Monday, July 17, 2017


Hi Everyone ~

It's been ten days since my right knee was replaced.  Today I am driving!

This surgery and recovery are polar opposite from last time.  Anesthesiologist suggested a right side spinal block and from what he explained, I voted yes.  I just didn't want to hear anything, see anything or smell anything.  I didn't.  Recovery time was much quicker with less of that hazy feeling after general anesthesia. No headache (most common side effect).  It seemed to block the pain for a couple of days.

Even the hospital stay was day and night.  Altho the room was tiny, I felt like a guest at a 5 star resort.  They gave me a goodie bag with word games, pencil, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, ear buds and free use of an iPad while I was there!  Both physical therapy and occupational therapy were substantial.  No one questioned me as if I were a drug addict if I asked for pain relief.  They sent me home with ten days of oxycodone (instead of three) and by day five, Aleve, Tylenol and Ibuprofen managed everything.  I'm keeping the rest until all six weeks of physical therapy is over ... if memory serves me, I may need some help occasionally.

My first physical therapy session was one week after surgery.  They took off the bandage and assured me the staples won't come flying out when I am exercising or walking around.  My bending range of motion is great (what they would expect at the end of six weeks).  Totally flat is close, but no cigar.  Don't think the left one goes totally flat either.

No need for walker although I do use it outdoors so I can bring my phone and water.  I am trying to use the cane in my left hand but it doesn't not come naturally.  At home I don't use anything.

My nursing staff at home have been wonderful and the boys are making me get well cards and not bothering me if I am in my room.  A neighbor took Jesse to the farm on Saturday and I entertained the dudes for almost two hours.  I asked Mr. 6.75 to clean off the dining room table for $1.00.  While he was cleaning, Dad's hose had an aneurism.  Both boys went running to the front door (after hearing dammit) to see what was happening.  Mr. 6.75 came back and asked for his dollar ... but I reminded him the work was not finished.  He quickly did the job, got his dollar and took it out to Dad to help pay for a new hose.  Brought tears to my eyes.

We read a few chapters of a great little boy series, Captain Underpants.  Found some Minecraft songs on YouTube then went to the table to play Legos.  I had planned ahead and purchased a new "girl" set, a Hot Dog Stand.  Even though I like to keep all my girly Legos together (and in my room ... to keep them special), I didn't have the heart to stop the boy Lego figures from having a BBQ.

Life is going well for me!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Wow!  We have a gorgeous 4th of July here today.  75 and sunny with a little breeze ... heading to 80.  The little family walked up to our tiny City parade and family fun booths.  SO sweet.  They were both so excited this morning ... Mr. 3.5 got up at 5am!  Woke his brother up about 7am.  Needless to say they each took a 3 hour nap.  Poor Mom and Dad .... none!

Today I have had some quiet alone time (outside on our Community patio) to think.  Surgery is Thursday around noon (send positive vibes to the surgeon and staff) and I will be losing some independence for a week or two.  This is the hardest part about growing older.  Losing little bits of strength, stamina, energy.

I hope I can follow in the steps of my favorite blogger, The Misadventures of Widowhood, and work on regaining strength and balance.  With two knees that aren't painful with every step, I will have no excuses.  She has noticed a great difference in six months.

I am so thankful for a live-in support system ... and the best darned nursing staff ever!

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Gramma, you a dummy head.

But WHY don't you want to sit in the hot sun?

That is rude Gramma.

I can't go to sleep ... the sun is still out playing with me.

Get up, Gramma ... the sun is out!  It's a bootiful day (then sings as he waters all the flowers outside ....)

McDonald's isn't very healthy, Gramma. Let's EAT FRESH (Subway).  


Why don't your knees work?  Did you forget to exercise when you were young?

I free ... are you 100?

Stop Gramma.  S T O P.  And red means stop too.

Someone came in my room and stole Brubber's lego police man.  Not me.

Why does that toe curl up?

Were you ever a little kid?

Brubber said I could play all his legos because he is not using them.

Today we built wickiups and filtered river water to drink.  

I don't want to read in the summer.  I am on a break from school.

Gramma I love you.

Saturday, June 24, 2017



1. a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

"education is a right, not a privilege"

synonyms: advantage, benefit; 

I grew up in unincorporated Columbus, Ohio in 1952.  Second child, first daughter.  Soon there were 6 of us children.  Those were the days when only the Dad worked away from home.  He was a carpenter and during the winters, he was mostly laid off.  

It was, for me, a great childhood.  While we were not poor by any means, we were definitely lower middle class. One car.  Hand me downs from cousins.  Never missed a meal but often had beans on toast. (Which I still love to this day!)

Recently on Facebook someone posted a "quiz" to see how "privileged" you are.  Since I am not black and I am heterosexual, I came up with pretty darned privileged!  Here is where I object to being part of a special "advantaged" group.  I could not choose to be any other race.  I am what I am.  Just like I can't choose to be transgender or bisexual or gay.

When I moved away from home, it was a step up in life for me.  I probably earned almost the same as my father did ... by being a secretary/bookkeeper.  Each time I changed jobs, it was another step up in pay and status.  For the life of me, I don't think I am where I am because I am "privileged."  I worked hard, commuted and helped raise a kidlet who is rather ashamed of her "privilege".

Sorry I just don't feel privileged.  I feel very LUCKY to have had humble beginnings and great parents who raised me to reach higher.  To give to community.  To use my talents.

Here's a link to this totally unbiased quiz ..

See what you think!

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Yesterday I had Invisalign braces put on!  Yep, 65 years old and getting braces!!


Did you know your teeth continue to move all of your life?  In my family, it seems like you either needed glasses or braces.  I was glasses.  But with all the movement (and teeth grinding!??), it was getting harder and harder to floss.  My bite had changed.  So I am changing all of that.  I read somewhere that 40% of ortho patients are over 40!  With continued longevity, I am very interested in keeping these teeth in good shape until I don’t need them any more.

Several other things that continue to grow or change as we age.  Feet!  With age, feet change in shape… they will flatten out and elongate.   It’s estimated that many people over the age of 40 can gain half a shoe size every 10 years.   (So, have your feet measured often and don’t get hung-up on the size on the shoe box but the actual fit of the shoe).

And then we move on to noses and ears.  Bones stop growing after puberty and muscle and fat cells also stop dividing. But cartilage - that’s the plastic-like stuff in ears and noses - cartilage continues to grow until the day you die. Not only does cartilage grow, but the earlobes elongate from gravity. And that makes ears look even larger.

So it’s really true. Older people do have larger noses and ears.  Bad news for me as I started out with a large, long nose. That might just be the ONLY plastic surgery I could be interested in ...

Back to the braces.  What an interesting concept (invented by some Stanford kids).  The company makes a new set of clear, plastic coverings that you step up to every two weeks!  Depending on how much movement needs to be done, you can be wearing these for up to three years.  My dentist is confident that mine will be just a year.

Yesterday they put porcelain "warts" on about 12 teeth so that the plastic things have something to snap onto.  So it kinda makes me WANT to wear the braces for that smooth tongue feel.  These will sure help me cut down on snacking.  You can only drink water with them in.  After you take them out for eating, you need to brush your teeth and brush the braces with water and a kids soft toothbrush.  My car is now equipped as is my purse.  And of course the Gramma pad.  

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 26, 2017


Wow!  The first two hour session turned into a four hour session, with two employees so actually EIGHT hours invested.

My closet was purged without any tears or regrets.  Catherine urged me to get all velour hangers as they encourage you to take the whole hanger with garment on OUT of the closet making it easier to put the empty hangers all on one side.  That tip alone has streamlined my life (and my Japanese laundry man (Jesse, the UNson-in-law) loves it as well).

She also sorted all the clothes by type and by color (blouses, vests, sweaters, etc).  I roll leggings and put them on end in a cute basket.  Now that I've lived with these modifications for a couple of weeks, I'm going to change the shoe storage and use the bottom section of my closet for clothes and just put shoes on the floor of the closet.  More practical for me.
Her handyman also came along so I got him to put a keypad lock on our front door so that Braeden can get in after school if we are running late (hasn't happened, but you never know!)  He changed out our ugly kick plate (little boys take that seriously??) and hung a few things.

I wanted to get a new phantom screen door with a latch rather than magnets and a new through the wall a/c unit as mine is 30 years old.  What I didn't understand is that I was being charged $65 per HOUR for that research (online and phone calls).  UH, what?  After a bit of discussion she changed the office work rate to half price (still too spendy for me!) and returned both items as I did not approve them FIRST.  HOA rules prevent any color but black on the screen door (they bought bronze) and I want a brand I have heard of for a/c.  In addition, she adds 20% to the cost of materials ... to cover travel ... but both were ordered online and delivered to them!  My grey must be showing but I refuse to pay that!

So I have some hours yet to use.  It will be a few weeks before we get to finish as we got notice from HOA that Jesse's plants in the front yard and on our patio must be gone ASAP.  Several residents have complained.

Kids are heading to the Coast for a mini vacay for Memorial Day so we will transport them to the farm upon their return.

So much to do and I need a nap!  Some days the Chaos wins!  But I love my little Gramma Pad and yearn for just a bit more to be complete

Monday, May 22, 2017

SANGUINE .... despite all the rage!

In my last post, I forgot to mention all the RAGE on airplanes these days.  Thankfully, I'm not interested in traveling by plane any longer, except to visit my sister and/or brothers.  Road trips with podcasts or books from iTunes and you can count me in!

Kate and I drove 45 minutes to The Allison Inn, a luxury resort with an amazing spa, nestled in among hundreds of acres of vineyards and wineries.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon about 2pm and they let us in our room early.  Plush and more plush.  Robes and slippers our size (they asked ahead of time).  Instant fireplace, wet bar, deep soaking tub, huge shower and a window seat.  We have our own little deck overlooking nature which looks amazing despite the drizzle.

Tuesday at 3pm we had 90 minute facial.  Who knew that someone can slather and massage a face for that long????  Also did our hands in hot wax with mittens to keep them warm for a while.  Lovely, long foot massage.  And an exquisite head massage.  I had an abundance of blocked pores so had 15 minutes of gouging,  which hurt a bit but not unbearable.  My face looks ten years younger!  She recommended a monthly facial for 3-4 months then go every few months or so.  Not sure it's in the budget but I have a couple of friends who DO go monthly and their skin does look young.

We came back to our room after checking out all the indoor water features.  Dinner reservations were for 7:30.  What a delight that was!  The chef sent a tiny shot glass of fresh, chilled pea soup with a few morsels of house smoked ham.  We shared a salad of wild greens, dried cherries, roasted hazelnuts, pecorino cheese with just the right amount of white balsamic vinaigrette! Accompanied by home made tater tots with mornay sauce.  Of course, we had to "cleanse our palates" with some grapefruit sorbet.

Kate chose salmon and I had halibut and every little decorative thing on the plates was edible AND delicious.  Since we are here celebrating our birthdays and Mother's Day, just as we were getting up to leave, our waitress asked if we could stay a moment ... the chef gave us a plate of cookies, candied orange peel with happy birthday written in chocolate ganache.

With a very small glass of a very great cabernet.  We are both making the most of escaping the crazy, chaotic world for just a while.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Nope, I don't mean rage in the good way!  Like a new style of fashion that is "all the rage" with the 20-somethings.  (Although, my new fashion rage is wild print Lularoe leggings ... and EVERY time I wear them, I get a compliment!)

I see uncontrollable rage almost everywhere these days.  The news is full of road rage ... some is even videotaped by witnesses.  I admit I am a driver who follows the speed limit.  Others seem to believe these are just guidelines to follow IF they are in the mood.  So I get ticked off tail gaters who then flip me off as they speed by.  OR when we end up side by side at a stop light.  My bad?  I think not!

It's almost to the point that I try to avoid highways and all the nut cases that drive too fast while they are texting (or watching a movie, who knows, they are looking down and not at traffic), weaving across lines, slowing, speeding up, changing four lanes of traffic because they FORGOT this was their exit.

Last night online news showed the worst case of road rage involving someone making a U-turn in heavy traffic just to show THAT driver he did something wrong.  And then guns became involved.  Yikes.

But yesterday takes the cake.  Road rage inside the grocery store!  CRAZY!  First was a 70-ish lady gruffly TELLING (not asking) a young lady with two kids to "move your cart so others can get their shopping done."  "Maybe hire a sitter so you can pay attention"  I think that was RUDE!  She could have said "Ooops!  Excuse me, can I wheel past you please?"  
Then, when I got in line for self serve, the people right next to me were using a real, live checker.  A beautiful young girl was waiting patiently in line, with no cart.  A grouchy old lady said "Can you please move up out of the way so I can unload my cart",  Well, she really couldn't without infringing on the space of the person in front of her.  Grouchy Lady said "why, you don't even have a cart ... get out of line!"  Young lady showed her the bottle count receipt and a pack of gum but moved out of line so Grouchy could put her stuff on the conveyor belt.  Then when Young lady stepped back into line after the person in front of her finally left, Grouch lady did a big loud HARRUMPH.

To top off the whole day, the person in front of me in the Starbucks drive-through line just about SMASHED my front end trying to back out and get out of line.  And then flipped me off after I moved over and back as far as I could ...

Chill Out.  When looking for clip art there were SO MANY like this ... or worse ...

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Life with the 6.5 and under crowd is interesting.  Usually boisterous and often funny.  It is always fun.

Their command of our language never ceases to amaze me.  Mr. 3 has been unusually friendly, especially when I am locked in my room trying to get a few things done.  

Knock at the door...followed by 84 knocks and "Gramma, Gramma, Gramma -- A cowboy is here."  Parked in front of me was a charming little blue eyed love, sitting on a small rubber bouncy horse.  "Please give him a carrot, Gramma" and then they rode off into the sunset.

Knock at the door ... followed by 625 knocks and "Gramma, Gramma, Gramma" "Watch me do this"  (Ride his scooter up and down the hallway ... true test of engineered wood and lifetime guarantees).

Knock at the door ... followed by 52 knocks at the door.  I say "Gramma is busy for a while, I'll come out and get you when I am finished with my work.  A few minutes later ... he slides this under my door ...

Thank goodness I can snap a photo and save it forever, while sneakily hiding some in the trash).

Knock, knock, knock at the door.  Deekie, Gramma is still busy, I will see you later.  "Gramma?  Can I give you a liddle kiss?" whereupon I let him in and we snuggle and giggle for a good 15 minutes.

How do they learn this so early??

Saturday Mr. 6.5 had a t-ball game.  Momma works on the weekends, so I dropped Dadda and Braeden off at their game (usually 90 minutes).  Mr. 3 and I drove to Starbucks drive through as I had mistakenly bought DECAF the other day.  The cake pop was decorated like a pirate.  The question of the day is "why do pirates say argh"?

Then there was the question of whether to go home and then herd him back into that carseat OR sit in the van for 30 minutes and watch the rest of the game.  There are two huge, colorful play structures at this school and I am not quite able to run around and get him.  He said "I big boy, Gramma, I not whine I WANNA GO OUTSIDE, I be good boy"  Silly Gramma.  We went to the game and found a great parking spot, just in time to watch B tag someone out!  As soon as I turned off the engine .... let's go outside, Gramma.  Which escalated louder and louder.  We just got home when the call came they were ready for a return ride ...

We are definitely a family of the 21st century.  After spending some outdoor time, the boys decided to play Amazon delivery.  Took an old box and put legos safely inside clear sandwich bags.  Taped the box all up and Mr. 6.5 asked how to spell Deacon's name.  He got a post it and put on his brother's name.  He had Mr 3 go into the bedroom while he went outside to knock on the door and then be gone when he came to the door.  Together they opened the box and played it over again and again and again.  With great delight!

They were both pretty tired by evening (and crabby) and began to argue over who was playing with whose legos.  (Believe it or not, with 78,925 legos in the house, they each know which things are theirs!!)  When Mr. 6.5 got out a figurine, Mr. 3 insisted that it was his.  I was watching them play so I saw Mr. 6.5 take it out of his own box.  When I mentioned that to Mr. 3, he said "well sometimes at night while Gramma is sleeping, brover gets out of his bed and takes my toys and puts them in his box."  When I had to laugh, he laughed and then Mr. 6.5 laughed .... and let the little guy play with his police minifigure.

Anyway, they sure know how to communicate.  In more ways than one

Thursday, May 4, 2017


It seems the older I get, the more I value practicality. Or maybe I need to stop watching documentaries about minimalism. And Facebook pages and blogs about organizing and living downsized.  Either way, nothing thrills me more than solving real home space problems.

Actually, I have always been too practical.  My first new car at age 21 was a tiny Dodge station wagon.  Not only did it get me from here to there economically, it was easy to bring home large purchases for no delivery fee.  My boyfriend loved camping and converted it into a mini-camper complete with mosquito netting over the windows and raised back hatch (it was Ohio after all).

Now I have gone and hired Escape Your Chaos to help me finish up my Gramma Pad.  She is an interior designer, house-for-sale stager, professional organizer and mother of Mr. 6.5's FAVORITE child care providers (who is also a magician with furniture arrangement and organizing ... she lived in this condo and ran a child care ... with everything in its place). Our first appointment is Tuesday.  In person, in this tiny little private room.  Getting those "before" photos.  (yes, check out her website or her Facebook account)

I'm so excited.  Only once before have I asked for decorating help ... from a friend of a friend.  It was AMAZING how she rearranged my existing furniture and made my living room and dining room look bigger and yet more cozy.  Best of all, suggesting large houseplants from Home Depot so when my black thumb finally got to them, they were affordably replaced (like the cost of a bouquet of flowers!).

This is such a luxury.  I spend a lot of time in here, away from the boisterous boys, when I pay bills, write my blog, make phone calls, etc.  Sometimes just to read, watch streaming shows or take a nap!

Each of the boys LOVES special time in Gramma's room.  In fact, I just ordered a fold up desk so Mr. 6.5 can do his homework in peace and quiet. 

Little guy can be invited in for special time coloring or working on a craft. 

Stay tuned! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

65 is the new 25


I made it!  Sixty-five and still not believing it.  One of my gifts is the parents are getting Mr. 6.5 up and out to school every morning.  He came in and gave me a birthday hug before he left.  This week at school is crazy themed days ... tye dye day, pajama day, crazy hair day, sports team day and hat day.  So fun!

Saturday I got a card in the mail from my Seattle buddies who were great visitors to Maui.  Such a hoot!  Senior meanings for text acronyms like ...

These two are SO funny.  I laugh so much when we are together.  She is a bit older than me and he is a bit younger .... so we are all 25!

This morning I opened a HUGE envelope from my sister.  She  found three very VERY funny remarks about turning 65 ... 

Oh ha ha ha little sister.  SOOOO funny!

Better .... especially for all my Words with Friends players!  (And I'm always looking for more players).

Are these hysterical or what??

Best of all ... a two page (single spaced, mind you) letter of fond memories we have shared.  I cried like a baby!  What a great gift. Probably the best gift ever.  If I have a day where I'm not feeling loved or appreciated, I will re-read this word for word.  (And to be honest ... I've already read it several times!)  In addition, she included a delicious large amount of cash with orders to use part for pampering and part to take a friend to something cultural.

She is VERY into art and museums. I do enjoy both and ballet and live theater ... I'm just usually too cheap to do any of them.  I will keep you posted on exactly what these two gifts will be!

Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Despite the little hurdles tossed in front of me (with no notice) healthwise, I am determined to overcome.

Several bloggers I follow are setting a great example.  One is eating better and smaller.  One is going to the Y and building strength, balance and cardio.  I love reading about how they do it even when they don't want to.  Although I have joined Weight Watchers, I'm not following the program every single day.  And I need to.

My biggest downfall?  BLTs.  Bites, licks and tastes.  Mr. 6.5 and Mr. 3 usually leave a bit on their plates.  Jesse and Kate are such good cooks, I can't bear to waste those little morsels.

I found this little gem on Facebook (or somewhere) and it is going to be my motto.  This journey is not just losing weight.  It's the whole enchilada!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Today I made the tough decision to postpone my trip to Maui.

First of all, I don't really miss my island too much (in just four months).  My friends haven't had time to miss me either (well, except maybe Lisa!).  The summer weather is already starting which means warmer temperatures.  Lisa is very active, hates air conditioning and goes to the beach many times a week.  I would not be able to keep up with her, for sure.

My bad knee prevents me from doing more than 15 minutes of walking at a time.  I did rent my own car so I wouldn't be a nuisance to Lisa, but that's about all I could be doing is driving around seeing the sights.  It is jacaranda season and I love the drive to Kula any time of the year.  I love whale season too but it is over.  So I think I'll save my $$$ til February next year.

But most important, and most embarrassing, is bladder trouble.  It's just getting worse.  Now I'm in diapers all day not just at night.  We've upped the medicine to 2x a day and I am doing scheduled ladies room times.  Pavlov training of sorts!  Lots of Kegel exercises, cut back on wine, losing weight, etc.  It's definitely a first world problem but when it is YOUR problem, it's just gross.  

Obviously it's not just me (based on the types of incontinence products out there) but it does keep me home more.  I feel bad for my UNson-in-law who empties the trash every day.   Mr. 3 was pleased to discover Gramma wears diapers too!  No secrets at this house ....

Good physical health is really Number One in life.  Can't wait to get back!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


We have had a splendid April.  Lots of rain but with plenty of sun breaks.  

Mr. 6.5 is now playing t-ball and has not been rained out yet.  The Easter egg hunt was sunny and bright, although the grass was pretty wet.  Easter Sunday with the cousins was also outside.  Two great days in a row!

GG's plants are so beyond ready to be placed in the ground!  He/we had no idea when to "start" these seeds but apparently it was too early!  Tomatoes already have blossoms, we are using basil and spinach right out of their pots.  He still has not been allocated a plot yet  Next year will be so much easier as he has kept meticulous notes of when he planted, when he fertilized and when he upgraded to larger pots.  Also, if he wants to, he can keep his same plot so many seeds can be started in the ground.

I mailed my tax extension today so April is finished for me.  Now I am looking forward to May!  I'm spending a week in Maui to celebrate the big 65.  Upon my return I have my Medicare wellness exam and I'm looking forward to healthy news.  Then I am taking my May offspring to a resort in Oregon wine country where we will be pampered and relax for two nights.  Massage.  Facial.  Pedicure.  And delightful farm to table food.  Indoor pool and spa so we will probably not even leave the resort.


April showers!

Friday, April 14, 2017


My daughter loves Easter.  I mean she LOVES decorating, coloring eggs, hiding eggs, making cute baskets.

Last year she took off Easter from work ... forgetting all the egg hunts are the day (or week) before!  She was more disappointed than the boys.  This year she is taking tomorrow (Saturday) off and they have two egg hunts on the list.  The favorite one is at the Lake Oswego Hunt Club where she began her equestrian journey.

Wednesday she took just Mr. 3 to a hunt on the other side of town (where she works) that was only for ages 5 and under.  Deacon was SO excited when he got a lamb sticker inside a plastic egg ... because Lamby is his special comfort toy!  Lamby proudly wore that sticker all day.
(He also won the little blue bear)

I am going to make a special ham dinner for Saturday night so we can all sit down together.  Today I'm scrounging around looking for one of my tablecloths hoping they were not put into storage with my Mom's china and my Mother-in-Law's silver.  Not sure I can talk Jesse into trying to find all of these just to use for one meal ....

Kate has always especially loved the Easter candy.  Lately she has changed her whole eating style to fresh, organic (when affordable enough), and unprocessed food.  She's given up her nightly bowl of ice cream and all candy.  I had to call several grocers to find an organic free range nitrite/nitrate free ham and it better be delicious.  Little does she know, I made a tiny easter basket for her and Jesse ... Skittles for him (his favorite) and organic free trade 70% cocoa dark chocolate with sea salt bar for her.  And each a gift certificate to their favorite grocery.

I have never had a sweet tooth.  Born without one, I guess.  I remember my Easter basket having little bags of potato chips or a can of ripe olives or a stick of REAL butter, with just a bit of chocolate.  My idea of heaven.

My memories of Easter are great.  Hard boiling at least 5 dozen eggs (when there were just 5 of us). And then coloring them ... with coffee cups filled with warm water, food coloring and a spoonful of vinegar.  One year my Mom made sugar eggs with a little scene inside.  

She made Jello eggs to have after dinner.  I always got a new (to me, probably from a cousin!) dress and patent leather shoes.  We grew up Catholic and everyone wore their Sunday finest on Easter.

Mostly Mom (and older kids eventually) hid the eggs in our tiny house.  We were SO GOOD that some years it was a week later when we could smell an egg that never was discovered.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


There are many words in my repertoire for love and comfort.   In Danish, hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) is one such word. Though there are many ways to describe hygge, the New York Times sees it simply as the Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness.

This family practiced hygge a lot during our snowy cold winter.  It was easy as we were inside and at home a lot.  Nice roaring fires.  Comfort food.  Family games.  Cookie decorating.  Organizing rooms.  Yet Kate is already organizing family time this Spring.

If the day is sunny and nice when Mr. 6 gets off the school bus, he rushes home and changes into camouflage and best shoes for the occasion (rubber boots if is had been raining).  The boys each find a backpack and a hat, with all the necessary "weapons" that Mom will allow.  She packs a picnic, grabs the dog and off they go for an hour or two. 

I think the next thing to add will be a scavenger hunt.  Photo clues for Mr. 3, word clues for Mr. 6.

Life gets so busy sometimes that you really need to "plan" a special moment to stop and smell the flowers.  These dudes will only be little for such a short time.

My prize at the end of their hike.  Friends. Family. Graciousness.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


2017 is bringing me great reductions in spending.  It's so exciting ... like getting a raise and a bonus.

May 1 begins Medicare coverage.  Part B from the Government is $134 or thereabouts.  My supplemental will be $88 (including prescriptions).  Last year I paid $628 PER MONTH for Kaiser so I will be spending about $400 less each month.  And my new right knee won't be thousands of dollars out of pocket (although yesterday I was will to pay the whole thing just to stop the pain)

Yesterday's mail also brought me unexpected good news.  My car payments have ended!  I thought I had a four year (don't worry, ZERO interest) loan but turns out it was just three!  Yippee skippee that's a nice chunk of change as well.

My "income" is so low that I do not owe any taxes.  While I'm not sure that is such good news, I'm taking it as such.

And let me not forget to mention my check from Honda Financial Services.  Yep.  $1.40 overpayment on the car loan.  Heading to the bank first thing on Monday!

Monday, March 27, 2017


Those three P's are what I want for my life.  Peaceful.  Participatory.  Predictable.

The best part of growing older is being able to choose my lifestyle.  Sure, when we were younger we thought we were choosing and we were, up to a point.  Yet careers, mates and children contributed a lot to the "drama" of how we lived.

Now my life is peaceful.  Almost boring perhaps.  I never schedule more than one thing per day...which leaves me open for doing something equally fun with a friend or grandson should it arise.  These days I move in slow motion it seems.  I love it.

I feel so much better participating in this small extended family life.  Jesse is FINALLY allowing me to give him a hand.  He is so particular about everything, it's taken him a while to decide clean, dry and folded is a good thing ... not necessarily HIS way of hanging all shirts up to finish drying after 5-10 minutes in the dryer.  I'm great at jammies, towels, socks and undies.  Now I can do little boy jeans and t-shirts as well.

Yesterday I made dinner.  This is my most difficult entry into t/his life.  About once a month I ask if I can cook.  And I get the groceries ... the GOOD stuff.  Last night we had homemade scalloped potatoes, corn on the cob, asparagus and your choice of steak, halibut or salmon.  The boys like the beef and we two girls love the fish.  Kate and I are trying to eat more healthy, so the grilled fish can be put atop a salad and the final day we will make fish salad for crackers or sandwiches or patties.

Best of all, predictable.  No turmoil.  Few crises.  Happy and hopeful.  My teenage drama queen has matured into a busy Mom.  The financial strains of climbing the corporate ladder and growing a company is over (and paid off pretty well).

Peaceful, participatory and predictable.  The right life for this Awkward Widow.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Getting Jesse a plot at the community gardens is one of my best ideas ever.  He has always loved putzing around in the tiny bit of dirt in front of their apartment and then in front of our condo.  Mr. 6 LOVES tomatoes so it's exciting for him as well.

Jesse spent a good month or so researching what to grow ... things that are expensive to buy ... and how to get a good amount of produce from a small spot.  You would not believe how many free software programs are available to help you plan.  He watches YouTube videos from other NW farmers.  One guy makes his living by selling to restaurants and Farmer's Market from just one acre of land.  Now he plants exactly what the local chefs want.

At first he thought he could never use all the space in a 10' x 10' so was going to plant flowers in half.  Now he has upgraded to a 20' x 20' garden!  He researches seeds like they were nuggets of gold.  He's started a small compost bin (ssshhhh ... don't let the mean crabby lady know) and has been reclaiming used pallets to make panels for his raised beds (yes, she complains about that a lot!)  (The Board told her as long as he was actively working, this is not an issue.  So then she complained about the noise.  Board asked ALL of our neighbors if the pallets bothered them or if the noise bothered them ... Nope!)

(the red squares are being cleared for new "farmers")

We have seedlings sprouting in all window sills.  He planted the seeds 10-14 days apart so not everything will be ready at the same time.  Now he has turned our second bathroom into a gro-light environment.  (Yes, five of us sharing one bathroom ...).  If the sun comes out, he carefully loads his little pots onto trays to take them outside.  Every night, he brings them back in.

And it's not just HIS/our garden he's working on.  He had to take two 3 hour classes on gardening.  He has to contribute 5 hours a month to the Luscher Farm park ... cleaning out old beds, putting down cardboard paths, working with kids at all the camps they hold for them.  They still have not told him which plot is his!  He's chomping at the bit to transplant.

Every year there is an "auction" for open plots.  IF you already have a plot and want to keep it, you can putter year round.  If you don't like the location of your plot, you get first dibs on any plots that are open.  There is a small barn where they keep community tools and wheelbarrows and wood chips for spreading on pathways.  You can keep all produce or you can donate to the Adult Community Center for their daily lunches.

We may not have as much fresh food this year since he is building his infrastructure, including amending the soil and adding more soil.  He has compost tea bubbling outdoors.  He bought worm castings and next year he will have experience!

Let me know if you'd like a $30 tomato!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Believe it or not, I enjoy Oregon weather.  

In Maui, it is 95% sunny and warm so I couldn't blame a blah mood on the weather.  I couldn't use the excuse that the weather was so nasty I changed my mind about going out to lunch with you.  Oooops!  Can't do that yard work because of the weather.

Living in the land of 8 months of rain, occasional snow and black ice makes for a whole different scenario!  Remember that Weight Watcher meeting last week around noon?  SUNSHINE and 60, so I went with Kate and Deacon to fun (and beautiful) park on the other side of town.  Cheese, grapes, crackers and juice for Mr. 3, iced coffees for the ladies.  Because in Oregon, sunny days with schedules in alignment means head outdoors!

Are you busy working on taxes to get them in by April instead of October?  Oh wait!  Temps in the low 60's and no rain!  Take the Dad to his community garden plot and play with the boys outside all day.

I have so many good intentions!  Finish organizing the kitchen cabinets.  Organize my bedroom baskets.  Do the ironing.  Go to Walmart to get the best buy on non-perishables.

I think my good intentions meet up with the socks in the washing machine ...

Monday, March 20, 2017


Being a grandparent is fun.  I feel like I have a magic wand as well as a tiara.  They love to listen to me read books.  Being boys, they especially like books that include mud, burping, gas and bad babies getting into mischief.

Living here also has given me some responsibility.  I'm not just the Disneyland Grandma anymore.  I have to help the parents teach them to do as much for themselves as they can.  Clean up time is hardest.  I was always making a game of it and racing to see who could pick up the most toys.  With me mostly picking up the toys.  Now I'm merely a cheerleader ... often physically helping Mr. 3 pick up a toy and put it in the box.  

Same deal with getting dressed.  When Mr. 3 wants to change his outfit, it's unbelievable that he can do it all, almost by himself!  Now that I have witnessed that, he can start dressing himself every day.  He usually says things like "I too tired, Gramma.  You have to dress Deekie".  It's hard to know how much to help and how much is enabling him to be a lazy little fellow.

Mr. 6 does everything for himself on school mornings except pack his lunch and make his breakfast.  But it is his job to brush teeth, use potty, comb hair and put everything in his backpack.  It's hard on my heart but I have had to send him back to the house to get his lunch or library the rain.  But he does much better remembering now!

Both boys take their used dishes to the kitchen after a meal, usually without a reminder.  They put dirty clothes in the hamper.

Sometimes making them do things themselves is hard on my heart.  They are only little for such a short time.  But I know it is better for them in the long run!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Besides being a test site for the Center for Disease Control, Kindergarten is sure interesting ... from a Grandma's point of view.

Mrs. Cole, Mr. 6's teacher,  during the first week of school announced NO HOMEWORK for Kindergarten.  (Well, of course there should be no homework for the first three grades ... in my humble OLD opinion). 

Mrs. Cole is a big fat liar.

I am overwhelmed at what these kids are learning and doing in Kindergarten! Reminds me of second grade!  He has worksheets every single night (notice the "s" at the end of worksheet). Math. Penmanship.  Short vowel sounds.  Consonant sounds.  Silent letters.  Long vowel sounds.

He is supposed to "Drill and Kill" at home ... practice writing capital and lowercase letters.  He has a family project at least once a month. He is supposed to read for 15 minutes every night. Number and "sight" word flash cards. Writing in a journal every day. 

It's way too much!

Tonight's project is to build a leprechaun trap ....