  We had a good chat.  He will prescribe Ambien but thinks we need to find out WHY I am waking up so much and fix that.  Pain?  Breathing?  

CPAP here I come ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Just four more weeks before I return to my Maui island!  

Honestly, these six months have just flown!  I have not accomplished very much of what I thought I might ... oh well.  It is what it is!

My friends have enjoyed their stay despite this being the HOTTEST period they have ever had while in Maui.  Heat index of 102!  September and October ARE the most miserable months in Maui but apparently this year takes the award.

Gary and Leilani have improved both my indoors and my outdoors.  They are great friends and they have made my home their home.  I hope they are leaving behind all their purchases until I see if any work for my lifestyle.  Rugs, sleeping bag, outdoor lounge chair that folds flat, dresser and night stands (white rattan) and more.  I'm kinda hoping she leaves behind some clothes and flowers for my hair as well!!!

They have planted and divided (and replanted), power washed the whole neighborhood, (including BUYING the power washer for me!), cleaned out the entire utility side of the house (read JUNK yard), sold some items on CraigsList for me, bought beautiful outdoor pots for my new (and thriving) bougainvillea and so much more.

It will feel like I am going on a vacation.  To my own house!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I love doing my shopping on Amazon.  Is it because I'm getting older and driving, walking, parking and shopping just do me in?  Or is it just so convenient AND usually the same cost or less? 

It really comes in handy in Maui as we joined "Prime" where you pay $79 or $99 per year and you get free shipping.  YES.  Even to Maui.  Besides the free shipping, you get to use the Kindle lending library, instant free video streaming, music, photo storage in the cloud, and more.  I need to take advantage of these perks.  Photo storage is a big ticket item!  And so far, no restrictions on quantity or frequency of use.

Before Mr. Ralph left, we needed new tires for our car in Maui. They were CRAZY expensive (special size) and had to be ordered.  We went online at Amazon ... SAME brand and we got them for less than half the cost .... and in three days!  And our dealer put them on for free!

Two years ago we did our Christmas shopping for our little family and they will even wrap and tuck in a card.  It just  doesn't get any easier.  Today I was browsing for Braeden's birthday and discovered that our favorite cleaning products (Mrs. Meyers) is half the price I've been paying!!!

Now they have added Pantry (for food items) and Prime Now where you can order groceries or take out meals and they will be delivered in one to two hours (depending on location .... not in Maui yet).  How do they do it?  And make a profit?


Thursday, October 15, 2015


For all of my 63 years, my scars have been on the inside.  Having this first knee surgery now shows a BIG scar on my left leg.

It's incredible how quickly the giant wound healed.  It's disgusting to look at (or touch) still, but moving right along.  Currently, I'm slathering coconut oil and Vitamin E oil on it twice a day.  I would love to do it more, but it really ruins my clothes.  I hope I can "shout" out the oil stain on my Maui sweats.

Do any of you have lotions or potions that worked on your scars?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Lately, I feel like I can sleep 15 hours a day ... if I take a little nap!

But I embrace this temporary feeling.  I love that it's dark earlier and there is a nip in the air at night.  And I have always enjoyed sleeping.  Lately, though, I have had insomnia!  Can't seem to fall asleep until after 3:00 am.  I'm so glad I do not have to go to work nor do I have ANYTHING on my calendar (except for physical therapy).  Don't know how people do that if they don't get their sleep.  And I have several friends who are still employed at our age.

I have been walking 3,000 steps a day (thank you FitBit) hoping that exercise will help me get to sleep.  After therapy tomorrow, I will see if it's okay to walk more.  He wanted to build up the muscles around the knee before much walking.  Hibernation is not so good for my new knee.  The whole area is now a big bruise and I'm slathering coconut oil and Vitamin E oil on it to help things heal.

The best thing about hibernation?  I get to fly to Maui in five weeks and we don't have time changes or nippy weather (usually) and it gets dark at almost the same time every day of the year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


My youngest grandson is 18 months old.  With this child, my daughter discovered baby wearing.  And it's been a great thing!

Deacon is a very high maintenance baby.  The only way she could go anywhere or get anything done, was by wearing him.  Sometimes in the front and sometimes in the back.  He (and so does she!) loves feeling the body of the other person.  Guess what?  These baby carriers are NOT like what I remember!

She first started with a shirt that had a cocoon inside for him.  Easy to nurse him when he was inside.  Then she moved to Moby ... a giant piece of fabric that was folded and tucked into itself.  Next she gave ring slings a try.  She has finally settled on Tula.  This is such an interesting phenomenon ... the carriers are very expensive and there is a whole group of mommies who meet up and talk on Facebook!  They lend each other carriers so a new Mom can be sure she gets what works best for her.  And they also buy and sell used ones.  Apparently some are so in demand that she sold one for MORE than she paid for it.

This morning this is what we saw ....

Deacon carrying his "baby duck" ....

This is just one example of why I don't think I'd choose a 55+ neighborhood situation.  We need an intergenerational mix of personality, products, eating styles and more.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Well, apparently I wasn't 100% better from the stomach bug ... I guess it is playing hide and seek with me.

But I had advised Jesse he could have the day off from kitchen duty on Sunday!  I made tiny silver dollar size pancakes for breakfast!  And cut up some fruit.  All three boys ate like lumberjacks.

Before I started breakfast, I put the most beautiful chuck roast in the crockpot to simmer all day.  An hour or two before eating, I tossed in carrots and onions from the Farmer's Market along with some celery.  The grande special of the day ... twice baked potatoes.  And a nice green salad.

Both grandboys loved the potatoes but would not even try the beef!  Braeden got himself so worked up that he was crying, which made me cry, which worried Deacon ... just as Mom walked through the door after working all day.  Dad tried explaining it was steak, he'd eaten chuck roast before, and tried hiding some in potato, all to no avail.  So he got out a new plate, wiped off ALL the juice on a bit of the roast, put the carrot on the side (after wiping off the sauce) and added a bit of salad on the side.

With a nice dollop of catsup beside a nice dollop of ranch dressing, Mr. B heartily ate all of his meat after a good dunking in the red stuff.  Mom fixed Deacon some toddler ravioli.

Now I remember why kids love those divided plates.  With a nice spot for ketchup.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Well.  That was a total loss of a week!  What an icky virus.

Friday morning I moved back to the condo filled with family.  It's going great and I slept NINE HOURS straight!  Gosh I love my bed.  It's just a fold out twin but with the 3 inch memory foam topper, it is comfort galore.  Mr. B slept there while I was away and apparently it agreed with him also.  I have a feeling that will be his room when I am in Maui.

This morning was delightful as I had the two wee ones all to myself for a couple of hours.  Mom was at work and Dad was enjoying a bit of time off watching a grown up movie in the bedroom.  Now he is walking them up to the Farmer's Market (last of the season, I think) in the rain!  Braeden is so excited because now that he is almost five, he has his own umbrella!

It's about 70 degrees with a medium rain falling and grey, grey, grey.  Thankfully I got the dog walked just as it started!  YES!  I can walk (slowly) with a 65 lb dog!  The knee is doing just great.  I missed two therapy appointments last week and I sure hope that didn't permanently damage me.

I think I've talked my family into having Thanksgiving a week early so I can head to Maui.  Jesse has two brothers, his Mom and several Grandmothers, aunts and uncles so they will always have someplace to go.  I hope we get to Facetime (or Skype) once a week on the computer (easier to pay attention to a big screen than a telephone).  I'd like to read them and I will send them a copy of whatever book if it is not at their library.

That's it from the missing Awkward Widow!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


And here I sit in front of my computer.  With an intestinal bug.  UGH!  Pepto Bismal and toast since yesterday.  I was getting myself a little worked up worried that I might be getting an infection (chills, sleeplessness) until my buddy called to say she woke up with a stomach bug!  EXACT same symptoms.  Nothing at all to do with surgery!  Whew.

Fortunately I'm still at the guest suite so I hope I didn't infect the rest of the family.  I've invited Braeden over to spend the night on Weds and Thurs nights.  His Mom has those days off so she can hang with him during the day and share him with me overnight.  

I can't believe he will be turning FIVE!  I still remember Poppa carrying him around in the crook of his arm, proud as punch.  And proud he would still be.  He's a smart, kind generous young man.

I'm not looking forward to therapy as I know it will only be getting harder.  But!  What doesn't kill me .....

I'm ready to get back to normal life!

Friday, October 2, 2015


This morning 30 staples were removed from the surgical site on my knee.  They were replaced by dissolvable paper tape stitches ... and I can now take a full on shower!!!  Ah, the little things in life.

My kidlet dropped me off before she had to go to work.  Based on previous experience, I suggested she NOT stay and I would get my first Portland Uber ride.  I had xrays (everything is exactly where he put things), staples removed (I made her count them ... thirty!), paper stitches applied and surgeon came in to do range of motion (EXCELLENT according to him).  Two more weeks of compression stockings, at least on the left leg.  Follow up appt in one month.

Ahhhhh.  The light at the end of the tunnel is right here.  No oxycodone for the past 36 hours (although he suggested one on my way home).  Therapy gets more intense every visit and there are 8 more visits.  Yesterday I used a cane instead of the walker but I do feel more steady using the walker for any long distances.

My reward for this visit?  Uber!  He arrived in a spotless Honda minivan (same as mine), drove safely and was attentive (no texts or phone calls ... unlike cab drivers), used his turn signals every single time.  He folded up my walker and put it in the back.  It was well worth it for me.  A bonus was his personality.  Just the right amount of chatty.

How can such a small amount of activity EXHAUST me?  Just finished my half sandwich, caught up on a bit of reading, checked the headlines and SKIMM ... and now for a nap!