Thursday, December 29, 2016


The five of us are settling in pretty well.  Braeden is on Christmas break so it's not quite the normal routine.  Plus all four of them are sick with Mr. B having a cough since I arrived.  Finally made an appt so they would take him to the doctor.  Walking pneumonia.  I'm hopeful better little boy moods will return when they are all healthy again.

A challenge for me is sharing a bathroom.  Mostly with the two little boys but since it is the first bathroom from the front door, it is often shared by all.  

First thing in the morning if someone beats me in, I'm doomed.  While it seems like 8 gallons come gushing out, I'm sure it's a few teaspoons of overnight tinkle.  I decided to wear Depends at night now to provide a margin of safety.  It is so embarrassing.  After just two weeks!  Last night I ordered some fancy pants by Icon so I don't look like an old, leaky grandma.

I sure hope they fit and I especially hope they WORK!  Supposed to hold six teaspoons.  Best of all, they have a great website with down to earth information about all kinds of things that happen "down there."  (Icon is all about celebrating our strength as women, while chuckling at the ways our beautiful, imperfect, sexy, hilarious, resilient, leaky bodies can go rogue.)  As well as sister companies.  Check out Thinx (period proof panties) and Tushy ... add on bidet features.

Despite this being a very embarrassing issue ... they say 1 in 3 women have leakage issues.  So I am not alone ....

Sunday, December 25, 2016


The year 2016 was a happy one for me.  I spent the whole year in Maui and was fortunate to be able to bring my little family over for a two week visit.  Sunshine and water all day long!  It would be great to all live there.

I renewed friendships on the little island and hosted a few guests.  Just the right amount of fun adventures, shared meals and a good amount of alone time.  And you know what I miss most?  My outdoor shower!

On December 14 I returned to Portland to live in my 3 bedroom condo with this little family.  I feel blessed to be able to enjoy the best of two worlds.  Watching these two little boys learn and grow is an amazingly fun project.  Jesse is used to running the household and is quite adamant about HIS way.  Right now, it works with me being the morning shift.  I bought a large coffee pot and set it up the night before so coffee is ready.  The boys are up between 7:30 and 9:00. They play a while then I fix breakfast.  Kate leaves about 9:15.  Most days I fill her mug with coffee and fix her an English muffin or toast to eat on the way.  She works four LONG days each week and rarely uses her 30 minutes to eat lunch ...

This morning, Christmas morning, we had to finally wake up Mr. Deacon at 10:30!!  It's not even noon yet and my ears are exhausted!  They've only opened a few gifts and their stockings so this may go on all day!  It's sunny and 38 with a roaring fire going.

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I've been back in Oregon with the little family for almost a week.  And I love it.

I loved it for the whole six months I was here in 2015.  Although this is a more crazy hectic time of year to start.  Kate is working 6 days a week and is a bit stressed.  I just rented a car til my 10 year old gas guzzling SUV arrives from Maui (landing in Seattle January 11 ... then being delivered to Lake Oswego after that).

So far this has been a big help for UnSon-in-Law Jesse who doesn't have a car.  We took the boys to Costco and loaded up the pantry.  The next day I went to Walmart and loaded up on toiletries and cookie making supplies, as well as a space heater (baseboard heat just doesn't cut it).

Mostly I've been learning how to best help him.  I get up at 8 to start my cup of coffee.  Mom leaves about 9am.  Boys are up anywhere from 8am to 10am.  I've been making a pot of coffee, packing Kate off with a mug and a bit to eat on the way.  The boys have breakfast next ... oatmeal, french toast, pancakes.  With my second cup of coffee I make breakfast for me and usually Jesse (today he chose cereal).

He loves cooking (and is great at it) but I asked for one day a week.  Yesterday I took leftover macaroni and cheese, leftover pad thai and leftover spaghetti and made an Oodles of Noodles casserole ... that neither boy would touch!  The adults liked it but next time it will be kid chosen.  AND!  My sister bought us a few weeks of Blue Apron and our first delivery is Friday!  So exciting.

After Christmas I'm having someone come out a reconfigure my closet to fit in more stuff.  It currently has just one bar for hanging with two shelves above.  I like the double bars as I can fit in twice as much on hangers.  The work I had done in Maui made me smile every morning when I got out my clothes.

I've invited Braeden to "spend the night" with me twice and tonight is Deacon's turn.  I'm not sure he will stay as he loves sleeping with his parents, but at least we will try.  I keep my room locked so it will remain very special to them ... and I get my quiet time as well.

Once Mom gets home, I head to my room for reading, FB, word games and Netflix.  Last night she brought home indoor snowballs and I have never heard so much laughter!  Mostly throwing them at each other in the hallway but it came with ideas for other games as well.

I'm looking forward to longer days and shorter nights ... and, of course, Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016


Thursday around noon I departed Maui for nonstop to Portland.  It was a great flight as Alaska was celebrating it's acquisition of Virgin America.

Upon landing, as soon as I turned on my phone, there was a message from Kate.  Schools and businesses closed at noon due to snow!  Not much accumulation but then it turned to ICE.  My neighbors and friends talked her out of driving to get me ... it took some of them SIX hours to travel two miles to get home.

She and Jesse called all the airport hotels and just like a few years ago, no room at the Inn.  Some cabs had chains but the line was 471 miles long to wait to catch one.

I became a Bag Lady and spent the night on the floor at the airport!  I had two large suitcases and my carry on.  I took my suitcase strap and looped them through everything so if I fell asleep, anyone trying to take one bag would have to pull the cart plus all the bags, including my purse.  My main excitement was finding an electrical outlet to keep my phone charged.

At 4:45 am a Security Guard suggested I move as check in for flights was starting (PACKED and I don't know how they got to airport!)  So I hobbled myself upright (with two offers of help), loaded all the bags back on and found a table nearest to a donut shop figuring they would be first to have coffee.


When I checked my phone ... a lady I worked with over 30 years ago had texted (and messaged on FB) that she would drive 20 miles to the airport then drive ME 20 miles home.  No way would I have her risk her life as I was willing to wait 5 more hours hoping Kate could make it during the afternoon.  Several more messages and she convinced me.  She was already near airport after taking a niece to work.  I bought donuts and more coffee and met her downstairs.

Yes.  She drove me home (front wheel drive with studded tires).  We caught up just a little bit on the past years, sipped coffee and ate donuts ... without one little slip!

I have been blessed by angels.  Thank you Deb!

Friday, December 9, 2016


It's almost time!  I'm heading back to a small suburb of Portland, Oregon to spend some time with my little grandsons.  We are all pretty excited.

School was closed for them yesterday in anticipation of a big snow storm.  They got about 0.5 inches but the family had fun playing outside and then decorating Christmas cookies.

This morning schools were closed due to ICE.  Momma had to get to work and it was a scary one hour drive and her retail shop is in the worst of the ice.  

Maui has been under a gloomy rainy haze since my friends landed.  In fact, it rained hard yesterday, with thunderstorms!  We also had a tsunami watch due to earthquake in the Solomon Islands.  So we stayed home all day.  They even brought in dinner!  I am a professional couch potato now.

Moving has just hit me now as a reality!  Not stressful since my friend will be renting and will send me anything I forget.  She will also take better care of the place than I do.  I sure do love this place.

The condo complex in Lake Oswego is a magical place as well.  Even though my unit may feel small some days, we have three clubhouse rooms which are rarely used.  One has a fireplace, one has big screen TV and one is a library.  All of them have free wifi.  When I want to entertain, there is also a full kitchen in the middle.

I'm just lucky I have such choices to make.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Is it December?  Really?  

I have been lax in writing since Thanksgiving.  My friends from Seattle arrived on Tuesday.  They are long time visitors and very independent.  Usually they would hit the beach every day for a couple of hours and do a long bike ride, etc.  But Kihei has been rainy since they landed.

Fortunately for me, Lindee is an Energizer Bunny ... and so is John.  So since they were stuck at home ... my garage is organized AND clean.  The lanai has never looked so good ... he pounded all the "engineered" decking back into place so there are no more one inch gaps.  They have trimmed the potted plants.  I have beautiful natural bouquets artfully placed hither and yon.  

And I am trying to meet up with Maui friends before I move back to Oregon.  Oh yeh!  I've started my tiny bit of packing.  

The photo above is the front of a very touching card from Breakfast With God blogger, Leslie.  There are so many intellectual or teaching blogs on the internet, I'm surprised people take time to look at my ordinary life.  It is very flattering.  Thus it was even MORE flattering that she would think any of my topics are blogworthy!  

Her posts take reading and research and thinking.  She is a very Christian person and the title of her blog may be misleading a little.  So many different topics!  Stop over there and take a look!  She and her hubby moved from Maui for his job opportunities ... and she is trying to make a paying career from her writing and coaching skills.

Eleven more days til take off to Portland!

Friday, November 25, 2016


Just two more weeks until I move into my 10x13 bedroom in a 1242 sq ft condo in Lake Oswego Oregon which I will share with two adults, two young boys and a big old dog.  We've done it before, without any trouble, for six months, part of the time me recuperating from knee replacement.  Since I was invited to move back in, I feel much more comfortable doing it again.

I think part of what is helping is that I've been downsizing for 6-7 years now.  I live in 980 sq ft in Maui (although it also has a two car garage which sure helps with storage).  My move back to Oregon will consist of two suitcases.  Maybe just one, as I am already talking myself out of moving some items.

Because I am renting Maui "furnished" and to a great friend, I don't have to pack and ship or sell everything before I go.  She has a two year lease and we'll just take it from there.  She's excited to have a garage, 600 feet of beautiful lanai with landscaping in pots with their own watering system and a wonderland of tiny lights.

(I am in bedroom 3)

I'm looking forward to getting back my adjustable KING size bed and keeping my clothes and possessions to the bare minimum (as I have in Maui ... I still use just "my" side of the closet).  I'm planning on IKEA floor to ceiling bookshelves and I will use baskets as drawers for folded items, and carry-alls with my bathroom items (I'm sharing with two little boys).  Hopefully I will find two drawer file cabinets to use as night stands.

I will get to invite one little man at a time for a "sleep over".

Each purchase is made with great deliberateness.  Clothes, shoes, cookbooks, and a good thing that when we get to a certain we don't "need" much stuff.

Stay tuned for updates!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I have learned a lot from the 2016 election.

First of all, it's good to know I'm not to old to learn!  I believe social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) caused the results that we now have.  Misinformation and mudslinging galore.  "Fake" news sites with misleading/inflammatory headlines.  Individual comments agitating others who voted a different way.  It is so much easier to be mean and hateful when you are hiding behind a screen.  

This week I signed up for digital access to The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  I'm hoping most of their news has been researched prior to publication.  So far, I'm impressed with the NEWS they report ... and a bit of lifestyle articles as well.

Facebook will now be where I look at photos of my family (few and far between), especially my cousins with whom I reunited in the summer of 2015.  I love seeing kids I met when Kate was in preschool now having their children.  

It's always a great place for immediate local situations ... traffic, road closures, school lockdowns, etc. although I bet a local news station has the same benefits.  I'm going to check into that.

I hope to present myself in a more balanced way in 2017.  I think I am a political agnostic.

One who is a registered voter and politically informed, but is basically indifferent and non-committal toward the popular political parties (Democrat or Republican in the US). Probably believes that the political parties are so ideologically similar and so mired in their own bureaucracy that they have outlived their usefulness. Voting straight-ticket out of allegiance to a political party would be considered heresy.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


November always reminds me to be thankful.

Since the election, I've decided I don't need to be friends with everyone on Facebook.  So many sore losers (sorry, NOT sorry that I am not politically correct) and 90% of those are being mean and nasty and posting their rude comments on my friends' pages, as well as mine.  My belief is you can post your opinions and beliefs on your own page, but don't post them on mine ... or on my other friend's pages who have never even met you!

Honest, I don't think I would have acted all whiny and negative if Hillary had won.  Calling the election rigged.  Dissing every cabinet choice.  I looked back on my FB account and don't see any nastiness on my part when Obama won.  And not very much during his last four years.

I decided to UNfollow some people until I realized they could still see when I posted on other people's pages.  So I had to turn them off and block them.  It is what it is.  I'm sure they are not sad to miss out on photos of my grandsons!!  Or see what I had for lunch.

I enjoy differences of opinions and conversations back and forth and having my sister call me out on some posts asking me to check the validity of websites.  But no need to call names and and be condescending and vicious during these conversations.

These well educated people would NOT talk to me face to face in this manner (I don't think).  Hiding behind a computer screen sure brings out the worst in people.

While I sure got a lot more accomplished on those few days I deactivated my account (which apparently still worked) I couldn't stay away.  

Thanks for listening!

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Portland, Oregon.

We are known to be very liberal and forward thinking.  It's a young city and protests are the norm.  Not like what is going on now.  Thugs have invaded our streets causing so much physical damage.  Hiding in their hoodies and masks.  I just heard on the news that these criminals were recruited via Craigslist!!  For them it has NOTHING to do with politics, only destruction.

It's irritating enough, to me, that we are having so many protests after an election.  Maybe it would have been the same if the other candidate won.  The crying and weeping and missing work and school and needing counseling?  Beyond my realm of thinking.

Don't like the electoral college?  We've got four years to change the constitution to abolish it.  Don't like his rude and crude blustery old fool comments about race, religion and gender?  Hit the streets and hug your friends who are immigrants and Muslims and gay and transgender.  Just because he won, doesn't mean I am going to hate.  Prepare for the worst and expect the best.

The angry threats on Facebook gave me impetus to clean out the "friends" list and unfollow the negative nellies.  Very sad, but maybe that is a lesson for me.  
All Americans have learned another big lesson already.


P.S. I closed the FB account altogether.  I spent WAY too much time on there since Mr. Ralph left.  No distractions from my little boys!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016



It's only 8:00 pm in Maui (1:00 am in New York) and the House is declared RED.

Senate looks like a tie.

PRESIDENT?  Too close to call.

I hope no one needs any of their money from the stock market within the next year ....

P.S.  I watched until 2:00 am.  Took hours to fall asleep.  Let's just make the most of this four years ... and work hard to repeal the electoral college!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


A picture is worth a thousand words ....

Storm Trooper and Police Officer

The First Stop

He can barely hold the bag of loot

Every kid's dream!


 First School Picture
Kindergarten 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016



the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

I volunteer a bit with the elderly. I started in 1994 after Mr. Ralph's mom passed away.  She was lucky enough to have friends (neighbors, church friends, relatives) who offered her help when the need arose.  She lived in a pretty small town in Indiana (population 18,000 and most of that has been in the past 15 years) where people knew each other and chatted and share news, happy or sad.  She remained independent in her own apartment.

It's important for all of us to have empathy when our seniors begin losing some of their daily independence.  Driving. Cleaning the corners of the kitchen floor.  Carrying out the trash.  Doing laundry at the laundromat. Even getting out of the house.

Ms. Phyllis just loves having her own personal driver.  I drive her to doctor or dentist appointments.  Groceries and prescriptions.  The bank. Usually to include lunch.  And then I realized we never got together for just FUN.  Now that I am moving back to Oregon, there are a few touristy things I'd like to redo.  

I asked her if she'd like to go for a drive.  Her eyes just lit up!  The island is our only limit!!  She couldn't come up with any ideas so I just started a stream of consciousness of places to go and things to see.  Last week we drove north to Ho'okipa where the water toys appear when the surf is up.  It was so crowded and busy and exciting and we were both thrilled.  On Thursday we drove to a little cowboy town (Makawao) part way up our mountain of Haleakala.

Just for fun.  No errands.  Empathy for the small things we take for granted when someone has to give up driving.

Just for un.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


I think I would love to be a detective!  Who would suspect a little old lady?

Nancy Drew was my favorite book series.  Luckily I got to read every single one ... and owned most of them.  My cherished possession.  Today I continue prefer mysteries.

Of course the internet is my biggest assistant.  It's amazing what I can learn with a little snooping.  A Maui HOA owner claimed that she bought her home a year ago already painted (color was not approved) and with a white plastic picket fence (not allowed).  I went on Google Earth and gosh!  There was her house frozen in time the month she bought the home.  It was NOT the current color and there was no picket fence. Busted!
So many things are public knowledge if you know where to look.  You still have to verify information (just like in genealogy!) and double check everything.  Especially rumors on Facebook.  It's curious to me how intelligent people simply repost without applying common sense ... or checking the source.

For internet rumors is the oldest and most widely used source.  If your inner voice doesn't tell you "nothing worth anything is FREE" or "how could Bill Gates get his $5,000 to me", check it out.  

Another fact checking site is Hoax-Slayer.  It's a newer site for checking email, social media hoaxes and current internet scams. The crooks are getting more sophisticated so before I open an attachment or visit a link (even from my sister), I text her to be sure it is from her.

The other site I use is Truth or Fiction.  

And don't even get me started on all the political fact checker sites!  Too many to list!!

Friday, October 14, 2016


My heart is aching.

 (Hours after a hectic arrival)

Kind, sweet Braeden is being punched at school.  The first time the teacher didn't see exactly what happened ... Braeden said he was playing with a toy and the other boy said he had it first (neither the teacher nor the Gramma believe that).  The next day the Bully told Braeden he had a "baby spoon" to eat his yogurt (a foldable spoon that looks like a truck).  Braeden said he thought it was a cool spoon cause his Mom bought it for him .... and the kid smacks him in the face again!

The teacher sent the bully to the office and walked Braeden out to his Mom when she picked him up.  She explained what happened and Kate said Braeden never mentioned the punch the day before!  She included Kate in an email to the Principal requesting meeting with the boy and his family, the teacher and the Principal.  Once more and the boy will be moved to a different class.

(lost his first tooth!)

Kate is beyond shocked.  Braeden gets along with everyone!  Last year in preschool the little boy next to him would reach over and snitch part of his lunch.  After the third time, he talked to me about it.  I asked him how he handled it.  He said "nothing ... I think maybe he was just hungry".  But the breaking point was parting with his strawberries.  I suggested that he gently put his hand on the boy's hand and say your Mom packed his lunch special and maybe you could ask HIS Mom to put strawberries in his lunch.  Kate also mentioned it to the teacher who reinforced the hands to yourself policy.

(During their visit to Maui in August)

I'm beyond sad that my little man has to learn the wicked ways of the world.  Especially so young.  And we have to help him talk to us so that we know what is happening, good or not so good.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


The excitement of returning to Lake Oswego, Oregon is constant. My mind is preoccupied with what needs to happen there.  And what has to happen here before I depart.  I've started a list of things that need to fly home with me.  After a few days of this .... there is not much!  In fact, I think I can get everything back in just two suitcases!

I checked with my new tenant to see if they could make a weekly trip over to check on things until they move in.  And she agreed to ship me anything I may forget.  Today I cancelled my return flight to Maui.  My return to my little family is December 14.

There are a few things I can sell on Craigslist.  So much to donate or recycle.  Quite a few things on the Honey Do list so Lisa has a tip top place to start.

Will I miss Maui?  OF COURSE!  I lingered longer in the outdoor shower today.  Will I still be able to use my homemade sugar scrub when sharing a bathroom with the babies?  Hope so.  I will surely miss the sunshine and will have to up my Vitamin D intake.  Oregon gets a lot of fresh fish but I do think it is fresher here. Fresh produce markets are open daily here.  The flora and fauna is forever ingrained in my memory.  The scent of the ocean is such a bonus.

I have a few circles of friends here that have helped me become the almost balanced widow that I try to be.  Yet my condo neighborhood is a closer bunch and even with my pink flowered cane, I can walk to visit anyone there.

I'm heading home.  For good long while.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Well, those two weeks just flew by!  

Jodie (the Havanese) was a perfect angel while her Mom was away.  I could tell she missed her Mom but she made do with me.  Only woke me up in the night twice for an additional potty break ... mainly because something else woke us up (barking dog or fighting cats).
(Jodie snuggled in bed with me)

Mom Julie returned Sunday in the late afternoon.  Fortunately for me, I had a last minute gal pal come Sat night and staying til Weds.  So I'm weaning down from all the puppy snuggles.

Sue had business in Honolulu last week.  Financial planning group.  Lots of learning during the day, then cocktail parties and dinners in the evening.  She was getting by on four hours of sleep!  Sunday morning she slept in til 10am!  We've been enjoy nice slow mornings with lots of coffee, then shopping and then eating!  Of course she had a few hours of work every day so I get to keep up with my reading and online games.

(Lime pie)

We have a great many fabulous restaurants here, so we started with pie at Leoda's.  I chose Olowalu Lime pie and she tried Banana Cream.  OMG!  It was perfect after some shopping and driving along the ocean.  Right next to Leoda's is an outdoor produce stand and she went crazy buying fruit.  Neither of us had ever tried Dragonfruit and she had not tasted Starfruit.  So here's what she made for dinner:

(fresh, fresh, fresh)

The red balls in upper right is the dragonfruit.  Sort of the texture of kiwi and not much flavor.  To the left of the top of pineapple is the starfruit ... kinda like a mild orange.  

Then she started talking about an easy, healthier version of a lemon dessert (my tree is bending almost to the ground with too much fruit) ... lemon curd, yogurt and whipping cream.  Then frozen.  We went to THREE stores looking for lemon curd.  Never found it.  So we decided to make it although I didn't have eggs.  Finally got all of our ingredients and the curd is now awaiting transformation.

She departs tomorrow morning!  Too short and very sweet.

Friday, September 30, 2016


Wednesday would have been our 32nd wedding anniversary.

I remember every detail of our big "to do" as if it were yesterday.  Rushing out of the office right at 4pm, driving home to meet up with my soon-to-be husband, his son and my sister.  A two hour drive to the Oregon Coast.  A Justice of the Courts pronouncing us legal at sunset overlooking the beach.  Jeans and sweaters.  Celebrating with clam chowder and champagne.  And so it began.

Mostly ups... a few downs.  Constant communication no matter what.  And a good dose of compromise.

This year I didn't distract myself.  I enjoyed my memories and wallowed in my sadness.  Alone.  

At a friend's wedding, June 2006

I sure do miss him ....

Friday, September 23, 2016


Yes, time really does fly.  The older I get, the faster it goes.  And the slower I go (it seems).

Our seasons in Maui are a lot different than most on the mainland.  It is hottest and most humid in September and October.  I do NOT look forward to Autumn here.  This year the icky weather came earlier than normal.  

My Mom's favorite time of year was Autumn (in Ohio).  Those were her favorite colors and the subject of a lot of her paintings ... the many colors of changing leaves, a bit of rain to see their reflection, a bit of chill in the evening air.  My sister-in-law made them a memory quilt for their 50th anniversary.  She found amazing fabric for in between the photos of all six kids ... Autumn themes for my Mom, fishing and gardening fabric for my Dad's interests.

They were both very "crafty" and enjoyed making items to sell at their local Golden Hobby Shop.  Dad raised roses and vegetables like you can't believe.  He even grew things he had never eaten before, just to try them out (Jerusalem artichokes, jicama to name a couple)   My Mom painted, loved to sing, enjoyed cooking and playing games.

Which gets me thinking.  I don't have any hobbies.  I haven't created any crafty cool stuff.  Do you suppose they make fabric with computers and iPhones on it?  Or the Netflix logo?  What is with me?  So many friends knit (good enough to win awards and create their own patterns for sale).  Lots of them quilt (my sister in law makes about 10 a year!).  Several are very cultural and volunteer their time to the arts and a few a great philanthropists in their communities.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I've been friends with Jodie for a few years here in Maui.  She is so kind and friendly to me ... and most everyone she meets despite being an introvert.  And we've taken our friendship to another level.

We are living together!  Unbelievable??  We are trying it out for a two week trial.  She was insistent that I live at her house first.  We will each keep our own homes and take it from there.   Last night was our first night together.

I'm a little tired this morning ... she's an early riser.  Me?  Not so much.  Plus sleeping in a different bed (although VERY comfortable).  If I make it through today I think tonight will be even better.  What do people DO this early in the day?  (6:45 am)

She's not a water person so we may just take a walk this morning. This may be very good for me ... to get me up and going.  Stay tuned.

Let me introduce Jodie ~

Friday, September 16, 2016


Our United States Postal Service.  That is not "officially" their motto but it's what I always remember.

Yesterday three large envelopes appeared in my mail. My Last name and Maui address were on the return label.  WHAT?  Someone mailed something to my neighbors (all three addresses were my subdivision)??   I sure didn't so my heart was racing.  Was someone pretending to be me and cause a ruckus?  I'm not running for any office (elections are in March 2017, for heaven's sake).  Are people stirred up about the cats again? 

I quickly ripped one open.  It was the mailing Mr. Ralph sent in 2012 to all this subdivision owners regarding the letter the Chairperson sent to the police, calling ten of us "criminals and terrorists".  These three were return to this address FOUR YEARS later as UNDELIVERABLE.

Did someone just clean out the storeroom at the post office?  Whatever.  It just brought my valiant ethical and honest man into my forefront for the day.  It was a crazy horrible situation at the time (still makes me angry when I think about it) to realize that a crazy person could put all of this crap IN WRITING, send it to the police without evidence of any wrongdoing ... and the police department had to visit each named family and read them their rights so they could question them.

I wish Mr. Ralph were here to see me having the last laugh!  Just a few months after he died, the Chair was dismissed from the Board (additional persecution of neighbors he didn't like).  And here I am!  Helping to make this Board visible to all as well as transparent instead of secretive.  When we first moved in I asked for names and contact information for the Board.  The property manager would not give it to me!  The Board changed every other month as people who would NOT do his bidding quit.  He did not want to hear from his neighbors.

Now I publish a monthly Newsletter that contains names and email addresses for the Board members as well as our two committees.  We answer every phone call and respond to email within 24 hours. We are applying the same rules to all Owners (which has been a big task after 10 years of not doing so).

I believe in Karma. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016


These last three years have been so different.  I used to need to read before I could fall asleep.  I haven't read much of anything since Mr. Ralph died.

Today I opened my Kindle (on my iPhone) and saw that I haven't bought a book since he passed.  I used to read one every month or two.  So I bought a book!  It's like a whole new life again.

Interestingly, several of my widow buddies report the same thing.  What is that all about?  Also, I haven't watched a movie all at one time.  Mostly I do TV series on Netflix or Amazon.  My attention span is just kaput.  Maybe Year Four will open up these doors again.  Have any of you widows/widowers experienced this?

Today I spent an hour or so helping (trying anyway) her to connect to Netflix and Amazon.  Then we tried to use her new accounts on her smart TV ... but between the two of us we screwed up her TV so she had to invest time on the phone to get it back working.  Sorry, buddy!  (I know she still loves me ... I'm babysitting her pride and joy puppy!)

Another boost to my reading .. she gets the local newspaper!

Friday, September 9, 2016


Courage.  The same topic again!  Maybe after three years I should stop this little diary of mine??

(A.D.D side note: That fact, in itself, is pretty AMAZING.  This really is a great hobby and I can't believe I am still doing it.  Thank you Misadventures of Widowhood for your encouragement to start.  Now I have another addiction).

(sorry ... the cat part was so funny to me ... on Meowi)

I'm using this courage to prevent osteoporosis.  I'm building up my spine.  Currently I am leaning on another blogger (and personal friend first, for a change!) to help me choose my words.  Sometimes I am too abrupt and often I apologize ... for nothing.  Recently a person I had met once (through a great former neighbor) invited herself for a visit to Maui.  In retrospect, three years ago I may have half heartedly suggested she visit Maui.  In that time we have NOT built any relationship or friendship.  

I decided I didn't want her to live here with me and I didn't want to be a full time tour guide for two weeks.  My family and friends are so independent, they mostly go without me (I'm usually invited but I'm such a home body).  We share coffee or a meal together most days, and a nightcap with a recap of the day.  My kind of hosting!  I like to do the inviting!!  I want to be in the right frame of mind to show off the islands and all the things I've seen 100 times.  So I said:

"I'm not inviting guests to visit. I have enough company with family and close friends in 2017, and my frequent trips to Portland. Glad to check out accommodations for you if you want second opinion!"

Still short and sweet, now that I re-read it.  But I feel good that I didn't have to agree if I didn't want to.  And I didn't apologize!!  

The very next day a friend called (texted) to see if she could come look through her boxes (I am graciously storing a stack in my garage). I had already made plans for the day/time she suggested.  So I invited her over for late afternoon and suggested maybe dinner after?  She declined dinner as she has out of town guests.  I reconfirmed ... but still coming over at 5pm?  Yes.

At 5:10, I texted "are you still coming?" as I had to move my car out on the street so she had plenty of space to operate.  Yes ... I'll leave here in a few minutes ... and she lives 15 minutes away.  SOOO, by the time she did arrive (not the first time she has been late ...) I was miffed.  Her explanation (no apology!) was that she had been napping.  My look must have said it all ... she asked if I was mad.  Well, yes I am really disappointed.  She was taken aback.  If I had an appt with a friend who was doing me a favor, I would set my alarm.  Then she complimented my shirt to which I said thank you ... do you need anything else out here?

This morning she sent me an apology which I quickly accepted.  I have another friend who is ALWAYS late.  The difference is she always texts or calls before the time to tell me the new and improved schedule, apologizes and ASKS if that will still work for me.  And now that I know her MO, I just assume a half hour later than she has chosen!!  Usually I ask her to text me when she is in her car .... and then I depart at the same time!

The biggest act of courage this week?  I'm moving back to Oregon for a few years to enjoy the littles while they still think Gramma is great fun.  Once they are teens (or even a bit before), and roll their eyes at me, I will move back over to Maui.  I'm pretty sure I will get summer visits from them then!

COURAGE?  or crazy????

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


This is sometimes (often)(always) a difficult task.  But I finally DID get up the courage to talk to a gal about where our friendship went wrong.  I'm glad I did and we are (slowly) building a new friendship.

Two of my Maui friends were widowed ten years ago.  Each of them grieved and commemorated in their own way.  One is more lonely than the other.  More sad.  More depressed.  And frankly had us all worried.  Fortunately, she finally opened up to explain her loneliness, how it hurts to see other happy couples, and how she needed some smothering.  

Now we talk (or text or email) every other day or so and she is taking steps to help herself.  Including a little vacation!  Splurging on some self care.  I think friends are a special gift which take an investment of time and energy.  While I do not have a BFF (well, my sister), I have different sorts of relationships with different kinds of people.

She was talking that she doesn't feel "part" of the F-Troop ... everyone is always talking about or passing around photos of their kids or grandkids.  But really?  One member doesn't have either!  One member is estranged from all four of hers.  Several do not even have grandkids. So it's definitely perspective.

She mentioned that she is shy and an introvert.  Me too!  I know I don't sound like that, but it is hard for me to make the first move.  I never mention how many times I have shared my phone number and email address and never hear back.  Same with Facebook after I've met someone in person and then find them there.

Part of friendship (while looking for one or two SPECIAL friends) is putting in the time getting to know more about them.  Of course you are bound to find out things you don't enjoy about them as well.  My motto is take what you like and leave the rest.  If your list of cons outweighs your pros, then slowly stop responding to invitations.  But if they are even, it's still nice (in my humble opinion) to do things that you both like to do.  

Many of my blogger friends are going through this same stuff.  Building friendships as a single woman, at our age, is hard to do.  When I find another woman who finds it hard to have dinner alone, I do speak up!  Easy to have a once a month dinner date ... and if you find a lot to talk about, more frequently!

Maybe I need to host a board game night ....

Thursday, September 1, 2016


I have only spent the summer in Maui once before.  And apparently didn't pay much attention to the weather when I wasn't here.

It's hurricane season from June til November.  Fortunately, Kihei (where I live) is very protected from the elements as it hides in protected bay-like section.  Most weather formations hit the north and east sides of this island.  The big island of Hawaii usually bears the brunt of these summer storms.

The blue dot is covering up Maui

Madeline steered herself away from the islands after hitting Hawaii.  For the past two hurricanes, I stocked up on bottled water, peanut butter, crackers, batteries, candles.  This time I added six bottles of wine and cold brewed 12 cups of coffee.  Bought a pint of ice cream and my weekly bag of potato chips.  I also got some cash in case the internet goes down.  Prepared for the worst but expecting the best.

It's a lot of work moving my outdoor living space up against the house.  So I haven't really done that this time.  There's not a room in the house withOUT a window but the guest bathroom has only a tiny one, so that's where I'll have to camp out if things get bad.

I remember my Mom lighting blessed palm fronds when we had tornado warnings in Ohio.  I've got the palms .... The thing that will bother me the most is no a/c, I think.  

It's very eerie looking outside at 9am today ... yet we are not expecting the worst until tomorrow.  I have a 10am appt today and an 8am appt tomorrow.  Trying to decide whether I should reschedule ...

Mother Nature!  Who knew?

Thursday, Sept 1  5:30 pm update: 

The National Weather Service has CONTINUED the HURRICANE WATCH for MAUI COUNTY.

A Hurricane Watch Watch means hurricane force winds are possible within the watch area.  A Hurricane Watch is issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

So.  It is pretty windy outside right now ... and the worst is coming on Saturday??  Stay tuned.

Friday Morning, 10:30 am:
Lester has moved slightly north so I think we won't be hit very hard.  BUT the County is be very cautious and has closed schools and government agencies.  No wind right now ... in fact ... a perfectly lovely morning!

Sunday ... Lester missed us altogether!  Sorry I didn't post every day.  Thankfully, we got zero wind and unmeasurably low rain.  HOORAY!

Friday, August 26, 2016


These two weeks were the happiest, busiest two weeks I've had in years!

Boys are busy little creatures and constant noise.  They love bodily functions and they each have a great sense of humor.  Until you have witnessed two tiny men peeing in the same potty laughing "sabre fight" as they tried to hit each other's stream, you have not lived.

Every morning by 10am, the house looked like a hand grenade went off.  I slept in guest room with Braeden on a mat beside me.  One parent and Dennis the Menace used the king bed and someone slept on a double size mat in the living room.

I could go on and on (maybe I'll write a book to send the boys) ... catching geckos, squirt gun battles, bubbles, puzzles, Connect Four and Memory .... but a few more pictures are all I will bore you with!

 Camping in the living room

Sitting in the famous Banyan Tree

Infected thorn in his foot ... numbed it, sliced it out and a tetanus shot

Watching the last sunset

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Memories.  That's what we are making here.  

Playing in water from morning til night, in the 90 degree weather, sometimes you have to take a break in the air conditioning ..