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!