"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Traveling, Still

When I moved to this little town, I felt my traveling days were behind me. That's what I get for thinking. Not only is my suitcase being used more in the past two years, traveling is now going to be a regular part of my senior life.

My grown kids each are buying airline tickets for me to visit them. They and I live in four different states. I agree it is easier and less costly for one person to travel, so they voted to dub me the traveler, and I accepted the invitations.

Last January I was with my son and daughter-in-law in Hawaii; this January I will be in Arizona with my daughter and her family. Hawaii will be in March. California in May, with more plans being discussed already for summer and fall. Thankfully, I am in good health and a light packer. After all, I am the one who has to lift the bag over my head on the plane. Did I mention I am not very tall?

Last year I also spent time in Wisconsin with my aunt, who is my godmother. Of course I will see her this year as well. And some side trips to see dear friends and other family members. Instead of storing the suitcase in the garage, I may as well keep it in my closet, handy and ready for more adventures.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

This isn't my cat Lola. Two things about this picture are proof this can't be Lola. First, I would not have a large tree like this in the little white house; and secondly, the cat in this picture is smaller than Lola, who is a Maine Coon, the breed with the nickname "Gentle Giant", and she does indeed live up to the nickname.

But, if she could reach the top of a Christmas tree, she would indeed be showing this exact personality. She is calm, even regal, and she is my companion. Someone to welcome me when I come home and she sort of "answers" me when I talk to her. Yes, I have become one of the senior citizens who talks to their pet. And, I don't mind what anyone thinks about that either.

Gads!

Merry Christmas to all my blogging buddies. If you don't celebrate Christmas, then I wish you a wonderful holiday season. May we have peace in our hearts, joy in our speech, and appreciation of the kindnesses from others as we share happiness with people we encounter in this busy holiday. We never know which person is crying on the inside while attempting to hide unhappiness. I hope we all are able to bring a little joy into someone's life without spending money and without expecting something in return. Just because we can.

Love to you all.
CiCi

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

When I was a little girl,
I wrote to you every year.
It didn't seem to matter
If you were far or near.

You missed my house
But the fault was not yours.
Trying to find us each year
kept you knocking on doors.

We moved to new places
Practically every year.
My brother and I holding
back sadness and tears.

It was such a relief to learn
you are not even real.
Why were we taught to
make you such a big deal.

Bah Humbug. Ha.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Round Robin

For as long as I can remember, there has been a Round Robin letter.  My mother and her ten siblings stayed in touch via the Round Robin, and as some of us cousins got old enough we would add letters occasionally as well.

There were 79 of us first cousins but over the years we lost some, so now there are only 67 of us. Two cousins passed away a couple months ago after suffering horrible pain due to cancer.

While I was at my aunt's in Wisconsin in May, she showed me the Round Robin that had arrived that week, and asked if I would care to write a note to add before she sent it in the mail, so I did. Then she asked if I would like to be added to the list receiving the packet in the mail, so now I am part of the Round Robin family letter writers again.

The packet arrived here this week, so my goal is to read all the letters and write one of my own after I remove my last letter I wrote in May, and send the packet on to my uncle. I had forgotten how fun it is to see pictures and read events from aunts and uncles and cousins. And I am part of this! Amazing.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Work Continues

There are many smaller chores being checked off the list these days. New light fixtures installed, one in bathroom and one in bedroom. Grounded electrical plugs installed in bathroom, kitchen as well as extra plugs in living room. Motion sensor lights on garage. Wireless doorbell.

Rain gutters will be completed today.

Now I am looking for lawn vacuum to clean up the leaves on the lawn. Can you believe I have had several people volunteer to vacuum up the leaves? Can't decide if it is just because the yard looks so bad or because they like vacuuming.

I am enjoying seeing the changes and watching the little house transform to a better cared for home. Where I live. My home.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving

My Gratitude List has been updated and is altered beyond recognition. My heart is overflowing. Grown children and friends, in person and online, continue to bring joy into my life. I hope I can occasionally add to the swells of pleasure for you. I am thankful for you who are reading this and hopeful your life is gratifying. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Expectations





Doesn't
"expecting
the 
unexpected"
make
the 
unexpected
expected? 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Foreign Film

Watched a DVD from Netflix over the weekend.

Foreign film based on novel by Sebastian Japrisot.

Name of film is A Very Long Engagement.

Two hours and 13 minutes very well spent.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My friend's husband

There is now a rod across the wall in the little enclosed back porch. My winter coats are now hanging on the rod. Have to find ways to use space wisely in a small place. This is the kind of thing I like to do.

My friend's husband brought over the large dowel, his saw and installed the rod. Took him about twenty minutes.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Home Improvements

In another week, some of the work will begin here at the little white house. A crew will be here to remove the layers of sand and pebbles that have been filling the driveway for the past several years.

Then it will be a two day job to do the concrete driveway. This is what I wanted done when I lived here before. The concrete driveway will make it easier to get through the winter.

Then a crew will be here to install rain gutters on the house and the detached garage.

Then the work will begin on the inside of the house. New light fixture in the bathroom, some new electrical plugs, two new door frames and baseboards.

This is the fun part.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghost Poop

Happy Halloween Everyone. I give you something to help you celebrate:


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Soon

A man is walking home alone

late one foggy night...

When behind him 

he hears:

BUMP...


BUMP...


BUMP...

Walking faster, he looks back, 

and through the fog

he makes out the image

of an upright casket

banging its way 

down the street

toward him.

BUMP...


BUMP...


BUMP...

Terrified, the man begins to run

toward his home, 

the casket bouncing quickly

behind him. 


FASTER,


FASTER,


BUMP...


BUMP...


BUMP...

He runs up to his door,

fumbles with his keys, 

rushes in,

slams and locks the door behind him.

However, the casket crashes through his door

with the lid of the casket clapping

CLAPPITY-BUMP...


CLAPPITY-BUMP...


CLAPPITY-BUMP...

On his heels,

the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom,

the man locks himself in.

His heart is pounding; 

his head is reeling;

His breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH, 

THE CASKET BREAKS DOWN THE DOOR.

Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something,

anything,

but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup.

Desperate, he throws the bottle of cough syrup at the casket.

And,

the coffin stops.


(Get it?) (Are you laughing yet?)



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Five Year Anniversary

This Halloween is five year anniversary living in this town. Time goes by and then I check dates and am surprised at how long I have been here. The experience of arriving in this town and being so tired that moving day is still a clear memory. I even remember the headache at end of day and going to local restaurant to eat. That restaurant has changed owners twice since then.

For me, Halloween is firstly my anniversary of time spent here in this little town, and then the Halloween Hoopla.

Happy Anniversary to me, happy anniversary to me, happy anniversary to me, happy anniversary to me.

Big Smile.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Home Inspection Results

It is always better to know something and take care of it than pretend it isn't there. The home inspection results were very good. The recommendations I am proceeding with solutions to are rain gutters and a couple ground-fault electrical outlets.

The termite inspection results require treatment in the older part of the detached garage as well as treatment in wall off kitchen. They will put a few holes in wall behind stove and refrigerator, add the killer virus  yucky stuff, and the termites will be gone soon. They will be removing baseboard and part of doorway so I will have carpenter replace the doorway and baseboard which I was going to have done anyway, so with a ten year guarantee, this place will be in good shape for lots of years. Let's hope I last many years past that guarantee time frame, though. This really is fun upgrading this over hundred year old place into my little home. I thought the termite results might dim my enthusiasm for the place, but it doesn't. There is good juju here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Decorating for Halloween

This is the teeniest house I have ever lived in, and for the second time too. If I hadn't moved here and found this little house, I would not have known I could live in a tiny little place, or that there were tiny little houses like this. And I really like it. Of course I like it, I moved from here two and a half years ago and here I am for the second time.

I began decorating for Halloween today.

I like this place so much that my daughter wants to buy this place for me. That is A-OK with me.

There is a home inspector here today.

More later.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shoes From The Past

How many of you wore these shoes to school, well, not THESE shoes, but shoes like these.

I did. The only time I wore good shoes was during school term, in California, shoes that went well with the uniforms of the Catholic schools I attended. The rest of the year I was bare foot or flip flops. I prefer to be bare footed still.

I wonder how much of the child is still "me".


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dominoes Tuesday

We still play Mexican Train Dominoes each Tuesday at the senior center. I look forward to it. No matter how many people show up we have fun. It is relaxing and we catch up with whoever is there.

Today is the last day of the month of September. Thursday is decorating day at the center. Halloween is a big event so we have lots of decorations. I will ask for a couple volunteers to help with decorating for this month.

Storms are due here today, even tornadoes, but the ones who live close enough to town will come to the center to play dominoes.

Parker did a great job yesterday, the back yard is mowed and ready for the storm. I am wondering how long the gas in the mower lasts, maybe the 2 gallon tank is small. Haven't had to add gas to the mower yet. This is still a guessing game for me, learn as I go task. Is it better to keep the gas filled or let it get used and then start with fresh gas?

Tuesdays are great days. Hope your Tuesday is great too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meet Parker

The shiny new red lawn mower has been performing better than expected. I can't say it is like riding wind blowing my hair on the back of a Harley, but walking behind the self propelled mower fulfills the need to be outside smiling in the sun and smelling the fresh mown grass.

The new mower was a fairly large purchase, and since I will be close and familiar with it for many years to come, it is natural to be on first name basis. I decided to christen the Toro "Parker" which means keeper of the park. Granted, the lawn is not a park, it is a large back yard and at this time it is daunting, but I am hopeful that with Parker's help and the Personal Pace feature, the mass of green will be well maintained and manicured but not stuffy. I like a more natural look, soft flowing flowers, plenty of trees, and my clothesline behind the house breaking up the view but not disturbing it.

It is easier to learn how to change settings on Parker than it is to learn how to open and close the darn gas can!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Long Reach

This would be a long reach. Thankfully, this is not where I live. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Lot Of Wet

Lots of rain this week. Which means I could watch the grass grow each day. The last thing I had on my to-do list was think about a lawn mower. I had one, and rakes and shovels and such when I lived here before. There are push mowers and riding lawn mowers and also a couple lawn services in town.

After mulling it around I decided it would be better for me to have a push mower, but one that is personal pace making it easier to guide around the yard. The front and sides of the house are small yards but the back yard is a challenge for me. I welcome the challenge and the exercise I have committed to undertaking.

The new mower will be here soon and the Toro dealer will acquaint me with it. I don't expect it to become my new best friend, but it will be good for me to take responsibility for maintaining the yard. I am looking forward to planting flowers and maintaining the flower beds. I may need to cut back on a couple activities at the senior center but the benefits will outweigh the minor loss as the goal is as always to keep balance in my life. More on the new mower after it arrives and I have become familiar with it. Maybe I will give it a name.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Teaching Daughters and Granddaughters

Today is my first child's birthday. My first daughter. To me, she is beautiful and kind and wise.

Friday, September 5, 2014

More Small Town Benefits

This is the way it has been with this latest move.

When word got out I was moving, people stepped forward, asking what they could do to help. Imagine that! Volunteering to do manual labor just because I was going to move again.

Since my friends knew I started out in the little white house, they were pleased for me that I would be living there again.

Some friends called and asked if I could use boxes and drove over and delivered them. Again, imagine that!

When I was delivering a car load of kitchen things a neighbor knocked on the door and brought me a cup of fresh brewed coffee, also asking if there was anything she could do to help.

When I picked up a meal at the corner cafe after taking loads to the house, the waitresses asked if I had help taking the loads and committed to helping the next day, their day off from their own jobs. They were great helpers. Blew me away.

Inside the house, the new landlords had several new rolls of paper towels, new bottles of bubbly hand soap in kitchen and bathroom, a huge new box of kitchen trash bags, boxes of kleenex, and other nice items. And the place was spotless.

I am blessed. This town is full of kind, caring, generous, and warm hearted people. Makes me want to be a better person just being here, a part of the goodness here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Circle Of Life

A story with a happy ending. Something we all want in our lives.

When I moved to this town four and a half years ago, the house I found online was a little white house, the rent was the right amount, and the property presented a clean slate for me to work my artistic side. I took a picture of the little white house from the front and tried several different colors to paint the trim, picking a medium shade of yellow. After painting the trim yellow, I proceeded to the inside, painting each room. The toughest job was spending days outside with my earphones on listening to music while chipping away on the layers of old paint on the garage, sanding and painting a heavy duty outside paint on the garage. It was all satisfying work, including planting seeds for flowers and transplanting some day lilies and purchasing other plants.

Then circumstances caused me to move to an apartment, which was not a good place, so I moved to a duplex and still I did not have my sanctuary. My home must be peaceful and safe. Interestingly, the duplex was two houses from the original little white house with the yellow trim.

Each day I walked or drove by the little house, watching a man working on the outside of the little house. I enjoyed watching the changes he was making as well as the happiness evident in his stance, his gestures, his face, as he put his plans into place. That man passed away and his son and daughter-in-law owned the house.

Some of the neighbors began telling me that they were sharing stories with the current owners of the little house about me, about the work I did while living there, and about the floods and consequently, mildew, I was living with at the duplex. So by the time I approached them about the possibility of me moving back into the little house, we were already on the same page.

A power greater than I could ever be was setting the stage for this rerun, and my watching the improvements being made turned out to be something I was a part of in spirit, as I was being blessed with each hammer strike, each plant put into the earth, each sack of concrete mixed for sidewalks. The work being done was beyond my imagination and I would not want to put that amount of money into a place I don't own.

All these words to say I am in the process of moving back to the little white house. Furniture and boxes being transported TODAY. Everything else is already there and I will spend the night back where I started. I have never "gone back" to anything, was ready to move on, but this was different. My time at the house was interrupted, and now I can resume my life in the serene little "doll house" as one of my friends calls it. Should be settled by this weekend.




Sunday, August 31, 2014

Laboring Day

What I am doing over this weekend is so appropriate for this holiday. I am laboring! I am carting small things over to the little white house. I was presented the keys on Wednesday. I plan on taking things over, empty boxes and bags, pack a little more and take more loads. Since it is across one back yard into another back yard, diagonally through each yard, it isn't very far from house to house. Monday and Tuesday I have help and people with trucks, giving up their holiday mornings to help me.

Whatever my blogging buddies are doing this Labor Day Weekend, I wish for loads of love and making more good memories for all of you.

Happy Labor Day.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Favorite Time Of Day

Awake. Still dark. Sun won't be up for another hour. Make coffee and check emails then sit back with cup of coffee and watch the changes in the sky. It is so peaceful, this is a wonderful time of day. Happy to wake up, looking forward to the adventures that will be presented during the day, grateful for the many dear people in my life, the low stress level, the quiet time to ponder things in general, aware of the inner growth in the past few years and the joy of anticipation for the what is in the future. Looking out the window, feeling content, feeling alive. Priceless.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Life Journey

I am moving. 
Again. 
More later.



Today and tomorrow are Yard Sale Days. Whew. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tee Pee Capital

This article caught my attention.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/13/sport/inside-the-tee-pee-capital/index.html?hpt=tr_c2

and

http://visitmt.com/listing/categories_NET/MoreInfo.aspx?IDRRecordID=8832

My brother and sister-in-law and two of their kids live in Montana.

He and I have American Indian ancestry, maybe only 1/32, probably lots of Americans have that or more. We are French, German, and that little bit American Indian. When we were young children playing with schoolmates at the Catholic school, my brother would shout to me to "kick in my Indian power" when it was my turn to push the merry go round full of kids. It is a memory that has forever stayed with me and taught me to be proud of that connection, to my big brother and to our ancestors. When we played cowboys and Indians with friends, he and I would volunteer to be the Indians because we were drawn to the Indian prayers and how they incorporated nature into their daily lives. To this day, I greet the sun each morning and thank mother earth for providing abundantly.

One of the priorities for me now is  for my brother and his family and I to spend time at the Crow Fair Rodeo in Montana. Maybe even as soon as next year. Why put off......  You never know.....

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Panama Canal

August 15, 1914 the Panama Canal officially opened.  Plans were first discussed in the 16th century. Work began in 1881. Many lives were lost during construction, most due to disease and on-site accidents.

Now Nicaragua and a Hong Kong group are planning a larger canal that would allow ships too large for the Panama Canal.




Saturday, August 9, 2014

Too Late Now

The little house I used to live in is around the corner from where I live now.  Someone bought the little house last year and proceeded to make improvements. An addition to the garage. Window frames in the garage were replaced. No sloppy work, high quality and the best ideas I wouldn't have thought of when I lived there. It makes a difference that I was only renting, and there were two renters there since I left the place, and then it sold and the new resident was the owner. But still, it was amazing to watch the transformation of the little house. Every day I drove or walked by at least twice, sometimes many trips past the house to go to the senior center or the library or downtown. I found myself slowing down and taking notice of the current project, watching the man taking measurements, building, even putting in sidewalks. Since I myself had spent two years there painting every room inside the place and also the trim on the house as well as entire outside of the detached garage and planting and transplanting trees and plants around the property, I was particularly interested in the improvements.

Instead of stopping and introducing myself to the gentleman, I watched and enjoyed seeing the progress, and figured I would stop sometime "soon" to tell him how much it meant to the whole neighborhood to see how he was improving the property and to tell him I used to live there.

Then a friend of mine called me to tell me the man's son found the man in the back yard. He had died doing what he loved doing. He was 94 years old. That was a surprise to me, I thought he was in his seventies. His vigor and strength was of a much younger man. And he completed each task and moved on to the next one. Quickly.

The son was at the house this week, he lives a block from there and I didn't know him or his wife, but this time I stopped and introduced myself, told him I used to live there and I was the one who painted the trim yellow and how much I enjoyed watching his dad working to improve the little house and how I even wanted to ask his dad to look at the place I am in now and tell me if he had some ideas for improving this place. The son and I had a nice talk about his dad, a man I never met but had wanted to meet. That won't happen now, but that man put some joy in my life without knowing it. Thank you, sir.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My First Grandchild

My first grandchild was born end of April, then six days later my second grandchild was born. My daughters delivered children 6 days apart.  Twenty-two years ago.

My grandson and I have been enjoying phone conversations and texting this year. The first time my grandson said he wanted to come out here to have some time with me, it took a while to digest. My first reaction was to tell him that there isn't anything for him to do out here, and that I am only around older people, that he would bored here.

Each time the subject was brought up, I realized that where I live, what I do, who I see in my everyday life is not the important thing, my grandson wants to come to spend some time with me in person.  Duh.

My apartment is not put back together and there is still work to be done here; however, my cat Lola and I are comfortable and living our normal life. It would be so sweet and loving to have time with my dear grandson. I left California over six years ago, so that is how long since I have been with him.

I find myself looking forward to seeing him and being around him, the grownup young man he is now. Soon.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Power Of A Rose

My friend Jean carried a rose into the senior center today. She suggested that the winner of the Mexican Train Dominoes would take the rose home. The rose is a soft peach color, slightly darker in the center, fading to the outside petals. The scent was captivating. Jean sat to my left, the rose sitting prettily in a small plastic used water bottle. It might as well have been a crystal vase for how much it affected each of us. It was the first time any one of us had brought something to share at the weekly dominoes game.

Low score is how you win in this game, and we were all hoping to end up low score. We played for over two hours, laughing and sharing, and visiting like we always do, and passing around the plastic bottle so we could all enjoy the tantalizing smell of home grown rose. I kept thinking how lucky Jean is to have these absolutely lovely flowers to drink in visually and cut occasionally to bring into her home. (Insert big sigh.)

When we began putting tiles away and clearing the table, I was the one with the low score. Being the winner is not the usual outcome for me when we play dominoes. But winning the game was not the best part anyway. Winning the rose was what put the sparkle in my eyes. I haven't had a fresh flower in my place since my birthday in February. That isn't a terribly long time. But having this rose within reach has brought an abundance of joy into my life. I had no idea how much I would like having a live flower to enjoy again. I don't need a large bouquet, a single rose has fulfilled my yearning, and today is only the first day. Imagine, I get to enjoy this lovely rose for many more days. I am blessed.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Weather Report

Good Day, fellow bloggers. What's up with this weather? Today is starting out to be perfect spring weather. Which is fine, except it is now summer. Cool enough to spare the a/c yet comfortable enough to be outdoors without sweaty armpits. Yay. Enjoy your day wherever you are.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When Less Is More

Looking back on my adult life, I try to remember the times I was most satisfied. Some of those times were when I did not have many possessions. Like the time we were "camping" out in a house after moving to Virginia from California and the moving truck was not going to be there for another week.
I remember looking around the spacious living room and smiling, thinking to myself that I would like to keep it like this and not have all the furniture and belongings, that it was easier to keep clean and it was relaxing for the family not to have so much stuff.

At other times I would sell everything except sentimental things and move somewhere and start over. I would vow to keep it simple and then as time went on I would find just the right chair or table and eventually have a house full of furniture.

The latest adventure of two back to back floods in my basement apartment forced me to see every single thing I own except items on top shelves in the apartment, moved and temporarily stored in my  garage, then the barest essentials eventually being brought back into the apartment. As I sit at my computer I look around and smile at the empty spaces. I have decided to call it my minimalistic lifestyle and have a clean, uncluttered look. Two big chairs, a small table, a side table, a file cabinet and a table for my computer and printers. That is the living room. Simple and comfortable. In the bedroom: Bed, wrought iron shelves for sweaters and shoes, smaller wrought iron shelves for more shoes, and a long bookcase that fits into closet for the clothes.

I am realizing the dream I had so many years ago of less furniture and fewer belongings. Am I turning into a, well, what is the word for a female monk?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Major Plumbing Work

All pipes to my apartment are being replaced.

Plumber at work in water closet.

Under kitchen sink after they cut away bottom shelf.

Isn't this interesting????

Lola, the cat, is locked in bedroom again but she is doing well. I go to the center today and to the lodge meeting tonight. Life goes on as usual.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Those of us who live on two intersecting streets got together for a fourth of July weekend potluck Sunday evening. We were going to gather in the park but due to heat and humidity, we opted instead to meet at the parish center at the Catholic Church. Some attend that church; some don't. What we do all have in common is the pleasure in meeting our neighbors. We all brought something to share and we were ages 2 through 94, and as we were leaving we all agreed that we want to do this again, soon.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

People's Secrets

There are lots of things I don't do well, but one that I can do well is keep a secret. Through my life anyone who gets to know me learns that I am trustworthy. Just as it is not in me to take something that does not belong to me, I do not divulge something someone shares with me in confidence. I don't go out of my way to encourage people spilling their guts or opening up to me, but when it happens I am aware of my place as confidant and respectful of the information being shared with me.

What is it about humans, in particular women, that lifts a load a bit when we have a friend to share some hurt or even a joy. Sometimes someone has surprised me with a big sigh and told me something from the depths of their heart that I didn't know what to say or do, but just be present. Knowing when something is not about me and holding my judgment or advice to allow someone to trust me has been a lifelong experience. Trust is a huge issue for me. Maybe for a post some other day.


Ewww, Mildew

Landlord is removing drywall in two rooms and will have to move out stove and get way back in cabinets in kitchen. I can tell the landlord does not want my apartment to flood ever again, we are on the same page. He has an excellent plumber here taking care of pipes and has new sump pump installed and paid to have new carpet installed.

I decided not to bring the rest of the furniture back into the apartment. Going to live minimalistic lifestyle.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth of July

This flag symbolizes freedom for Americans. The hatred people spew over which political party is the best cannot detract from the one thing we all share: Freedom. We are glad to live where there is freedom, but there are some who would take it away to have their own agenda. I can only speak for myself, and I am grateful to live in the USA where we all have choices and ability to make decisions without stifling other people's rights for the same freedom. Whether or not we vote the same way, we share the same space and make the best of what we do have. I hope I don't live long enough to see that change. This is a special day in our country. Much more than watching fireworks. May the spark of pride in what our country stands for be reignited in each of our hearts so we may preserve the valuable principles this country was built upon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Salmon Fishing

Have you been salmon fishing? I haven't, but now I would like to. I just watched a terrific DVD called Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and one of my favorites, Kristin Scott Thomas. Of course, I will not be salmon fishing in Yemen, but now salmon fishing is on my bucket list.

Finding just the right movie at just the right time doesn't happen very often, but this time it happened for me. Who else has seen this movie? If not, I recommend you watch it. Highly recommend it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Deja Vu

Have you ever heard me in a bad mood? I am pretty close to being in a bad mood now. Remember that my apartment flooded a few weeks ago and it was a week of drying and hassle but it did get situated and things back to normal. Well, this town got 5 to 6 inches rain this past Friday and the sump pump was not working with the overload of water, so guess what happened? My entire apartment flooded during the night Friday and I slept through it. When I awoke Saturday morning there was 4 inches of water in my place. Every. Corner. The. Whole. Place. Sigh.

This time I did not participate in the cleanup. This time I left. I went to my friend Vicki's place and slept on her husband's recliner for six nights. I didn't know where my stuff was, well, yes, it was all put into my garage, but I did not know how to find things, where they were. This time there is new carpet throughout the apartment and I am edgy and not relaxed here and don't want any wires on the floor or any furniture either. I am still sorting all the things that have been damaged. So far I know my electric recliner is not working; the heavy duty power strip for all the computer related wires burned out; bookcases and other furniture were soaked and are now mildew damaged that may be caused by two times getting soaked; my brand new never used twin really good air mattress has mildew and I don't know whether I will be able to get it clean enough to use at all. As days go by and I try to use things I will put aside more things to see if it will be worth putting in a claim with renters insurance.

I kept my cat in the bathroom on the linoleum floor and would come over three and four times each day to feed her and brush her and see how she was doing. The whole water on the floor thing really threw her for a loop and having the place being invaded by noise and strangers seemed to bother her as much as it did me. You see, my cat Lola is sensitive like I am and we like our peace and quiet. Smile.

Just sharing with blogger buddies the latest in the soggy saga.

As in all events, there are things to be grateful for. I will think of those in the next post.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another Life Experience

The city prepared to burn down an old house and in the process shut off water and caused a huge surge when water was turned on. I happened to be up already and heard a horrendous noise in the closet across the hall from my front door. That is where all the water pipes come together and there a huge drain in the floor there. Well, water was like a river in there. So no matter it was so early I called the landlord. Then I went to bathroom, flushed, (which turned out to be last available flush for another 6 hours), walked to sink to wash hands, and discovered there was no water now in my place. I walked back out toward the kitchen and almost slipped on the water on the floor. I called landlord back and said come quick, water is running into my apartment. It took him about 15 min to get here but by then there was a river in my entire place. He shut off water and began the arduous task of helping me remove water. He started a pump in the water room and brought his shop vac and I kept bending, soaking hand towel, wringing in big kitchen trash can, bending, soaking etc. until we got it to a level that two carpet cleaners could begin pulling up the water. I told the landlord that I intended to look on the bright side. First being that the water was clean (could have been much worse, get my drift?) and second I don't need to clean the carpets this summer as was planned, and third, well, I couldn't think of a third. The landlord piled the furniture in kitchen and living room as best he could and then set up large fans, loud enough I can fake living in a wind tunnel. Oh joy. We anticipate the fans to remain three days to ensure complete dryness. Big sigh. I was pretty tired and had not eaten so last evening when my friend Vicki texted with invitation to meet for dinner I said I couldn't, I had managed to climb over the side of my recliner and was sitting writing letters and had not showered and the place was wet. She called and told me to come over and shower at her house and stay there. So I did. 

My cat, Lola, had been enclosed in the bedroom all day and was not happy with the wet carpet and noise that invaded her space. Her schedule has become getting food when I have a moment to wreck my arm to reach around the cabinet to get another can of cat food (because of all the furniture stacked and in the way) and a quick pet as I plopped the cat food in her dirty dish. She is quite affronted that she is expected to eat from a dirty dish. 


I did think of a third thing to be thankful for: It is not cold weather and having fans blowing all over me including ceiling fans is quite acceptable. 




Hugs from Nebraska

Monday, June 9, 2014

Yard Frog

This is so cute, if I had young kids still I would want this in my back yard. No, not the front yard.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Month Of June

Decorating the senior center is great fun. The theme this month is Fathers. We have an artificial tree that used to be only for Christmas, but when I became the official decorator at the senior center, I decided one month was not enough time to see a decorated tree. So part of what happens at our center is a change of "clothes" each month on our tree. This month the tree is clad in mens ties. All sizes and shapes. A gal pal asked me if I could use a box of mens ties last year and I snatched that box and began planning the June decorations. We also have barbecue apron and fishing gear. I even put plastic squirt bottles in the pocket of the big apron: red for ketchup, white for mayo, and yellow for mustard. We have fishing gear and golf clubs too. Any ideas come to mind for more Fathers Day decorations?


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Back Home

Arrived home last night in high spirits. The time with my aunt was loving and fun. She and I browsed through all her photos from past family reunions as well as some photos she had of her childhood. She invited me to take any pictures I wanted, so I brought home a few pictures to show my brother next time we are together as well as my kids.

It is lovely in Wisconsin. Eau Claire is about the size of the next town from where I live now and the people are friendly. I wish that Eau Claire could be about 4 hours from me, but 8 hours is doable for me. My friend, Vicki did most of the driving and she planned on seeing a friend in Wisconsin but that did not work out, but she enjoyed the time with my aunt and cousin. One day we drove about 2 1/2 hours from my aunt's house to Portage, WI where we met my uncle and aunt for lunch. They live near Milwaukee so their travel time was about the same as ours. Of the original 11 brothers and sisters, my aunt and her brother are two of the remaining 5 siblings so it was special to see them together.

For most of her adult life, my aunt planted and tended a super large garden, canning and freezing what she grew. This year she has asparagus. She cut the fresh asparagus and cooked some for us and put some olive oil on it, then sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on it. Oh my. So good. I told her that one of my dearest wishes was to be in her kitchen cooking alongside her and when I realized that was what we were doing I hugged her and thanked her.
Aunt has first manicure! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bike Season

The seasons should be named by the things we can do during the season.

For me, spring is Bike Season. My bike was treated to its annual maintenance with The Bike Guy. In our little town we have a great guy who can fix anything on a bike, he can put together one great bike out of spare parts.

Summer is Vegetable Garden Season.

Fall is Enjoy the Colors Season.

Winter is Bundle Up Season.

And so on.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Chicago

Chicago Vet Museum
I will definitely see this as soon as I am in Chicago again. 
My first husband, the father of my children, was in Vietnam after we had our first child, and was wounded and a changed man when he returned. His cousin, who was in my biology class in high school, was killed there. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Road Trip!

Do you like road trips? I do. My road trip last year with my friend Shirley driving through Iowa seeing the places I had not heard of was the best few weeks ever. I hear the name of a town in Iowa now and my ears perk up like a bunny's and I picture our time there and smile.

The Saturday of Memorial weekend, my friend Vicki and I will drive to Wisconsin. We will head to my aunt's house in Eau Claire and after a few days there we will go to another part of the state to see a relative of Vicki's. My aunt has a guest room and one bathroom, but to make things easier we will be staying at a motel 4 miles from where my aunt lives. One of my uncles and aunt live in WI but 3 hours away.  One day Vicki and will drive my aunt to visit the uncle and aunt.  I talk with my aunt often but it will be great to be with her in person, as well as the uncle and aunt. Vicki has someone to see too so we will spend a day or two on a side trip.

What is it about this year, I want to be with people "in person".  I want to take another road trip this year, to South Carolina to see my foster sister.  I can only plan one trip at a time, so I will do mapping and make plans later this year.

Usually I don't do much on holidays, so it will be fun to have a proper Memorial Day celebration with my relatives, and I want to visit my uncle's grave with my aunt. And teach her to play one of my favorite card games. And take her out to eat and do things she doesn't get to do much since she does not drive. And give her lots of hugs.  The plan is to be in Wisconsin for a week.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tangled In The Sheet

After taking allergy tablets several days, my system slowed as well as my ability to think clearly. I was so tired of sneezing and blowing my nose the past few weeks.

The brain part became evident when I realized a little too late that I had not been drinking water. At six in the morning my eyes opened and I proceeded to jump out of bed. The leg cramp was demanding I stand and walk. Right. Then. In a half awake state I thought I was going to land on the floor feet first but instead my feet were tangled in the sheet and I pulled the sheet with me so when I was standing my feet were encased in the sheet which was keeping me off balance. There was nowhere to go but down. My body went down like a soldier, straight as a rod, and my head bounced off the carpet. What a surprise to be laying on my side, now wide awake, testing for anything broken, with feet still tangled in the sheet.

After several massages, healing is making me think of doing the happy dance again, but not actually moving to that tune yet. At least I am not whining about the pain now. I am grateful nothing was broken. This event has taught me to look around for potential accidents. I don't have cords in the way of walking areas, but I have removed a rug that has no rubber backing, and I have remedied a couple other situations and am still looking. Living alone, it is my responsibility to take care of me and my environment. This makes me ask how my blogging friends are doing. Anyone else take a fall lately?

The Trading Post

The Double Eagle Trading Post is so full of wonderful items that while I was there it was too much for me to see. Maybe because I am not a shopper, have never been a shopper, and am not used to walking around trying to absorb all the sights and items presented. I am an excellent online shopper, have been for about ten years. So when I got to AZ and walked around inside my daughter's store, I was overwhelmed. That is a large place and it is still impossible for me to describe the items for sale there.
She has sent me some things from the store since she took over the place and I wear some awesome tee shirts and gorgeous Native American jewelry as well as boots and purses. I was able to pack a picture in my suitcase, a bear curled up on a boulder with some wildflowers in the foreground. There are walls and walls of all kinds of artwork. I brought a yellow basket home made by a local Native American, and now the basket greets me when I go in and out of my place, a perfect place for keys and sun glasses. Some of my friends here have started asking how they can get some of the things I have been wearing, so I have asked my daughter to send a few things they are ordering. It is fun to see some of the locals showing interest in western and Native American wares.

These are all metal sculptures even the cactus. Cool, huh. I am going to get some for  front flower bed.

This is one of the tee shirts my daughter sent to me last year.  My friend is ordering one of these.

My daughter wants this painted black and turned into an old police wagon, to be used in front yard area for photo op.

M daughter free hand painted these on out building for something fun to see coming from that direction.

My daughter painted this.

Pelts stored in temp controlled room. The pelts sell like crazy there. Tourists like these.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

To All Moms

Being a mom isn't just the physical act of bearing a child. From the moment the first child is born or however delivered into our life, a woman is forever changed. There a bond that is never broken, never comes to an end even in death. That is something only women can do. Isn't that amazing?

Right after the birth of my first child, my older daughter, I told my husband "I'm a mom now." He said, yes, but he wasn't showing me that he really got it. I said again, "I'm a MOM now." Then he looked in my eyes and he understood. I did not know what to expect, but the minute I saw my daughter I was hooked. I was a MOM. And each time after that I was forever attached to the child given to me to raise.

To all the mothers reading this little post, I wish you love and memories to wrap around your heart and make you smile. All day. Big sigh.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Daughter and Dad Ditty

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Captain America

Thoroughly enjoyed this movie! Now I understand why this movie is a box office favorite week after week. Have you seen it yet?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Drive Through

About twenty minutes from my daughter's place is a drive through wildlife park. My son-in-law and granddaughter and I did the drive through part. There are hourly shows and a baby zoo in another part of the park. It would be a nice day event for families. The name of the place is Bearizona. It is located on the outskirts of Williams AZ. It was amazing to see all the carloads of people there.


Wolf relaxing.

This bear would NOT turn around.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One Of My Boyfriends

My granddaughter snapped this picture of me with my boyfriend. Heh heh.

This was taken in front of a store in Williams AZ.

My granddaughter wanted me to give this guy a kiss. Couldn't do it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Williams AZ

Growing up in southern California, I traveled along Route 66 many times, and many more times as an adult. Returning to this area brought back happy memories and I was enthralled with the small town of Williams AZ, happy to see how well it has been taken care of over the years. My son-in-law and granddaughter drove the half hour to Williams one morning and ate lunch in their favorite cafe. I can certainly understand why it is their favorite. The food is excellent. Expecting the usual discussion with the staff on gluten free food, it was a happy surprise to hear the waitress speak knowingly about their gluten free exchange. They were very accommodating. I chose a salad of lovely greens with a salmon steak prepared exactly as I like it, slightly crispy on the outside. My granddaughter and son-in-law encouraged me to try a cup of the homemade soup and I was so glad I did. I will attempt to make the soup here sometime. It was an Indian soup, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, in the most amazing curry broth. Totally delicious. Here are a few shots of the town of Williams AZ.





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Packed A Lot

This past week was full to the brim. Sometimes even running over the top. The flight from Omaha to Phoenix was enjoyable and then I waited at the Phoenix airport a few hours for the flight to Flagstaff. The plane to Flagstaff was not the puddle jumper I was picturing; I have flown in much smaller planes in the past so it was nice to see that 25 passengers were settled into the plane with plenty of room. My overhead bag would not fit in the much smaller compartments on the plane though, so a flight attendant politely took my bag to the baggage compartment. When I deplaned, the bags were lined up on the way to the airport facility, so I plunked down my carry-on and headed for the building. I saw my daughter's hair and face through both sets of glass doors and by the time I was inside, she and I walked up to each other and wrapped our arms around each other and breathed in the love.  It is an hour drive from Flagstaff to where she lives, so we chatted and adjusted my eyes to the dark highway, trying to spot any critters.

I got home Tuesday night and am catching up with emails and my usual activities at the senior center. When I get settled I will write about the things I saw and the lovely time I had with my daughter and son-in-law and my granddaughter and grandson. I had a truly wonderful time and look forward to another trip there. My cat, Lola, is happy I am home, she keeps telling me that.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fumbling Around

When something stops working, it sends me into another dimension. I don't get angry, I lose my mind. Totally gone. Maybe I go to that place first because for so many years I didn't realize I was actually capable. OMG I have a brain and I can do things!

For some reason, I still have to go to the stupid place even for only a visit before the brain kicks in and I proceed with the fix. What made me write about this is the little five minute idiot time I took last night. When I watch Netflix, I use the beautiful, glorious, noise reducing Bose headphones my daughter sent me. Insert a quick comment here: Listening to MUSIC through these headphones is a reminder to me of what it will be like in heaven. Anyway, last night while watching a little movie on my computer, wham! No more sound. I checked the cords. I checked the receiver. Then I opened the headphone battery compartment and found a AAA battery in the drawer. But it obviously was just in there to tease me. It didn't work. So I took one battery out of the wrist blood pressure monitor and huge relief, the headphones were again singing in my ear, so to speak. Aaaaaaah. Life is so good.

I leave tomorrow morning to spend time with my daughter and her family in Arizona. Here is the link to an article in their local paper about her store. Picture me there for the next 8 days.

http://www.grandcanyonnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=74&SubSectionID=114&ArticleID=10826

Monday, March 31, 2014

Decorating With A Friend

This morning my friend, Jean, met me at the senior center for the monthly decorating duty. She has been helping with the decorations for several months and we find we work well together. She had no idea what it would entail when I first approached her about helping, but she adapted quickly and has become a wonder-woman partner. She is a gal pal who plays dominoes with our group every Tuesday and she is in the book club so we have some things in common. The time I spend working on the decorations has been cut into a third of the hours it used to take do this by myself.

This morning we started removing the St Patrick's Day decorations and boxed that up and put it away before dragging out the boxes of Easter items. The center is a fairly large building and we have been working on accumulating nice decorations over the past three years. After lunch we walked around inspecting the results and felt satisfied we gave it our best effort to turn the place into a striking and eye-catching Easter senior hangout. Right on, dude and dudettes. Someone catch that bunny running across the table.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Are You Wearing GREEN?

Pot of Gold
Rainbows
Leprechauns
Four leaf clover
Corned beef and cabbage
Irish soda bread
Shepherd's pie (one of my favorites)
And oh yeah, BEER (which I can't drink)

It doesn't take much to get people in the party mode. A little nod to St Patrick and the party is in full swing. I am not Irish but I do like the green, the food, and all the decorations. Since I decorate the senior center each month in a different theme, it was fun taking down all the red and pink for Valentines Day and switching out to the green, green, and more green.

However you spend St Patrick's Day, I hope you enjoy the jolly little leprechauns and end up with a pot of gold at the end of an awesome rainbow.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Benefits Of Milk

The milkman stopped at her house on his usual route. The note attached to the milk carrier at her front door said to leave 10 quarts of milk.

Wanting to verify the quantity, the milkman rang her door bell. When she answered, the milkman inquired if she did indeed want him to leave 10 quarts of milk. She answered in the affirmative.

So the milkman asked "Do you want it pasteurized?"

She responded, "Oh no, I just want it past my knees. I want to take a milk bath."


Note: This is the kind of stuff we tell each other at the senior center while we play cards.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Preparing For Another Trip

In a little less than a month I will go through the "Take a trip" routine again. This time I won't go as far and it won't be for as long. A little over a week in AZ to visit my daughter and her family. For my part, I have about the same things to do: Pack, find someone to take care of cat, find a ride into Omaha to airport, and again when I return. There are two legs to this trip since it takes two and a half hours to get to their place from Phoenix so I take a commuter flight from Phoenix to get closer to where they live, and the the smaller airport is an hour drive to their place. I was there years ago so I remember the place and enjoy the high desert natural beauty. I am planning on taking some photos. In the meantime, I am busy with my activities at the senior center and other places with friends. The book club meets this week and there are a few senior gals who are stuck at home recuperating now so some of us go play cards with them and visit. Never a dull moment which means my brain is active!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Candy Not So Sweet

One of my friends emailed this to me. I have to admit it made me laugh. When my kids were growing up, they each received a book of Life Savers from Santa. I don't think they would have even understood if someone called someone this name.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

If You Are Ever in Williams AZ.....

There is an awesome store at the south entrance to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Of course, the main draw is the Grand Canyon. But if you are ever near Williams, Arizona, stop in at the Double Eagle Trading Company. This is not an average trading post with the average tourist stuff. The store is full of very nice gifts to take back to friends and family and better grade jewelry as well as clothes and Native American wares. Rumor has it you can even get a free cup of coffee!

When you stop in at the store, say hello to the owner. Her daughter works at the store with her most days.  Her daughter is my granddaughter. So that makes the owner my daughter! I will be going there in April for a visit. This is turning out to be "The Year To Spend Time With Family".

I don't watch TV, but I saw a clip of the show The Bachelor a few weeks ago in which the first scene of that episode the couple was standing in front of my daughter's store. That was some nice free advertising.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Bit Chilly

Furnace stopped working two nights ago. It was 6 degrees when I got up and I was missing the warmth. Fortunately I have a great space heater that takes up the slack and warms the living room quickly. I can't re-light the pilot light myself so the landlord stopped by last night. The poor old furnace is not going to last much longer. I don't know how long a furnace is supposed to last but this one was installed when this place was built over 30 years ago. Last night it was warm and cozy inside again.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tea Bag

I don't mind being compared to a tea bag. Hot and strong sounds good to me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Warning

Warning: This post is a bit risque. If you are a prude, don't read this. You have been warned.

I enjoyed a quiche today, the crustless kind, with onions and black olives, easy to make and delicious.

Made me think of this cute picture, so I decided to share it with my blogging buddies.